プロジェクト・ビジョン2022@野原研究室、   始動。

東工大野原研究室では、コンタクトレンズの大手メーカー、クーパービジョン・ジャパンとの新コラボレーションを開始しました。コンタクトレンズ製品の、製造工程が環境に与える影響は少なくありません。使い捨てプラスチックへの依存を減らそうと、世界規模の模索が始まっています。プラスチックは化学的・物理的に弾力性を持ち、何年にもわたり使用可能な素材です。それがマイクロプラスチック(マイクロビーズ、マイクロファイバー)にどのように置き換わっていくかは、科学者、エンジニア、デザイナー、メーカー、消費者全てに関わる問題であり、よりよいソリューションが必要です。産業界を見渡すと、プラスチックをより環境に優しい材料に置き換えていく(または少なくとも使用を減らしていく)方向が一般的です。しかし医薬品やヘルスケア産業では製品を安全に包装することが重要であり、現在ポリプロピレンなど無菌で安価なプラスチックに頼りがちです。使い捨てコンタクトレンズ製品もこれに含まれます。

クーパービジョンは、米国カリフォルニア州のサンモランに本社をおき、世界130カ国で事業を展開するグローバルメーカーです。年間数十億枚のコンタクトレンズを生産・販売し、その有効性と利便性は、コンタクトレンズユーザーに高く評価されています。日本では東京本社の他、7都市に拠点を置いています。コンタクトレンズは高度管理医療機器であることから衛生面を重要視し、レンズは液体に入った状態でポリプロピレン製のブリスターケースに収められ、アルミでフタがされています。環境問題への懸念が高まる中、製品の適切な使用と廃棄へのアプローチを模索し、同社は今年度、野原研究室と、共同企画「プロジェクト・ビジョン2022(PV22)」を開始しました。前期(1・2Q)の研究成果をもとに、後期(3・4Q)は学生による提案を公開発表します。

PV22の目的は、日本におけるコンタクトレンズの包装と廃棄について新しい知見を得、最終的にはデザイン介入を通じて、スペキュラティブ(仮想・思索的)でありながらも実用的な解決策を社会に投げかけることです。この研究は、野原研究室で開発された学際的アプローチを例証するものであり、分野の境界を越えて共同で研究を行う方法論を示す機会でもあります。その意味でこのプロジェクトは研究室活動のコアとなり、学部生、大学院生全員が参画しています。 毎週行われる教員とのディスカッション、クーパービジョンとの定期的な意見交換を通じて、学生は文献調査から問題の定義、手法の選択、データ分析、執筆まで、自分自身のプロジェクトにも役立つ学術的スキルを身につけていきます。また技術的分析、根拠に基づいた報告書など、クライアントの要望に応えるためのコンサルティング業務も体得していきます。

学生たちはまず自主的に調査を行い、最初の発見したことをチームに発表した後、自らの考察を書きました。2022年4月から5月にかけて行われた文献調査では、プラスチック廃棄物問題の地球規模での広がりが指摘され、同時に野原研究室の学生が持つさまざまな興味や背景も浮かび上がってきています。

コンタクトレンズの入ったブリスターケースは、リサイクル可能なポリプロピレン(PP)製ですが、小さいので廃棄物処理プロセスにおいて適切に分別・リサイクルされず、一般廃棄物に混ざって埋め立てられてしまうことがよくあります。レンズ自体は別の種類のプラスチック(シリコーンハイドロゲル)であり、重さは水泡の数分の一しかないため、環境への負荷は小さいように思われがちです。しかし米国での調査では、20%以上のユーザーがレンズを定期的にトイレに捨てていることが判明し(Rolsky et al. 2020)、計算によると 英国だけでも毎年7億5000万個以上のプラスチックレンズが排水溝に流されたり埋められたりしていることになります(Optical Express 2022)。これらのレンズはマイクロプラスチックとなって海を汚染し、海洋生物を危険にさらしています(Chen他 2022)。

こうした問題の重要性にもかかわらず、世間の認知度は低く、レンズを正しくリサイクルしているユーザーはごく少数(本資料では1%未満)であるという調査結果が出ています。さらにコンタクトレンズ専門店が行った調査では、会員6,500人のうち約7割が、空のケースがリサイクル可能であることを知らなかったという結果が出ています(朝日新聞 2019年2月12日)。アイシティのような既存のプロジェクトはこうした問題に取り組んでおり、製造会社による環境持続性への取り組みを証明すべく競い合い、変化を起こし始めています。しかしこの問題は解決されるにはまだ程遠く、野原研究室の学生たちがあらためて取り組むべき、明確かつ重要な課題となっています。

製造プロセスと使用者の行動両方が、環境に影響を与えています。議論において、それらを軽減する上で包装デザインが中心的な役割を持つことを強調する学生もいます。ブリスターの代替デザイン(軽量化、バイオプラスチック製など)や、レンズと包装の適切な廃棄を促すメッセージ(「この製品をリサイクルしてくださってありがとう」など)を組み込んだ包装デザインなど、いくつもの可能性が注目されます。研究者であるYuo and Yoshida (2009)は「ゴミを分別してくださってありがとう」といった感謝のメッセージが、無分別な行動の抑止に有効であることを指摘しています。2名の学生は、タバコのパッケージに添えられたメッセージとの類似性に注目しています。たとえばタバコのパッケージは、ユーザーの行動に影響を与えるパッケージ例として、よく研究されています。個人のライフスタイルを変えることは難しいですが、コンタクトレンズのパッケージに環境に優しいメッセージを添えることで、どのように消費者が持続可能性へ貢献するようになるかについては、研究する価値がありそうです。

リサイクル工学もチームの関心のひとつです。レンズを適切に廃棄するユーザーへのインセンティブや報酬の必要性を主張する学生もいます。東工大融合理工学系の高橋史武准教授が、PETのリサイクルを促進する効果的なデザイン戦略を開発する論文をもとに、PPブリスターのリサイクルに重要な教訓を見出す学生もいました。初期の段階で得られたアイデアとしては、スーパーマーケットなどの公共スペースに専用の回収ボックスを設置する、家庭に回収用の箱や封筒を提供するなどの工夫により、ブリスターのリサイクルの手間を軽減するソリューションが挙げられます。

この問題をめぐって、一般の人々を感化するビジュアル・コミュニケーションの役割についても、先輩学生により指摘されました。使い捨てコンタクトレンズから出るプラスチック廃棄物は、他の活動から出る廃棄物の量に比べれば、取るに足らないものとして見過ごされがちです(Morgan et al. 2003)。使い捨てコンタクトレンズのライフサイクルを具体化して示すことで、マイクロプラスチック汚染についての理解を深めることができます。リサイクル習慣やその他の関連データを視覚的・物理的に表現したインフォグラフィクスを用いることが、ひとつの解決策となるかもしれません(ポジティブな例としてPerpetual Plasticがある Klauss et al. 2021)。またある博士課程の学生は「使い捨てコンタクトレンズの材料の持つ特性と廃棄をめぐる文脈は、データでしかなかったものを実体化し、マイクロプラスチック汚染に関する人々の感覚形成に役立つのは」と考えています。「コンタクトレンズの水泡をどのようにアート作品に変換できるか」「ガベッジ(廃棄物)アートによって、より良い未来を想像させることができるか」、最後に「ゴミをガベッジアートに変えることで、【制御する技術】を【解放する技術】に変えることは可能か」などの問いも挙がっています。

野原研究室の学生たちはこのように、プラスチックと環境問題、そしてクーパービジョン・ジャパンとのコラボにおける取り組みを開始しています。今後、さらに文献を調査し、見えてきている傾向やテーマについて、より深く掘り下げていく予定です。次のステップとしては、クーパービジョンを始めメーカーたちが開発した持続可能ソリューションについて検討し、ブレインストーミングを通して主要な研究課題を決定していきます。その後はグループに分かれ、焦点を絞って専門的な調査を行うことになります。このブログでは、2年間を通じ、プロジェクト・ビジョン2022に関する進捗を定期的に報告してまいります。

参考文献

Charles Rolsky, Varun P. Kelkar, and Rolf U. Halden (2020) Nationwide Mass Inventory and Degradation Assessment of Plastic Contact Lenses in US Wastewater, Environmental Science & Technology, 54 (19).

Chen J, Wu J, Sherrell P C, et al. (2022) How to Build a Microplastics‐Free Environment: Strategies for Microplastics Degradation and Plastics Recycling, Advanced Science.

Klauss, L. S. M. A. M. S. (2021). Perpetual Plastic — Beach debris reveals the fate of all plastic ever made. https://perpetual-plastic.net

Morgan, S. L., Morgan, P. B., & Efron, N. (2003). Environmental impact of three replacement modalities of soft contact lens wear. Contact lens & anterior eye, The Journal of the British Contact Lens Association, 26(1), 43–46.

Optical Express (2022) 97% of contact lens users are damaging the environment (web page).

油尾聡子& 吉田秀和 (2009) 迷惑防止メッセージと記述的規範が社会的迷惑行為と感情に及ぼす効果. 応用心理学研究, 34(2), 155-165.


Nohara Lab launches Project Vision 2022

Nohara Lab are pleased to announce a new collaboration between the Tokyo Institute of Technology and CooperVision Japan, a major manufacturer of contact lenses. The heavy impact of manufacturing processes on the environment is a well-known issue and great efforts are being made globally to reduce our dependency on single-use plastics. Many plastic materials are chemically and physically resilient and can last in the environment for many years. Their slow degradation into microplastics (both micro beads and microfibers) is a major concern for scientists, designers, manufacturers and consumers committed to understand their role in developing effective solutions. A common method in most industries is to replace (or at least reduce) the use of plastic with more eco-friendly materials. However, the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries rely on sterile, affordable plastics such as polypropylene to safely package their products, and this includes disposable contact lenses.

CooperVision is a global manufacturer with US headquarters in San Moran, California, USA, and operations in 130 countries. It produces and sells billions of contact lenses annually and is highly regarded by contact lens users for its effectiveness and convenience. In Japan, the company has offices in seven cities in addition to its head office in Tokyo. As contact lenses are highly controlled medical devices, hygiene is an important consideration, and the lenses are packaged in a liquid contained in a polypropylene blister case with an aluminium lid. Amidst growing concerns about environmental issues, and in search of an approach to the proper use and disposal of its products, the company launched a jointly planned research project, Project Vision 2022 (PV22), with students from the Nohara Laboratory this year. Based on the research results of the first semester (1Q, 2Q), the students will publicly present their proposals in the second semester (3Q, 4Q).

PV22  aims to produce findings on issues related to the use and disposal of contact lens packaging in Japan and eventually inform speculative and practical solutions through design interventions. The research exemplifies the transdisciplinary approach developed at Nohara Lab. The project offers the opportunity to illustrate how to conduct research across disciplinary boundaries by joint effort. It was therefore made an integral part of this year’s teaching sessions and it is open to all undergrad, grad and PhD students in the lab.  Through weekly discussions with teachers and regular contacts with the company, the students will acquire the necessarily skills to conduct their own projects: from literature review to problem definition, choice of methods, data analysis and write up. They also familiarise themselves with consultancy work, by learning to respond to clients’ requests with technical analysis and evidence-based reports.

After conducting independent research and presenting initial findings to the team, the students were invited to write their observations. The literature review conducted in April-May 2022 is bringing to light facets of the plastic waste issue that point at its global scale, and reflect the varied interests and backgrounds of Nohara Lab’s students.

The blisters containing the contact lenses are made of polypropylene (PP), a widely recyclable material, but it turns out they can be too small to be correctly separated and recycled in the waste processing phase and often end up being mixed with generic waste and sent to landfill. The lenses themselves are made of a different type of plastic (silicone hydrogels) and only weigh a fraction of the blisters, so they intuitively pose a diminished threat to the environment. Paradoxically, their small size is part of the problem: a survey in the USA showed that more than 20% of users regularly throw lenses down the toilet (Rolsky et al., 2020) and studies demonstrated that the plastic remains largely unaffected by water treatment processes and accumulate in water and on land, e.g. in agricultural soils. In the UK alone, it is calculated that over 750 million plastic lenses are being flushed down the drain or put in landfill every year (Optical Express, 2022). These lenses form microplastics, pollute the oceans and endanger marine life (Chen et al., 2022).

Despite the gravity of the phenomenon, studies show that public awareness is low and only a small minority of users is recycling lenses correctly (less than 1% according to this source). Furthermore, a survey conducted by a contact lens store revealed that approximately 70% of the 6,500 members did not know the empty cases are recyclable (Asahi Shinbun, February 12, 2019). Existing projects such as Eyecity are addressing this issue and starting to make a difference, with manufacturing companies competing to prove their efforts towards environmental sustainability. But the issue is far from being solved and therefore represents a well-defined and important challenge for Nohara Lab students to tackle.

Some students highlighted the central role of packaging design in reducing the environmental impacts of both its manufacturing process and user behaviour. This may encompass alternative designs for the blisters (lighter, made of bioplastics, etc..) and new packaging design to incorporate messages (“thank you for recycling this product” or similar) aiming to encourage the correct disposal of both lenses and packaging. Researchers Yuo and Yoshida (2009) found that the gratitude message such as “Thank you for separating your trash” is effective in deterring inconsiderate behaviour. Two students highlighted parallels with messages on cigarette packaging which – although very different – is a well-studied example of packaging intended to influence user behaviour. Whilst individuals’ lifestyle changes are always difficult to implement, a possible strand of research could be conducted on how eco-friendly messages on contact lens packaging can bring consumers to contribute to sustainability.

Recycling engineering was another noted interest in the team, with students foreseeing the need for incentives and rewards for users who dispose of their lenses correctly. Some built on the knowledge of Tokyo Tech’s Prof. Fumitake Takahashi’s experience in developing effective solutions to encourage PET recycling, which can offer important lessons to the recycling of the PP blisters. Initial ideas involve either dedicated collection boxes in public spaces (e.g. supermarkets) or other solutions to reduce the hassle of recycling blisters by providing boxes or envelops to collect them at home.

Finally, the role of Visual Communication in sensitising the public on this issue was discussed by more senior students. Plastic waste from disposable contact lenses is easily overlooked as insignificant pollution compared with the amount of waste generated by other activities (Morgan et al., 2003). Practices of materialising disposable contact lenses life-cycle could expand this narrow understanding of micro-plastic pollution. Possible solutions comprise readily available infographics on recycling habits and other relevant data, expressed in visual and/or physical form (Perpetual Plastic was indicated as a positive example, Klauss et al., 2021). One doctoral student believes that “disposable contact lenses’ material properties and their discarding context could be used to physicalise data and contribute to the public sense-making of micro-plastic pollution”. Questions included “How can we turn contact lens blisters into artworks”, “Can garbage art enable us to imagine a better future” and, even, “Is it possible to change technics for control into technics for liberation by turning garbage into garbage art”?

In conclusion, Nohara Lab’s students are fully engaged with the issue of plastic pollution and the opportunities that the collaboration with CooperVision Japan can bring to their training. Further review of literature will dig deeper into these initial trends and themes. The next steps will include a review of sustainable solutions developed by CooperVision and other contact lens manufacturers, and a brainstorming session to agree on key areas of research. The team will then split into groups for more focused, specialist investigations. Regular blogs on this site will report on any progress made by the lab on Project Vision 2022 throughout the 2022-23 academic year.

REFERENCES

Charles Rolsky, Varun P. Kelkar, and Rolf U. Halden (2020) Nationwide Mass Inventory and Degradation Assessment of Plastic Contact Lenses in US Wastewater, Environmental Science & Technology, 54 (19).

Chen J, Wu J, Sherrell P C, et al. (2022) How to Build a Microplastics‐Free Environment: Strategies for Microplastics Degradation and Plastics Recycling, Advanced Science.

Klauss, L. S. M. A. M. S. (2021). Perpetual Plastic — Beach debris reveals the fate of all plastic ever made. https://perpetual-plastic.net

Morgan, S. L., Morgan, P. B., & Efron, N. (2003). Environmental impact of three replacement modalities of soft contact lens wear. Contact lens & anterior eye, The Journal of the British Contact Lens Association, 26(1), 43–46.

Optical Express (2022) 97% of contact lens users are damaging the environment (web page).

油尾聡子& 吉田秀和 (2009) 迷惑防止メッセージと記述的規範が社会的迷惑行為と感情に及ぼす効果. 応用心理学研究, 34(2), 155-165.

WRHI releases new STADHI video

The World Research Hub Initiative at Tokyo Tech (WRHI) have released a new set of videos outlining the work of its Satellite Labs. A complete English transcript and more info can be found below the video.

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT]

STADHI is a transdisciplinary research group based at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan) in close collaboration with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (UK). Activities are funded by WRHI, the World Research Hub Initiative, an innovative research platform at Tokyo Tech. A number of renowned natural and social scientists, engineers, world famous designers and artists are actively involved in the collaborative research activities.

STADHI stands for Science and Technology and Art and Design Hybrid Innovation. This laboratory aims to pursue a space for academic fusion that reconsiders the conceptual mindsets that we researchers have unconsciously come to accept. We are working on a theoretical model of the processes that promote the integration of science technology art and design so that it can be applied to transdisciplinary research education and human resource development. We also accommodate subject-specific research projects, including speculative arts and design activities using the framework of “scientists in residence”, and research on craft and sustainability, olfactory devices and service development.

My specialisation is in translation studies and semiotics. The role of translation in this research project is immense. Translation is transferring meaning from one language or semiotic system to another. It is all about making a new otherwise difficult communication possible as it connects the people and discussions between very different cultures and disciplines. We utilize a variety of scientific and art strategies to observe and analyse the emerging integration of science and art, as well as translation strategies and other analytical tools.

We publish academic articles on specialist transdisciplinary subjects and on the hybrid research methodologies employed. We issue videos on our findings and also create original artwork and multimedia material from the fusion of art and design with science and technology, and we disseminate processes and findings through events and blog posts. In our research we work very closely with a small team of researchers and professors from Central Saint Martins in London. In particular, Betti Marenko who is a philosopher and design theorist, Heather Barnett who is an artist and teaches art and science at Central Saint Martins, and Nathan Cohen who is doing research on olfactory art.

STADHI has built the future-building hybrid innovation programme, comprising STEAM-type development modules for education and human resources based on the outcomes of the studies we have produced. We are now working with those new collaborators from the industries to achieve further insights through tackling complex social issues with a hybrid innovation model.

Thank you for your interest in our research.

離れていても鉄道を楽しめますか?360度動画で鉄道乗車体験

離れていても鉄道を楽しめますか?360度動画で鉄道乗車体験 ~QWSアカデミア(東京工業大学)~

[Please see below for information in English]

東京工業大学環境・社会理工学院融合理工学系ではロンドン芸術大学 セントラル・セント・マーチンズ校との共催、いすみ鉄道株式会社協力のもと360度動画で鉄道乗車体験イベントを行います。

新型コロナウイルス感染拡大による外出自粛に伴い鉄道利用客が減少し、鉄道事業者は厳しい経営状況に直面しています。そこで、本イベントでは鉄道のサテライト実験を実施し、鉄道に乗車せずに離れていても鉄道を楽しむことができるかどうか、そのサービスの可能性を検討します。実験では、千葉県の房総半島を走るいすみ鉄道の車窓風景が映し出された360度動画を視聴し、香りと音の有無や組み合わせの変化が、参加者の感情状態や支払意思額に及ぼす影響を分析します。

<開催日>
11月8日(月)11:00~18:00
11月9日(火)10:00~19:00
11月10日(水)10:00~19:00
11月11日(木)10:00~19:00
11月12日(金)10:00~15:00

<開催場所>

渋谷区渋谷2-24-12 渋谷スクランブルスクエア15階 SHIBUYA QWS内 PLAY GROUND

<イベント詳細ページ>

https://20211108academia.peatix.com/

Can I enjoy the train even if I’m away? Train ride experience with 360-degree video

Rail operators are facing difficult working conditions as the number of passengers using the railways has decreased due to people refraining from going out due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection. In response, this event will carry out a satellite experiment on railways to examine the possibility of a service that would allow people to enjoy railways even when they are away from the train without boarding. In the experiment, participants will watch a 360-degree video showing a train window view of the Isumi Railway running on the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture, and we will analyse the effects of the presence and combination of scents and sounds on their emotional state and willingness to pay.

Nov 8 – Nov 12, 2021
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM JST
SHIBUYA QWS (渋谷キューズ)

For more information and tickets visit: https://20211108academia.peatix.com/

Olfaction and its impact on train travellers well-being in Japan

【下記の日本語訳をご参照ください】

Lead Researchers and authors: Prof Shinya Hanaoka, Xin Guo, Akari Nosaka, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Hanaoka Research Group, School of Environment and Society, Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering; Nathan Cohen, Tokyo Institute of Technology WRHI Visiting Professor; Central Saint martins, University of the Arts London.

FULL TITLE: Olfaction and its impact on train travellers well-being in Japan, a transdisciplinary collaborative research project integrating art, science and technology.

Following discussions in 2019 resulting from a presentation made at the ‘Colloquium with Central Saint Martins @ Tokyo Tech’ (14 May) a research project has developed led by Nathan Cohen and Shinya Hanaoka, with students attending the Hanaoka Research Group, Xin Guo and Akari Nosaka. This commenced in October 2019, as an olfactory project investigating the impact of odour on train passengers sense of well-being, with Xin Guo undertaking a supervised literature review. Over the duration of the research to date we have been investigating how smell influences our impression of the environment with a view to understanding if a heightened sense of well-being could be induced in passengers on public transport, particularly at times of stress, through the subtle introduction of certain odours.

Isumi Railway Company, Japan, train carriage (Credits: authors)

We are also interested in how smell can be used to positively enhance the experience and recollection of different aspects of making a particular journey, from the purchasing of a ticket, through travel to associations with particular places – an assisted form of auto-performative olfactory and culturally curated experience, both practical and aesthetic, which may be of interest to passengers and train companies in promoting travel as a healthy experience that could also enhance well-being and for purposes of tourism.

This complements research previously undertaken by Nathan Cohen collaboratively with the Japanese artist Reiko Kubota, along with others researching this, into the field of olfaction, memory and narrative,* with a view to establishing how the well-being benefits of olfaction can be adapted to a larger scale. Shinya Hanaoka expressed an interest in this in the context of public transport, a field in which he has expertise. For both of us this research opens up new possibilities for investigation in ways that we have not previously had the opportunity to explore.

The literature review did reveal some studies looking at different aspects of passenger response to train travel although there was relatively little published that covered the specific aspects in relation to olfaction that we are interested in investigating. There is, however, more literature available relating to personal response to different odour types, and this helped to inform the choices made regarding which odours to test and the methods that should be used to do this.

Tokyo Tech Olfactory research visit to Isumi Railway Company (Credits: authors)

In the Spring of 2020 Shinya Hanaoka approached a couple of train companies in Japan and the Isumi Railway Company in Chiba agreed to our conducting an experiment aboard one of their trains. This company runs a small railway line between Ohara and Kazusa-Nakano which provides for local transport needs and tourism, the journey running through the Boso peninsula known locally for its beautiful landscape. During the tourist season the company also offers gastronomic train journeys attracting visitors from within Japan and abroad, particularly during the Spring and early Summer flowering season.

Consequently, we devised an experiment where passenger response to odour on a train could be tested. This would enable us to test 2 odours and how they impacted travellers on 2 timed round trip journeys between Ohara to Otaki stations. Two hypothesise were being tested relating to the idea that a pleasant ambient smell on the train would (1) induce a change in railway users emotional response and that (2) it would influence their perception of the environment in which they were travelling, leading overall to an enhanced sense of well-being.

Completing the questionnaire during the train journey (Credits: authors)

A questionnaire had to be devised to be completed by each traveller for each of the journeys they made with the different odours and also without an odour being introduced that would enable statistical analysis of participants responses. Led by Xin Guo, assisted by Akari Nosaka, 23 students from Tokyo Institute of Technology volunteered to participate in the experiment and questionnaire forms were completed on December 2nd 2020 when the main experiment took place, following an initial test in November.

The questionnaire was based on established psychological test methods. The first hypothesis, related to pleasure and arousal of emotion, was tested using the PAD Model (Mehrabian and Russell, 1974) and Russell’s Circumplex Model (Russell, 1980), adapted for use in Japan with a revised translation (任,井上 2018). The second hypothesis, perception of the train carriage environment, was tested by including an updated version of the Semantic Differential technique (SD method) (Osgood et al., 1957). Participants were asked to record their perceptions using a Visual Analogue Scale.^

Advice on the questionnaire preparation and experimental methodology was also provided by Associate Prof Mitsue Nagamine (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nagamine Lab), and Prof Takefumi Kobayashi (Bunkyo Gakuin University). Prof Satomi Kunieda (Ritsumeikan University) also advised on the selection of the odour samples used in the experiment, which were distributed in the train carriage using fans.

Shinya Hanaoka (front centre), Xin Guo (front, second from left), Akari Nosaka (front, left side) and olfactory research experiment participants from Tokyo Institute of Technology at the Isumi Railway (Credits: authors)

While this was an initial test with 23 participants, we did learn that, for the majority of those taking part in the experiment, there was a measurable increase in their sense of well-being when exposed to both odour samples, Lavender and Lemon (citrus), compared to when travelling without an odour sample present.†

We are now entering the next stage of the research (April 2021 – March 2022) to establish how different olfactory sources enhance train passenger experience, and how this may also relate to tourism. Nathan Cohen, together with the team from the Hanaoka Research Group, will also be investigating the use of olfaction and the ways this can be developed and applied aesthetically to create memorable user train journeys.                 

*For details of this research please visit this website: www.olfactoryresearch.net/research

^Xin Guo has now graduated with a Master’s thesis titled: The influence of odor in a train carriage upon positive emotional response in railway users (鉄道車両内の香りが利用者のポジティブ感情に与える影響), that describes the research undertaken for this project up to March 2021.

† This experiment was conducted under Covid-19 pandemic restrictions which meant numbers of participants were restricted, so results should be interpreted accordingly.

S T A D H I – Science & Technology + Art & Design Hybrid Innovation

This research is supported by the Tokyo Tech World Research Hub Initiative (WRHI), School of Environment and Society, Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology.

© 2021 Photographs and intellectual content – all rights reserved by the authors.


嗅覚とその日本の電車旅行者の幸福への影響

「東京工業大学でのセントラル・セント・マーティンズ校とのコロキアム」 (https://www.tse.ens.titech.ac.jp/~deepmode/csm/blog/%e5%a0%b1%e5%91%8a%ef%bc%9a%ef%bc%92%ef%bc%90%ef%bc%91%ef%bc%99%e5%b9%b4%ef%bc%95%e6%9c%88%ef%bc%91%ef%bc%94%e6%97%a5%e3%81%ab%e3%82%bb%e3%83%b3%e3%83%88%e3%83%a9%e3%83%ab%e3%83%bb%e3%82%bb%e3%83%b3/)(5月14日)でのプレゼンテーションから発生した2019年の議論に続き、ネイサン・コーエン特定教授と花岡伸也教授が率いる研究プロジェクトが開始され、花岡研究室の郭欣と野坂朱里が参加しました。この研究は、香りが列車の乗客の幸福感に与える影響を調査する嗅覚プロジェクトとして2019年10月に開始し、郭欣が文献レビューを実施しました。これまでの研究期間中には、香りが環境の印象にどのように影響するかを調査してきました。特に、ストレスのある時に、特定の香りを導入することによって、公共交通機関の乗客に幸福感の高まりが誘発されるかどうかを理解するための調査を行っています。

今回の実験は2020年12月2日に23名が参加しました。場所は、千葉県の上総中野駅と大原駅を結ぶ小さな鉄道路線で、美しい景観で地元で有名な場所です。郭欣が主導したこの初期テストでは、実験に参加した大多数の人にとって、ラベンダーとレモン(柑橘類)の両方の香りにさらされたときに、香りがない状態と比べると、幸福感の増加が見られました*。

研究の次の段階では、嗅覚源が列車の乗客体験をどのように向上させるか、そしてこれが観光にどのように関係するかを確認します。ネイサン・コーエンは、花岡研究室と共に、嗅覚の使用とこれを美的に開発・適用して、思い出に残る列車の旅を作成する方法についても研究します。

*この研究の詳細についてはこちら(www.olfactoryresearch.net/research)

Olfaction and its combination with visual stimuli in the creation of interactive and immersive environments

【下記の日本語訳をご参照ください】

Lead Researchers and authors: Prof Takamichi Nakamoto, Saya Onai, IIR Laboratory for Future Interdisciplinary Research of Science and Technology, School of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology; Nathan Cohen, Tokyo Institute of Technology WRHI Visiting Professor, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.

ARTICLE’S FULL TITLE: Olfaction and its combination with visual stimuli in the creation of interactive and immersive environments, with the potential to enhance personal engagement and well-being – a transdisciplinary collaborative research project integrating science, technology and art.

Since March 2020 we have been working on an olfactory project investigating how smell, in combination with visual stimuli, influences our impression of an environment and how this could impact Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) users when creating immersive, interactive scenes.

Smell is a complex medium to work with, posing challenges for developers, technologists and creatives in its identification, application and handling. Invisible yet, to varying degrees, influential in how we interpret our environment, it has been a source of fascination and inspiration for centuries. Samples of aromatic substances are to be found in the graves of early Egyptians and, in refined forms, it has been a rare and sought after commodity across cultures through to the present day.

Smell, or more particularly the odours which form it, can be distributed artificially in different ways. Perfume is worn directly on the body or clothing. Aromatic oil or alcohol based solutions can be sniffed from a simple container or using smelling sticks that absorb the sample. Moved under the nose the aromatic compounds within the odour samples are released into the air and we absorb them through our nasal passages where smell receptors translate the experience to the brain. This requires a simple haptic approach to encountering the smell sample. Alternatives include burning incense, warming essential oils, and the use of aerosol sprays and gel dispensers to disseminate odours more widely within a space.

A high-speed solenoid valve open/close olfactory display setup in the  Nakamoto Laboratory (Credit: authors).
Diagram illustrating use of the high-speed solenoid valve open/close olfactory display set up in the Nakamoto Laboratory. (Credit: authors).

However, to offer a range of odours in a way that is more intimate and corresponds to other stimuli within a controlled and time based environment requires a different approach. Over recent years Takamichi Nakamoto has developed, with his team in the Nakamoto Laboratory, a technical and computerised approach to delivering odour samples, either linked to a headset or in close proximity, enabling their combination with visual and auditory media in immersive digital environments. Many technical difficulties had to be overcome in this construction including how to enable several odour samples to be delivered through one device without their contaminating each other, and how these odours could be linked to different aspects of the immersive environment in which they can be encountered over varying durations of time. The device currently being used for our experiments in the creation of interactive virtual spacio-olfactory games is an high-speed solenoid valve open/close olfactory display.

Scentscape (2019, Nathan Cohen, Reiko Kubota) an interactive olfactory artwork with digital display (Credit: authors).

One area of investigation we are exploring is how smell can encourage memory and enhance narrative association. An earlier example of this may be seen in the boxed artwork Scentscape (2019, Nathan Cohen, Reiko Kubota) where odour samples were presented in small glass screw capped containers which, when handled, triggered sequences of still images on a video screen corresponding to particular places with which the odours are associated. Other objects relating to memories of these places could also be placed within the box, the intention being that the user could combine their own imagery, odour samples and objects to create their own personalised memory box.

The olfactory displays developed by Takamichi Nakamoto offer a more technical and differently immersive approach. In this current research we will be exploring ways in which the combination of imagery and olfaction can create an enhanced narrative experience for the user through the development of scenes that complement and are complemented by odours. This will also take the form of an animated interactive environment that users engage with.

As Saya Onai states in a co-published paper ‘Significant research has already been done in relation to memory and scene recall that can be induced by scent (odours), but information transmission and scene recall by scent alone has not yet been realised effectively. It has been difficult to achieve a common perception of a particular scene from a certain odour due to the influence of prior experience and differences in individual perceptions.’ * In this research, we are seeking ways to enhance scene recollection by combining olfactory, visual, and possibly auditory, stimuli within an immersive environment.

Pair of images displayed sequentially with a 10 second blank screen and odour sample between the first and second versions of the image (Credit: authors).

To better understand the links between smell and memory recall a supervised experiment was conceived by the group working on this research and conducted in the Nakamoto Laboratory by Saya Onai in December 2020. 18 volunteers were divided into 2 separate groups.† Group 1 were presented with the first of 2 related images on a monitor screen, the screen then went blank and an odour related to the image was dispensed through the linked headset for 7 seconds with an overall pause of 10 seconds. Following this the screen displayed the second related image. There were a sequence of 11 sets of visual image pairs with corresponding odours, referred to as ‘scenes’, that all the volunteers experienced consecutively. After viewing all 11 scenes a multiple choice questionnaire was presented asking which odour is the correct one in relation to each scene. For group 1 the questionnaire presented sets of 4 visual images per odour to select from, inviting the participant to identify which image correctly corresponds to the odour for each scene.

Group 1 multiple choice selection for an test odour 
Group 2 multiple choice selection for an test odour (Credit: authors).

Group 2 separately experienced the same test, only the multiple choice options for selecting the correct odour were text based only and not images.

Initial analysis of the experiment’s results reveal mixed rates of identification, with some odour – image associations stronger than others. We will be exploring this further to identify which odour image combinations are more readily identifiable, together with investigating the temporal nature of odour and odour combination in the creation of animated smell scenes that induce narrative association. We will also be considering the aesthetic aspects of the game design required to engage users and enhance their experience of interaction. This will form the basis for the research during April 2021 – March 2022, with the intention to produce a working prototype for display at Siggraph Asia in December 2021.

*香りによる情景想起の基礎的研究  Fundamental Study of Association of Scenes with Scents Nakamoto, T., Onai, S., Iseki, M., Cohen, N. (2021) IEICE General conference

† This was an initial experiment conducted under Covid-19 pandemic restrictions which meant numbers of participants were restricted.

S T A D H I – Science & Technology + Art & Design Hybrid Innovation

This research is supported by the Tokyo Tech World Research Hub Initiative (WRHI), Program of the Institute of Innovative Research (IIR), Tokyo Institute of Technology.

© 2021 Photographs and intellectual content – all rights reserved by the authors.


インタラクティブで没入型の環境の作成における嗅覚と視覚刺激の組み合わせ

2020年3月以来、私たちは嗅覚プロジェクトに取り組んでおり、視覚刺激と組み合わせて、嗅覚が環境の印象にどのように影響し、没入型のインタラクティブなシーンを作成するときに仮想現実(VR)と拡張現実(AR)のユーザーにどのように影響するかを調査しています。

香りは複雑なメディアであり、その識別、応用、処理において、開発者、技術者、クリエイターに課題をもたらします。香りは、香水、アロマオイル、お香、またはエアゾールスプレーやジェルなど、さまざまな方法で人工的に分散させることができます。ただし、制御された時間・環境内で、より緊密で他の刺激に対応する方法でさまざまな香りを提供するには、別のアプローチが必要です。近年、中本高道教授は中本研究所のチームとともに、ヘッドセットにリンクされた、または近接した香りサンプルを拡散するための技術的かつコンピュータ化されたアプローチを開発し、没入型デジタル環境で視覚および聴覚メディアとの組み合わせを可能にしました。

このインタラクティブ嗅覚ディスプレイは、香りがどのように記憶を促し、物語の関連性を高めることができるかを探求するために使用されました。実験は、2020年12月に中本研究室のメンバーによって18人のボランティアに対して実施されました。初期分析結果はさまざまで、強い関連をしめす香りと画像があることが明らかになっています。2021年4月から2022年3月までのさらなる研究は、2021年12月のSIG-GRAPH Asiaで展示するための実用的なプロトタイプを作成することを目指します。

21-28 July 2018: Entry Now! CSMXTokyoTech Wearable Hackathon

Hackathon (design workshop) will be held in July as part of the ongoing Biotechnology Wearable Fashion project. Full House – application closed, thank you!

“Existential Wearables” : In 10 years, what do people wear in Tokyo?

How will what we wear reflect how we feel, how we act and how we want to connect with others? How can a wearable technology enhance or affect how we want to exist as humans? As city populations and demography continue to increase and technology becomes even more embedded in our lives, how can we secure personal space and maintain a sense of freedom? How will our external apparel reflect our internal world – will what we wear help us to communicate, to disconnect or to cooperate with our surroundings?

The Existential Wearables project explores the interface between the body, technology and society to explore possible manifestations for future wearables. We will be facing a number of social issues such as aging, population decline, elderly nursing, immigration, in 10 years’ time in Tokyo. Our community sites including hospitals, schools, streets, offices etc have their strong and weak, good and bad, positive and negative  aspects of each, as if they show their own light and shadow. Considering the issues, expressing our thoughts and emotions, reflecting Tokyo’s history and culture, playing the ideas, we will create Existential Wearables.

Over 8 days we will bring together people from design, biology, art, engineering and technology to speculate through making, for a ‘hackathon’ of collaborative workshops working with programmable textiles and light emitting materials. Prototypes, designs and ideas created will be developed further and presented at a public event in Hikarie in late September 2018, intended to extend the conversation about life enhancing biotechnologies.

Ulrike Oberlack and Heather Barnett from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London will conduct the hackathon in collaboration with Kayoko Nohara and Hiroshi Tsuda from Tokyo Institute of Technology. Drawing on the ideas generated in the previous fashion cafés and the workshops, students, industry people, artists/designers, and scientists/technologists will work together to build on the emerging ideas, hack materials and build prototypes.

(This is a credit course intended for Tokyo Tech graduate students.)

Hackathon Details:

  • Date: July 21 (Sat) , 22 (Sun if the participants like), 24 (Tue), 25 (Wed), 26 (Thu), 27 (Fri),  28 (Sat)
  • Time: Tuesday-Friday: 18:30-20:30   Saturday: 13:00-15:00 (subject to change according to the designing situation)
  • Venue: Ookayama campus
  • Credit: 1 unit
  • Language: English (assistance will be provided as needed)

Register here. Closed
Inquiry: e-mail to Megumi Hiraki (hiraki.m.aa@m.titech.ac.jp)

Tokyo Institute of Technology, School of Environment and Society: “Biotechnology Fashion” Workshop Project
“Support for Overseas Cultural Projects” 2018, from Arts Council Tokyo


2018 7/21-28 東工大大岡山キャンパス
生命体テクノロジーファッション工房PJの一環として、ロンドン芸大CSMからウルリケ・オバーラック(ジュエリーデザイン)とヘザー・バーネット(粘菌アーティスト)を迎え、東工大の野原佳代子、津田広志が加わり「ひとの存在を問い直す」ウェアラブルを考案し作るハッカソンワークショップを実施します。プロジェクトにご協力いただける方、参加歓迎です!

これまでのカフェイベントやディスカッションでの議論た提案をふまえ、東工大その他の大学生、アーティスト、デザイナー、科学者/エンジニアはじめ多様な職種・専門のメンバーで協働し素材から検討してプロトタイプを作ります。東工大生は単位履修可能:2Q 広域教養科目 LAW.X423。

日程&場所:

  • 7月21日(土)13:00 東工大南5号館407Aワークショップルーム
  • 22日(日)13:00 東工大石川台5号館3F デザイン工房
  • 24日(火)18:30 デザイン工房
  • 25日(水)18:30 ワークショップルーム
  • 26日(木)18:30 デザイン工房
  • 27日(金)18:30 デザイン工房
  • 28日(土)13:00 ワークショップルーム

時間: 火 – 金: 18:30-20:30 (現場で延長可能性あり),

土日: 13:00-15:00 (現場で延長可能性あり)

場所:東工大大岡山キャンパス

(本学大学院生の場合 単位: 1単位 広域教養科目)

言語: 英語(ただし教員が必要に応じて日本語でアシストします、議論は日本語でも可能)

お申し込みはこちらから:満員御礼! 締め切りました

問い合わせ 教務支援員 開めぐみまで (hiraki.m.aa@m.titech.ac.jp)

全日参加できない方は、お申し込みの上、別途ご希望の参加日を↑メールでお知らせください。

東京工業大学環境・社会理工学院「生命体テクノロジーファッション工房PJ」
2018年 アーツカウンシル東京「海外発文化プロジェクト支援」事業

27 Feb-3 March 2018: Visa x Sony Bank Design School Workshop in collaborated with Concept Designing

We held a joint workshop with Musashino Art University and credit company Visa Worldwide Japan Co., Ltd. as an industry-academia collaboration project. We have held seven joint We have held seven joint workshops with Musashino Art University, but this is the first workshop sponsored by a company.

Objectives
  • To create relevancy and cultural saliency for a form factor that has not changed in decades
  • To introduce into the marketplace delightful payment experiences that engage consumers of all ages in a meaningful way
  • To discover new opportunities and key insights for clients
  • To position Visa as a forward-looking and innovative brand
Event Details:
  • Sponsor: Visa & Sony Bank
  • Partner Universities: Musashino Art University (MAU) & Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech)
  • Date: February 27, 2018  – March 3, 2018 (5 days)
  • Time: 12: 30-18: 30
  • Venue: Musashino Art University Takanodai Campus
  • Number of participants: 21 from MAU, 9 from Tokyo Tech
  • Contents: Group work of members from both universities on given topic by Visa to make proposals that can make use each member’s expertise.
  • Format: Pitch scenario where 30 3rd and 4th-year students worked in 6 groups of 5 to develop concepts for contactless form factors for Visa Debit. At the end of the workshop, the students presented their concepts to a panel comprising representatives from all partners.
Workshop Output;
  • Pitch deliverables
  • Insights on how millennial transact and interact with debit products now, their needs and opportunities
  • Concepts for new debit form factors and features
  • Visualizations, including prototypes
  • Consumer experience journeys and use cases
  • Visa will own the rights to all concepts generated
  • Sony Bank will enjoy a first right of refusal to commercialize the winning concept for a Visa product on a non-exclusive basis

Event Overview & Documentation

Main theme: “PAYMENT”
How should payment services (payment methods) change in 3 to 10 years? Consider how payment devices and payment environments should evolve in order to provide stress-free payment services (payment means) in daily life.

Sub-theme: “How will your daily life become more comfortable with your Visa debit card?”
Target: 
20-35 years old (male / female)

DAY 1

  • Visa unveiled design challenge theme: “PAYMENT”
  • Briefing by Visa: Visa’s innovations
  • Brainstorming for developing initial concepts

DAY 2

  • Brainstorming and developing ideas
  • Sharing initial concepts for review


DAY 3

Fine-tuning and turning concepts to concrete work


DAY 4

Preparing for group presentation

DAY 5

  • Group presentation
  • Feedback and comments from Visa, Sony and faculties
  • Awards presentation


(Photos © TiTech 2018)


クレジット会社 Visa・ワールドワイド・ジャパン(株)との産学連携事業として、武蔵野美術大学と合同ワークショップを開催しました。武蔵野美術大学とはこれまで7回合同ワークショップを開催していますが、企業協賛によるワークショップは今回が初めてです。

WS概要

  • 内容:Visa社から出されたテーマに基づき、武蔵野美術大学生との混合編成グループにより、相互の専門性を生かした企画提案を行う。
  • 日程:2018年2月27日(火)から3月3日(土)の5日間
    時間:12:30~18:30
  • 場所:武蔵野美術大学鷹の台キャンパス
  • 参加人数:武蔵野美術大学21名 東工大9名

【メインテーマ】    決済   
✔3年~10年後の支払いサービス(決済手段)は、どのように変化するべきか。日常生活において、ストレスのない支払いサービス(決済手段)を提供するために、決済機器及び決済環境がどのように進化すればいいかを考える。
【サブテーマ】
✔ Visaデビットカードを使うことで、日常生活は、いかに今よりいかに快適になるのか。
【ターゲット】
✔20歳~35歳(男・女)

WS内容
1日目 講義:デザイン理論、コミュニケーション メディア思考
グループディスカッション、ブレスト
2日目 グループディスカッション、ブレスト
3日目 テーマからコンセプトへ 中間発表  作成開始
4日目 造形物作成完成、最終プレゼン準備
5日目 最終プレゼン 講評 授賞式