love & marriage, work & children, family & society
Description of this year’s program
This year's workshop will be focusing on women in Nagoya and their growing influence on the city's lifestyle. The workshop will be conducted by the creative team behind the award-winning project MadeiMTL: Producer Nicolas Fonseca, Creative Director Mouna Andraos and documentary Director Ziad Touma.

The workshop’s goal is to explore gender-specific design with a social impact, through a new-media documentary approach. By the end of the workshop, after a process of documenting women-driven lifestyle trends, students will make an innovative proposition that will cater to the new social reality brought forth by the demographic changes in Nagoya.

In terms of work and marriage, it is often said that Japanese women have a unique perspective about their identity, which women in other developed countries do not have. We will do an exploration of how the lifestyles and values of Japanese women affect social trends in this country. In particular, in the last 5 years, in Japan as well as many parts of Asian countries (Korea, Taiwan, Singapore), we are facing an unprecedented social phenomenon of women staying single by the drove, a rapidly declining birthrate and an increasingly aging population.

This social phenomenon has become great cause for concern for both policy makers as well as industries/academic institutions in these countries. In a world where women and family are becoming more diversified, traditional values towards home, family and work are now collapsing. We feel that this collapse demands that we seriously consider new perspectives on how we can use design to develop new visions and scenarios on how we want to live.

We will explore the city of Nagoya by conducting field research about the relationship between design and gender. Throughout the week, students will use video, photography, sound and text to go beyond the surface of new lifestyle trends. Each day, they will publish their findings in order to communicate what they see, feel, hear and think about social changes in both small and large scales, from the general to the specific and vice-versa. They will determine problematics related to gender issues and come up with propositions of how we can use design to improve everyday life. E.g. how can we make downtown area more attractive for women to enjoy city life? How can design be applied to working environment? What can we do to make young mothers with small children have a better life? For older neighbourhoods, how can we create community services that will bring the residents closer?

On February 10, 2006, the workshop participants will make presentations about their findings at a symposium attended by around 80 persons including professional designers, educators, company managers, design students and reporters from Japanese media.
[ About the Field Work ]
The students are divided into 5 TEAMS of 8 people. Each group will mix students from different backgrounds. Each team works on one THEME related to the MAIN THEME of 50:50 (e.g. "Family & Society", "Love & Marriage", "Work & Children", etc.). Field work is conducted in sub-teams of 5 to facilitate on-location work.
[ Field-research ]
Team A (PDF) : Building Communities
Building Communities: How can universal design be applied towards the building of a sustainable community? How can we create community services that will bring the residents closer? The team will visit "Kids and Town Network", an NPO promoting raising children in the community network, "La Cuna Maternity Centre" which supports alternative birth and "Kuni House", a community-run space open for all generations. How design can help build communities will be proposed.
Team B (PDF) : Work & Career
How can men and women working together in the pursuit of meaningful careers? How can design be applied to working environment? These issues will be tackled by interviews with a female manager at Nagoya City Gender Equality Promotion Centre and the Editor-in-Chief of "Travaille", a classified-ad magazine for young women. Team members will bring their own countries' policies on gender equality to do a comparative study amongst different cultures.
Team C (PDF) : Security
How can we make our city safer for women to enjoy city life? What can we do to make young mothers with small children have a better life? The team will experience the woman-only metro introduced by City of Nagoya's Transportation Bureau and meet mothers at Crea Kindergarten which is affiliated with Nagoya University of Arts.
Team D (PDF) : Love & Marriage
How do the perspectives on marriage and relationships affect our life? What is behind the currently much-debated issues such as not getting married, getting married later in life, or declining birthrate? Interviews will be conducted to a wedding producer, and a group of young women of different lifestyles (single/married, freelance/employed, living one’s own/with family etc).
Team E (PDF) : Gender
How can we develop gender-specific design with a social impact to improve our daily life? What are some of the hidden and difference between men and women's perspectives in our daily life? The team will interview 2 Japanese companies, INAX Design Center and Nippon Menard Cosmetic, to examine how female designers produce men's commodities and how male designers develop products targeting female consumers. At the same time they will study the end-users by visiting a family of three generation living together in Nagoya to see what a Japanese lifestyle for family is like.