Thanks to an introduction by Shimizu-san, I have attended a party that celebrated the start up of a shared studio office by small businesses of creative industry, such as architects, designers, producers tonight. Mori Buildings, known as a fabulously rich company and for recently launching the Roppongi Hills urban re-development is the sponsor for this shared studio office.
I have been knocking Mori Trust by accusiing them for talking much about changing Japan and not taking real action, but I take it back. They may have only started project such as this in exasperate attempt to do something with their older vacant office buildings, but the fact is, I believe it may indeed help change Japan.
There has been many attempts in the past to support fiercely talented designers, artists, creative people, but based on such past efforts that helped bring awareness, major enterprise such as Mori Building is offering space at convenient locations for these creative people to work and show and share their work.
I have been working with Snipe recently in attempt to change the workplace at a major company in Japan, and noticed that their design is not American, not European, not feeble attempt to copy, but something original, which may very well be called new generation Japanese. Their space perception and function fits the new work style among Japanese, which pays attention to inside details along with access to the outside. Sakakida-san of Snipe has been my coach on cool-ness, the new generation Japanese style. Through him, I have learned the cafes to work in, art spaces at unusual locations, attended party full of young, cool, talented people. Tonight’s party was of another group, but equaly talented and cool. There is probably many such groups emerging throughout Tokyo, and some outside of Tokyo too.
The stage is set, with older generations with enough money to pour onto their sons and daughters to support them. Japanese may not be good at donating to causes, but they seem to be good at spending money on their kids. The old rich like Mori, and maybe Mitsubishi Trust to follow, willing to spare part of their resources to try for something new. And the people now in 20’s who has been toughened up by sobering effect of long and steady decliine of economy, watching the grown ups struggle, doing anything but taking chances, are determined to do things different than their parents. These people grew up knowing how to travel, exposed to the best in the world arts and entertainment thanks to developed technologies, armed with their ambition to change the world. And through something new like blog, they are forming strong communities of practices rich with various resources. Above all, physically bringing these people together to form a community will surely help many projects to succeed.
Now new waves are being created with several successful energizing projects, and the tide is rising. The tide of change in Japan. The talented Japanese artists, designers and producers. See how they will shape the future of Japan.