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Exhibition: ‘Prototyping in Tokyo: Illustrating design-led innovation’ at Japan House London

Text by CLOT Magazine

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 of 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 prototype 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. The magic begins once the excess material is discarded and the motor inserted. 

Prototyping in Tokyo: Illustrating design-led innovation is open to the public from January 16 to March 17, 2019.

(Media courtesy of the artist)
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