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Event Report

1. Overview
Date September 7 (Wed.) – 9 (Fri.), 2016
Place Kyoto Research Park (KRP)
Organized by Kyoto University Collaborative Graduate Program in Design
Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University
Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University
Design Innovation Consortium
Co-hosted by Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University
Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University
Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies, Kyoto University
Faculty of Fine Arts and Graduate School of Arts, Kyoto City University of Arts
Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kyoto Institute of Technology

The Kyoto University Summer Design School, launched in 2011 in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, marked its sixth hosting this year. It has evolved into a large event that brings together students and experts from diverse fields, not only from within Kyoto University but also from industry, local governments, and other segments of society. Participants select a particular theme they would like to work on from a range of choices, and the theme groups use different approaches to develop their ideas. The ratio of theme proposers to the participants who take on the challenges presented is nearly 1:1, making for a highly interactive learning experience unlike any other program.

The sixth Summer Design School was the largest to date, with 37 themes tackled by 400 people—186 participants and 147 theme proposers, plus dozens of supporters and observers. The recommended theme for this year was “culture,” and 22 culture-related topics were examined. The timing of this theme was perfect, coming soon after the government’s decision to relocate the Agency of Cultural Affairs to Kyoto. In addition, 15 topics were proposed by local governments and businesses, mainly members of the Design Innovation Consortium, creating a setting for true industry-academia-government collaboration. At the same time, this year’s gathering had an even more international atmosphere, as nine of the theme groups allowed discussion in English, including one that dealt with a topic submitted by the Polytechnic University of Milan.

For the first and second days, the theme groups were divided between two venues to work on solving their respective challenges. Each group employed its own approach, such as going out to do field work, holding a brainstorming session to come up with ideas, sketching out ideas, and prototyping the ideas. Everyone joined together for poster presentations in the afternoon of the third day, as well as the lively discussions sparked by the presentations. This was followed by a reflection session to look back on the three days of work, and then an awards ceremony that capped off a very successful Summer Design School 2016.

2. Snapshots

Day 1: Opening Day 1: Lecture
Day 1: Discussion Day 2: Ideation
Day 2: Sketching Day 2: Prototyping
Day 3: Preparing posters Day 3: Poster presentation