Exhibition: ‘Prototyping in Tokyo: Illustrating design-led innovation’ at Japan House London
The Japan House in London is currently showcasing ‘Prototyping in Tokyo: Illustrating design-led innovation’, an exhibition curated by award-winning industrial designer Shunji Yamanaka. Engineering graduate and professor at The University of Tokyo, Yamanaka worked for Nissan Motor’s Design until founding ‘Leading Edge Design’ in 1994. His style is encouraged by a merged interest in engineering and art, aimed at finding improved solutions throughout his work in a socio-technological context.
The exhibition offers a glimpse into how robotic innovation and twenty-first-century techno-culture could be shaping the future everyday living, exploring three main concepts: ‘Prosthetics’, a series of illustrations of the “expanded human body”. ‘Bio-likeness’, where prototypes indulge with a sense of human intelligence through mimicking human traits and ‘additive manufacturing’, to which Yamanaka contributes with his prototypes line ‘Ready to Crawl’. This last category explores how complex and innovative forms can be achieved through 3D printing.
While generally unsuitable for the development of transmission mechanisms due to its lack of accuracy, Yamanaka uses 3D printing to create organic-like, ’whole’ robots; simultaneously developed prototypes, with the exception of the motor, that are printed by a selective laser sintering machine. Once the excess material is discarded and motor inserted, the magic begins.
The exhibition is open to the public from 16-Jan to 17-March 2019.
Text by CLOT Magazine (Twitter @clotmagazine)