Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) is the foremost university of science and engineering in Japan. The conversation between the two institutions began with a one-day symposium titled The Experiment in May 2017 in Tokyo.
At the opening of the event, Head of College Jeremy Till presented a provocation for the day:
Normally science and art are seen as separate spheres, each with their own methods of working, thinking and doing… This is indeed how universities and school curricula are divided, with students identified as belonging to one tribe or another… As the global situation has become ever more complex and fluid, we need multiple and hybrid ways of thinking.
Taking “the experiment” as a way into discussion, Heather Barnett (MA Art and Science) and Carole Collet (Professor of Design for Sustainable Futures and Director of the Design & Living Systems Lab) shared their research and strategies. In the second session chaired by Professor Kayoko Nohara focusing on Art, Science and Technology, Professors Katsuhiko Hibino, Dean of Art at Tokyo University of the Arts and Professor Shigeo Hirose responded with their perspectives on the “experiments” they conduct on a regular basis in the fields of art and robotics respectively. The concluding session with Jeremy Till, Professor Asa Ito from Aesthetics and Professor Akihiro Konagaya from Molecular Robotics was moderated by the Institute Professor and a highly distinguished journalist, Akira Ikegami.
Over the course of 2017/18, Tokyo Tech is hosting three Central Saint Martins academics in Professor Nohara’s laboratory in the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering. The three members of staff selected are Ulrike Oberlack (MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery), Betti Marenko (BA Product Design) and Heather Barnett (MA Art and Science).
Read more: Tokyo Second
Ulrike Oberlack visited Tokyo Tech in October/November 2017. Her teaching programme aimed to introduce Japanese students to a range of design projects engaged with science and technology, followed by a practice-based experience of how such a design approach works, based on Oberlack’s practice, PhD and postdoctoral work in wearable light. Her proposal links to Tokyo Tech’s Materials Research Hub through shared interests in flexible sensor, OLED and quantum dot technologies.