This vast landscape before us is a reality in which we are already participating

We are realizing that social norms in society are wavering, and we also know that many people around the world feel the same way. What is the reason for this wavering? What possibilities does it possess? The Fab Mind found, in the works of these artists and designers, the nature of the shifting world as well as insight into how to live in it. This exhibition presents the extended relationship between design and societies.

We live in a society in which technology has made vast leaps. Although the capacity of information that society can accumulate may have become immense, we as people have not increased our capacity to accumulate information, nor have we increased our physical capacity to internalize the vast amount of information. The significant difference between the current information society and pre-internet society is that the number of these contributors has rapidly increased and as a result, social norms become subdivided further.

From this knowledge, we realize that the economic developments and technological innovations are still creating imbalance and destruction rather than fully playing their part in realizing peace in the world; nor have they lead to equal access to information and useful tools. These knowledge and skills, which are updated on a millisecond basis, should be utilized to re-evaluate social inequity, ethics and value systems. We are able to encounter examples of such efforts by the fab minds in this exhibition of 24 groups of artists and designers.

These artists and designers - as if diving into a whirlpool of unknowns - question not as onlookers, but as independent actors, the nature of the changing world and what effects can be brought about from fabricating. These creative actors look at how, in contemporary society, design is evolving from being simply "consumed" to creating "activities", "site", or "relations" and as such, they are broadening the boundaries between society and design. We called the fabulously active minds of these artists and designers, which grabs and surprises us, The Fab Mind : and such incentives hold possibilities for the future and allow us to ponder our individual ways in which we are participating in society and the world at large.

Through the activities of these artists and designers, this exhibition attempts to capture, almost literally, the nature of the continuing spread of a reality in which a diversity of values co-exist. It is our belief that the works of each artist and designer introduced here - going beyond their backgrounds and geographical borders, transcending time axes and continents - can act as a compass in contemporary times.

Director's Profile

Noriko Kawakami

Noriko Kawakami has been working as a design journalist since 1994, following a career in the editorial department of design magazine AXIS. She participated in Italy-Japan design projects at the Domus Academy Research Center from 1994 to 1996 as external editorial director. She is author of Realising Design (TOTO Shuppan), co-author of Nippon Product (Bijutsu Shuppan-sha) and editor of Tendo Mokko (Bijutsu Shuppan-sha) among many. She co-curated Wa: The Spirit of Harmony and Japanese Design Today in 2008 and Japanese Design Today 100 in 2014 (both exhibitions were commissioned by The Japan Foundation and toured around the world). She is currently associate director of 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT.

Ikko Yokoyama

Born in Japan and now based in Stockholm, Sweden, Ikko Yokoyama is a curator, writer and producer. She is currently head of exhibitions at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. She is also a co-founder of Editions in Craft - a production platform that invites artists, designers and craftspeople to collaborate on projects together. As a freelance curator and writer she has worked with institutions such as IASPIS, Liljevalchs Konsthall and the Embassy of Sweden and is also a frequent contributor to Japanese culture magazines. Her publications include a collection of the works of Swedish ceramic artist Lisa Larson, published by Pie Books in Tokyo. Since 2008 she is serving as a board member of the Friends of Moderna Museet of Sweden.

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