Jan 7th – Feb 5th 2021: “Technology and Product in Context” course by Dr Betti Marenko


This article introduces the “Technology and Product in Context” course by Dr Betti Marenko held in the 2020/21 autumn term for GSEC, the Global Scientists and Engineers Course. The classes included a series of 6 lectures and a workshop with the students on the third week. Design theorist Dr Marenko is WRHI Specially Appointed Professor at Tokyo Tech and Reader in Design and Techno-Digital Futures at Central Saint Martins (CSM), University of the Arts London, UK.

What does it mean to be human in a world designed to be smart? How well can we get along with machines that are unpredictable and inscrutable? How do we think about ‘hybrid futures’? These were some of the questions raised in the Technology and Product in Context lecture series by design theorist, academic and educator Dr Betti Marenko. The course – ended in February 2021 – was attended by about 15 students from various branches of engineering, social and life sciences, who share an interest in the future of technology, philosophical issues around design and making, design theory and science communication. The sessions were conducted entirely in English and online, using Zoom, PowerPoint and Miro boards. This article follows the structure of the course and outlines some of the key topics, references and examples discussed each week.

Dr Marenko’s publications focus on Design, Philosophy and Digital Futures (Credit: Marenko, 2021)

Dr Marenko has written extensively about technological futures and the role of design in the Post-Anthropocene, a future geological era that does not presuppose the presence of humans on Earth. Her “tools for thinking in the Post-Anthropocene” lie at the intersection of design, philosophy and technology. In her view, the development of future technologies needs to engage with complexity, and design can benefit from a shift “from problem solving to problem finding”. The first lecture explored the question of hybrid futures from a historical perspective, tracing the origins of the human-machine encounter back to the automata that emerged in Europe in the Renaissance period. 

Dr Marenko discussed the history of automata, including The boy writer by Jaquet Droz (1770s) (Credit: unknown; slide by Marenko, 2021)

Prompted by questions on their views on “technology” and “context” – two keywords in the course title – the students proposed ideas such as “the unknown”, “a more harmonious and convenient society”, abstract and changeable ideas of “hope”, “cooperation” and “unpredictability”. For Marenko, the context of design is not simply a background to a project, but “mutually constituted ecologies” of interactions that retain an ability to ask better questions. She highlights the undivided nature of theory and practice through the image of the Moebius strip, a continuous form that is both inside and outside. Similarly, the contrast between what is human and non-human, or post-human, is dissolved in philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s definition of the human as “the machine that produces the notion of the human”. For design theorists Colomina and Wigley, “being human means being able to design”, and design is about changing the world. For Marenko, the boundaries between human and non-human need constant reassessing, and technology is what we use to address this instability. The lecture included numerous examples of artworks and writings that illustrate or embody her philosophical narratives.

Dr Marenko’s slides included striking images from popular culture, advertising and art projects (Credits: Apple Inc., 2015, left; Andy Taylor, 2012, right)

The course continued with an exploration of the concept of future through three keywords: expectation, imagination and anticipation. Anticipation is the capacity to imagine the non-existent future in the present, leading to the idea of ‘future proofing’. However, as Marenko puts it, “the conditions for change do change”. The simplistic assumption that future proofing is possible, let alone desirable, underpins some of the failed philosophies of modern design: planned obsolescence (the design of failure to stimulate future sales), solutionism (the idea that design is all about finding solutions to existing problems) and linear progress (the vision of a world constantly improving thanks to science and technology). Design brings better solutions, but better for whom? And, better for what? Dr Marenko proposes a view based on French philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s idea that building the future is not about predicting but “being attentive to the unknown knocking at the door”.

This set the basis for a workshop conducted on Week 3 using a Miro board and a set of cards developed by Dr Marenko and colleagues at CSM. Working in four small groups, the students were asked to propose a scenario for 2050 that addressed one of four ‘pills’ provided: animism, counterfactuals, decolonization and post-Anthropocene. These were read through selected ‘affective mode cards’, which summarised the attitude performed in the discussion, i.e. the anxious, the optimist, the resilient, the survivalist, the nihilist and the Zen master. Guided by this participatory strategy, the groups offered their visions of the future in short presentations, anticipating a few aspects that would be analysed in the subsequent weeks.

A screenshot of the Miro board used by Marenko and her students (Credits: Marenko, 2021; Miro.com, 2021)

The course went on to question “received notions of technology” as having to do with the latest innovations, and stressed the continuity with historical developments. The term and notion of android, for instance, go back to Pierre Jaquet Droz’s writing automaton from the 1770s and its use of the power of technology to “enchant” its audience. Similarly, the term automaton today to some extent maintains the original meaning (from Diderot’s Encyclopaedia of 1751) of a machine that can move by itself, following a sequence of operations or responding to encoded instructions. The conversation continued on the topic of “digital enchantment” (based on texts by anthropologist Alfred Gell) and the relationship of technology with magic. The lecture material was grounded in historical and philosophical developments but made more accessible by recurrent references to well-known techno-gadgets, and visual and popular culture: from iPhones and Blade Runner, to Amazon and the latest Android firmware.

Following the steps of French philosopher F. Guattari, Dr Marenko discussed digital uncertainty in contemporary society, one that is seeing “a fundamental repositioning of human beings in relation to both their machinic and natural environments”. Information and computation are not simply mediating our lives, they constitute a large part of what we do every day. But the outcomes of these digital encounters are not fully predicted or programmed, hence the emergence of uncertainty. Examples include the algorithmic automation that drives financial services and much of our interaction online. These considerations are driving AI innovations and constitute a new “technological unconsciousness” that contrasts with 20th century views of technology. Marenko therefore asks, “Can AI get smarter by becoming more uncertain?”.

Dr Marenko reflected on the impact of planetary computation on contemporary and future societies (Credits: unknown, slide by Marenko, 2021)

Through old and new theories of cybernetics, uncertainty was explored both as an accident and as a glitch. A fundamental concept is von Foerster’s “non-trivial machines”, deterministic systems producing unpredictable outcomes. Digital models, for example, can work by iterations and design strategies can operate by a fast succession of trial and error, as described by historian and critic Mario Carpo (2013). This poses interesting questions on what constitutes digital craft and how it relates to the idea of “risk”, an essential aspect of handmade production.

The next lecture started by pointing out the paradox of innovation: any new products must retain familiarity, so people can comprehend and recognise them. For example, the first car in the 1870s was named “the horseless carriage” and very much looked like one. Design theorists D. Norman and R. Verganti discussed this issue in their 2014 paper on “incremental and radical innovation”, a critique of the same human-centred design (UCD) that Normal had helped developing in the 1980s and 90s. For them, UCD can provide incremental innovation to “users” but only focuses on things people already know. For Marenko, instead, design can assume a more rhizomatic nature and embrace its role as interface between the making of objects and that of concepts. According to this view, the design process is simultaneously thing-making, concept-making and future-building.

The discussion followed on the concept of future crafting and the role of fiction in producing reality. This was linked to other design strategies and methods of future crafting, such as cultural probes (embracing risk and uncertainty) and defamiliarization (embracing strangeness).

The horseless carriage, an early model of car (right), still closely resembled a horse-powered carriage (left). (Credit: unknown; slide by Marenko, 2021)

The series concluded with Dr Marenko’s original reflections on technology and animism. As surprising as it may sound, we already live in a world that has seen a shift from “talking about things to talking with things” (her italics). If from a technological perspective we are seeing the rise of the ‘internet of things’, theoretical developments also attempt to question outdated (Western) notions of animism for our new age. Following Bruno Latour’s thinking, the focus is not just on drawing parallels between consumerist and religious practices, but to rethink about the “agency” of objects as a relational property. Philosopher Jane Bennett has also discussed “thing-power”, the curious ability of inanimate things to produce effects. Referencing multiple recent studies on the subject, Dr Marenko discussed the role of animism in creativity and design. She provides a definition of “animistic design” as one that operates in a post-user (or post-UCD) scenario and maintains “mental elbowroom” to generate new, non-linear forms of knowledge. But why is uncertainty so important? Because it establishes perceptions, it shows what might happen and focuses on ranges of possibility, including those that were not thought of. It depends on elements that are not fully controllable, are random and not fully predicted. Uncertainty has to do with creativity.

Through her often surprising and always inspiring lectures, Dr Marenko opens new views on technology and its deployment in crafting humanity’s future. Her arguments on science and technology stand out as seamlessly built on a diverse range of references across disparate disciplines. The discussion was made more accurate and relevant by drawing from philosophy and design theory, but also science fiction, critical design, art practice, advertising and popular culture. The hope is that students’ accepted views of technology could be shaken by all this unorthodox transdisciplinarity, leading them to wider-open reflection, inspiration and future-shaping innovation.

Dr Betti Marenko’s forthcoming book, Designing Smart Objects in Everyday Life. Intelligences. Agencies. Ecologies (co-edited with Marco Rozendaal and Will Odom), is a collection of essays developing a new research framework for interaction design. For more information on this and other projects, visit bettimarenko.org





  1. Post-Anthropoceneを推測するための理論的道具
  2. 将来の期待
  3. 「未来の哲学のピル」ワークショップ
  4. 人間と機械の出会い:アンドロイドからアルゴリズムへ
  5. 惑星計算におけるデジタルの不確実性
  6. スペキュレイティブ、フィクション、未来のクラフトをデザインする
  7. アニミズム2.0


4-8 Nov 2019: Reflecting on the Hacking Hearts project UK


The Hacking Heart hackathon was held at Central Saint Martins, London, UK, on 4-8 November 2019 (full programme here). Prof. Nohara and the team reflected on the interdisciplinary exchanges performed during their weeklong project. 

Illustration by Libby Morrell

“After day one I was a bit overwhelmed by the presentations – there’s a lot to absorb”. Participants and organisers of the Hacking Heart hackathon sat down 10 days later to reflect on the event. The project was a weeklong experimental collaboration between scientists and Art & Design students, held on 4-8 November 2019 at Central Saint Martins college (CSM) in London, UK. The activities were designed to interrogate and reimagine contemporary scientific research centred on heart disease, energy harvesting and cellular sensing. Talking to the organisers Dr Heather Barnett and Dr Ulrike Oberlack, the students described the initial difficulties in accessing scientific language and content delivered by the scientists, “I had more one-on-one experience discussing the research with the scientists that cleared up a lot of misunderstandings… it helped with our research and planning before we went to discuss it with the scientists”. Researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Queen Mary University of London (Queen Mary) worked with the organisers and 12 students from across a range of postgraduate courses at CSM (MA Art and Science, MA Design Furniture, MA Graphic Communication Design, MA Industrial Design, MA Jewellery Design, and MA Performance Design and Practice). Over the course of the week, the workshops facilitated a fertile exchange of ideas between artists and scientists. Each of the three groups of students produced a performance, delivered to participants and members of the public in a symposium on the last day.

The workshops took place in the Grow Lab at CSM, a biology facility dedicated to art and design teaching and research.  Photo © Hacking Hearts CSM/TiTech 2019

Initially, the event presented the typical difficulties of working collaboratively. “At the beginning we have a lot of ideas about the project, about the Hacking Hearts, how to show that, but, finally, we should give up some of them, some things are not very strong or some things not very connected, not very related”. The students learned to sacrifice some ideas to build up a clear outcome. “It was that phrase that consumed my mind: that a horse designed by committee could look like a camel”, the group laughed.

“It was that phrase that consumed my mind: that a horse designed by committee could look like a camel”

On the first day, the scientists shared their work in biotechnologies for the students to hack over the course of the week, ending with a public symposium on 8th November. Dr Thomas Iskratsch (Queen Mary) presented his research on biotechnological approaches for preventing and curing heart disease. Integrating biology with engineering, bioengineering solutions employ a combination of cells, signals and materials to create tissues outside the body that “will give us insights into disease processes, which in the future might aid design of novel drugs”. Dr Iskratsch researches the ways in which heart cells measure muscular stiffness by using simplified systems to investigate specific parameters in isolation, such as rigidity or shape. The students were invited to respond to his research and develop a “transdisciplinary translation” of its contents, as part of a wider effort to create a “third place bridging science/tech and art/design through communication”, as the organisers described. 

The participants collaborated for 4 days before presenting their responses in a public symposium. Photo © Hacking Hearts CSM/TiTech 2019

The research discussed by Prof. Wataru Hijikata (Tokyo Tech) provided additional food for thought. His presentation gave a quick overview of his work on energy harvesting systems that can be implanted in the human body, such as those required to power artificial heart pumps. The students responded to this work by creating props for a performance built around the idea of natural and artificial heartbeats. This inspired a question about accuracy during the symposium’s Q&A, as according to the students, by engaging with scientific content artists can “try to accurately communicate [in a] very certain and interesting way to a wider public audience, or you can go down the route where you’re just using as a jumping-off point, something to interpret, something to inspire you”.

The experience also changed the scientists’ own perception of what could be possible through collaboration with artists. On a straightforward level, Hijikata had to censor the content of his presentation to avoid discussing ethically challenging methods, such as the use of animal testing in research. This triggered a sort of suspicion about scientific procedures but resulted in a positive artistic outcome. For the scientist, “some disturbances are necessary for making impressive emotional performances”. He admired the performance about the beating hearts, which showed the essence (if not the details) of his research had been received appropriately by the students. For him, the value of art lies in translating scientific information into emotions. He compared his experience of the performance with that of watching the Japanese martial art of Kendo, “you’re very close in that moment – there’s no distance”. This was a superb achievement for the students. “I think that a lot of artists would aspire to this”, the organisers noted.

CSM students used lighted-up heart-like props and suggestive videos in their performance. Photo © Hacking Hearts CSM/TiTech 2019

By working with people with “different disciplinary knowledge, methods and mindsets”, the participants explored and reinterpreted social, ethical and philosophical dimensions of scientific research. In her role as Social Scientist in Residence at CSM, Prof. Nohara observed and reflected on the hybrid nature of those interactions. The team observed, “I guess the creative process generally goes through several phases of diversion, conversion, diversion, conversion, diversion, conversion. It’s sort of when you hit a problem, you then open it up and then have to close it down, and then you’ve got another problem”. The social dimension involved in collaborating with others can lead to the attempt to include all voices and “embrace everything”. But achieving a definite outcome requires some final convergence of views. This was compared to an artist’s creative process, embracing all ideas at the start only to reject, select and develop components later.

During the hackathon, thinking creatively was promoted by exercises such as exploring alternative meanings for the words used in the scientific presentations. “It was really interesting how we all had different kind of ideas about some of the words”, the students convened, pointing out differences in specialised knowledge and personal interests among the participants. “So, the strategy worked in inviting inspiration?”. A student confirmed, “I think that helped everyone open up and look at it a little bit more creatively [free] instead of just thinking in terms of […] how to interpret that research”.

“The ‘right’ is when you’re feeling connected enough to the artwork so that what you’re proposing has some sort of plausibility to it, but far enough away so that it is not a one-on-one translation”

Another team of CSM students proposed a “symbiotic ecology system between human body and plants”. Photo © Hacking Hearts CSM/TiTech 2019

The programme of events concluded on 8th November with a public symposium, during which the scientists presented their work to the audience and the students performed work created in response to the discussions held during the week-long activities. Four students entered the stage in the dark holding heart-like luminous objects while a projected video asked, “Can you distinguish between the different heartbeats? Healthy heart, unhealthy heart, pacemaker, artificial heart”. The audience was invited to participate in the performance and answer the question by beating different materials. Their active engagement surprised even the artists, “it was amazing that in one moment […] was interacting and it was very beautiful to see that”. This mimicked the contents of the presentation given by Prof. Hijikata but provided an alternative take on the issues. 

Dr Iskratsch from Queen Mary presented his work on Bioengineering Approaches for Heart Disease. Photo © Hacking Hearts CSM/TiTech 2019

Finally, the participants agreed on the importance of having a symposium at the end of the week, “I think that even though we know that there was no specific outcome required, there was – because of the symposium. I think without that, we may not have formulated pieces that were ready to show”. The participants appreciated the pressure given by the tight schedule and linked their productivity to it, “It wasn’t stressful. It was more trying to come up with creative solutions in order to get to a place where we were satisfied that the audience would have something somewhat finished to interpret”.

“So that was quite nice to go out of your comfort zone and I feel like I want to push that a bit further maybe in my own work”

Beyond the success of the project for the team and their audience, the experience left a mark on individual artists, e.g. inspiring further performative elements and using materials closer to those the scientists employ in their work. “So that was quite nice to go out of your comfort zone and I feel like I want to push that a bit further maybe in my own work”. The discussion concluded with positive remarks about continuing the collaboration with Dr Iskratsch, who is also based in London, and plans for a potential exhibition at the Science Museum to produce a physical body of work aside from the performances.

「Hacking Heart」ハッカソンプロジェクト(http://www.tse.ens.titech.ac.jp/~deepmode/en/event/hacking-hearts-4-8-nov-2019/)は、2019年11月4〜8日に英国ロンドンのセントラルセントマーチンズ大学(CSM)で開催された、科学者とアート&デザインの学生による1週間にわたる実験的なコラボレーションワークショップです。東京工業大学とロンドンのクイーンメアリー大学の研究者が、CSMのさまざまな大学院コースからの12人の学生と協働しました。





Betti & Ulli returned to UK

Thanks a lot for your devoted research activities and contribution to all the events. See you very soon again.


New! 9 Jan 2020: Hybrid Innovation Workshop Taster


13:00-16:30, 9 Jan 2020 @407A Workshop Room, South 5

We are a multidisciplinary team made of a designer, a translation/facilitation expert and a theorist working across art and design, science and technology and the humanities. We have been working together for years developing new research, educational and communication methods that bring together different perspectives from our respective fields and across several cultures. We have run a range of activities including academic symposia, hackathons, workshops and public events for different expert and non-expert audiences, in Tokyo and London.
With this workshop taster we want to share with you some of the insights we have been developing to address this urgent question:
how can we imagine alternate futures?

Most important for you, our guests, how can our methods and insights be mobilized to help you amplify your capacity for innovation, to think about the futures you want and to ask new questions about the values that matter to you and to your company.

2020年1月9日 13:30-16:00
東工大大岡山キャンパス 南5号館407A


Dr. Betti joined the Debate in the “Urban and Infrastructure in the 100-years of Life”

Tokyo Institute of Technology Industry-Academia Collaborative Program
“Urban and Infrastructure in the 100-years of Life”
5th Workshop “Town”

Date: 19 December 2019
Time: 13:30~17:45
Venue: Tokyo Tech Ookayama Campus, Main Building, 3rd Meeting Room

Betti joined the debate and gave a speech as a commentator.
Her words which includes “to build better futures, you first need to imagine them” remains in us.

場所:東工大大岡山キャンパス 本館第3会議室 276号室

”To build better futures, you first need to imagine them.” で始まるコメントが、私たちの議論に広いサステナビリティの視点と新鮮な気づきをもたらしてくれました。

16-20 Dec 2019: Existential Wearables II

Through hacking, the three prototypes emerged from the Existential Wearables I: Wearing Weather, Nose devise STRECO and Personal Mask.

What will happen this time?

GSEC advanced, 2 credit @407A, South 5 by Dr. Ulrike Oberlack.


4-8 Nov 2019: Hacking Hearts Project


Hacking Hearts was an exciting experimental project designed to interrogate and reimagine contemporary scientific research centered on heart disease, energy harvesting and cellular sensing. The activities resulted from the collaboration between Tokyo Institute of Technology and two British universities: Central Saint Martins College (CSM) at the University of the Arts London (UAL) and Queen Mary University of London. 

Illustration by Libby Morrell

The event was held on 4-8 November 2019 at the Grow Lab at UAL, in the UK. Bioengineering scientists presented their research to a team of art students, worked together for a few days and on the last day the students performed their original responses in a public symposium. A series of “creative translation processes” were employed in the deconstruction and reconstruction of cutting-edge mechanical engineering and biotechnology information through art and design practices. As Social Scientist in Residence at UAL, Prof. Nohara observed and analyzed communications and interactions among all the participants during the workshop and how arguments in science and engineering were translated, reworded and re-expressed for a team of art and design graduate students. The project team included Dr. Heather Barnett, Dr. Ulrike Oberlac and Dr. Betti Marenko of UAL, Dr. Wataru Hijikata of Tokyo Tech, and Dr. Thomas Iscratch of Queen Mary University. 

The 5-day program included a range of activities which ended with a public participatory event on Nov 8th:

  • Nov 4th: Introduction and scientific presentations / demonstrations
  • Nov 5th: Practical activities / discussions to unpack the science and start ‘hacking’
  • Nov 6th-7th: Students work in small groups to develop ideas in critical / creative response to the scientific research.
  • Nov 8th: Presentation of outcomes to the visiting researchers + public symposium in the evening.

The international research team will continue to develop methods to combine different skills and ways of thinking to acquire fresh perspectives and ideas through communication using various tools, collectively called Communication-Driven Hybrid Method. Over 5 days of activities and discussions, the participants of Hacking Hearts explored techniques to share knowledge across disciplines and understanding each other beyond cultural borders. The project produced in-depth reflections and lessons learned which will inform future participation between science & technology and art & design practitioners. Interviews with participants and conclusions drawn from the event are discussed in more details in this article.

More information on the event program can be found on UAL’s website



「Hacking Hearts」は、心臓病、環境発電、細胞センシングを中心とした現代の科学研究を調査し、再考するために計画された刺激的な実験プロジェクトです。この活動は、東京工業大学と、ロンドン芸術大学(UAL)のセントラル・セント・マーチンズカレッジ(CSM)とロンドンのクイーンメアリー大学のコラボレーションから生まれました。

このイベントは、2019年11月4〜8日に英国のUALのGrow Labで開催されました。バイオエンジニアリングの科学者は、芸術の学生のチームに研究を発表し、数日間一緒に働き、最終日には学生が公開シンポジウムで独自の発表をしました。


  • 11月4日:イントロダクションと科学のプレゼンテーション/デモンストレーション
  • 11月5日:科学を解き放ち、「ハッキング」を開始するための実践的な活動/ディスカッション
  • 11月6日〜7日:グループワーク、科学的研究に対する批判的/創造的な反応のアイデアの開発
  • 11月8日:研究者の成果発表、公開シンポジウム

イベントプログラムの詳細については:UALのウェブサイト (https://www.arts.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/185033/HackingHearts_student_brief1.pdf) から。


27 Nov 2019: Fake & Reality of Shibuya ~Shibuya Museuming @Shibuya QWS

Shibuya. The city of “symbol” and “abstract”.

Many of us are attracted to the beautiful chaos of ” the fake” and “the real”, but we seldom ask ourselves why. What exactly does “fake” and “real” mean? What is “the fake” and “the real” of Shibuya? Perhaps, it is within this complex entanglement that lies the fascinating truth of the city.

People, architecture, industry, movies, pictures, music, dance, language, discussion… these products of human life seem to add so much value to Shibuya, to the point where Shibuya is no longer just a city… but a “museum”. Shibuya has evolved and always led the forefront of our lives. Only when we face the city can we understand the true value and creativity of our lives.

In this event, we bring you panel discussions with authorities from different creative backgrounds and interactions with the environment.

Fake & Reality of Shibuya ~Shibuya Museuming

Event Information:

♦︎ Date & Time: Wednesday, 27 November 2019   18:30~20:30(Open: 18:00)
♦︎ Venue: CROSS PARK(SHIBUYA QWS)2-24-12, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Shibuya Scramble Square Ⅰ(East Wing)15F
♦︎ Admission Fee:Free (Pre-registration)
♦︎ Capacity:50 persons
♦︎ Organizer:SHIBUYA QWS, Tokyo Institute of Technology
♦︎ Speakers:
Dr. Ulrike Oberlack (Tokyo Tech World Research Hub Initiative, Specially Appointed Professor, Light and Jewelry Design)
Yoshiaki Nishino (Director of Intermediatheque)
♦︎ Facilitators
Shohei Kawasaki  (Concent, Inc., Editorial Design)
Shogo Egashira  (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Master’s student, Material Engineering/Museology)
♦︎ Coordinators
Norihiro Kawasaki  (Concent, Inc., Graphic Design)
Kayoko Nohara (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Professor, Translation Studies/Communication)

Detailed information  here.

Event Report Summary

PART 1 : Shibuya Museum Concept

  1. Museum in Japan and UK
    – Cultural financial strength of the country, symbol of national power, cultural activity base
    – Example in London: Sense making and storytelling in UK museum (stimulate visitor, create interactive experiences, foster deeper engagement and further thinking)
  2. Extension of Japanese Museum characteristics
    – In term of ability of attracting visitors, Shibuya city stands out as “planned exhibiton”
  3. Breakthrough from “HAKOMONO” restraint
    – Mobile museum in daily space that does not have building, which can be made possible by removing the ‘HAKO’
  4. Creation of value system
    – Museum: accepts all and mixed things of what left behind as a result of human activities
    – It is important to convey subjective things objectively


  • What is the attractive point of Shibuya?
    – FICTION, COPY (mass production), FAKE
    – The real value of what was created by FAKE, just like the other world when seeing Halloween event
    – If novel expressions continuously being brought out, it may become an icon of the awakening city
  • Try to see Shibuya from different angle.
    From participants:
    – “I was impressed that the word ‘Platform’ will be the keyword instead of ‘Museum’ from now on” (Graduate school staff in their 30s)
    – “The space in Shibuya, where I usually come to play casually, has never looked as glittering as it is today” (Teenage college student)
    – “Each topic reminded me of the connection with my daily work.” (Museum curator in his 50s)
    – “Halloween, Mona Lisa, literature… it was interesting because the explanations from various perspectives were connected.” (Railway facilities maintenance staff in their 20s).

Event Reflection

(written by Chihiro Wada, Doctoral student of Tokyo Tech)

Discussion about “Mobile Museum” by Prof. Nishino was very intertesting. I thought it was a good example of an exhibition that was freed from ‘HAKOMONO’ restratint. The “mobile” concept is arguably the keyword of the 21st century, but I was surprised that it extended to museums. If “anywhere” is realized, I would like also realize the “anyone” by exhibiting for free.

I was also impressed that Prof. Nishino said that it was interesting because it was “subjective.” Even in the work of Izumi Kizara, which I am currently analyzing, the main characters are looking at things “subjectively” with a short-sighted eye, so it is important to have something that is not worth looking at “objectively”. What is being discussed about as worthwhile is appearing as irrelevant. What is “real”? It feels like an eternal question that seems both easy and not. Perhaps, the question of “What is it for you? What is it for me? What is it for both you and me?” should also be a set.

I pesonally hate Shibuya, so I do not agree with the discourse that Shibuya is “attractive”. However, I think it is a fact that “a lot of people gather”. When I took a Norwegian friend to Shibuya, I remember (she/he) exclaimed “(So many people!) Very Tokyo!” when seeing Scramble Square. Speaking of “Japanese culture”, I personally think that the conflict between the dynasty culture of Kyoto and merchant culture of Edo is interesting. So when I talk about “Japanese culture”, by connecting the broadcast between Kyoto and Shibuya, talking in “Shibuya” seems make the significance come into view.

QWSアカデミア(東工大 presents):Fake & Reality of Shibuya ~渋谷を博物館にする by 野原研
日時 : 2019年11月27日 18:30-20:30
場所 : Shibuya Scramble Square 15階 Shibuya QWS 内CROSS PARK
一般参加者 : 73名
参加費: 無料


西野 嘉章(インターメディアテク館長)
野原 佳代子 (東工大教授 翻訳学・コミュニケーション)
Dr. Ulrike Oberlack (東工大WRHI特任教授 光とジュエリーデザイン)
江頭 昇吾(東工大 修士課程学生 材料工学/博物館学)
川崎 昌平(株式会社コンセント 編集デザイン)


PART 1 : 渋谷 MUSEUM構想
・ロンドンの例 Sense making and storytelling in UK museum
2. 日本のMUSEUM特性の延長線
3. ハコモノ拘束からの打開
4. 価値体系の創造

―FICTION 虚構性 ―COPY 量産 ―FAKE 偽物
・これからはMuseumではなくPlatformという言葉がキーワードになるということが印象に残った。(30代 大学院職員)
・普段何気なく遊びに来ている渋谷の空間が今日ほどキラキラしたものに見えたときはない。(10代 大学生)
・1つ1つの話題に日々の仕事とのつながりが想起された。(50代 美術館学芸員)
・ハロウィン、モナリザ、文学…様々な視点からの説明がつながり、面白かった。(20代 鉄道系施設メンテナンス)




東工大 和田千寛