21_21 DESIGN SIGHT holds "Measuring: This much, That much, How much?" Exhibition starting February 20, 2015. Humankind has devised conceptual tools that make it possible to measure, convey information about, and manipulate all things in the natural environment that are difficult to manage as they are -- tangible things, air, water, light, sound. Those tools are units. Designs that we encounter in our everyday lives are likewise made possible because of the existence of numerous units: meters for the length, grams for the weight, and seconds for the time and many more. They constitute communication tools that can be shared among people of cultures throughout the world. On the other hand there are unique systems of units which have been rooted to the diverse society and cultures as well.

The shakkan-hō measuring system, for example, has been used to talk about things central to the everyday lives of Japanese people even now, such as the size of land, and the size of rooms, which are measured by the number of tatami mats needed to cover the floor. English units, such as yards to measure the distance were also used until very recently as another example. And there are variety of currency units in each country. Beside in recent years new units such as pixel and bite has been used for computer.

In addition, a multitude of units are used in just about every form of production, from design, manufacture, distribution, to sales, not to mention the architecture, products, printing, and packaging that go into product development. With these units, we are able to share the creations we have imagined and give them shape.

This exhibition aims to illustrate the types of units that are used to measure a great variety of things and phenomenon, and to give them a sense of familiarity that they may not already have. In doing so, we hope to explore perspectives on the processes and design that go into the production of things and to give people a good chance to ponder the sociocultural realities and circumstances that gave rise to these units.

The world is more fun when you know how to play with units. And when you are familiar with units, design becomes much more interesting. By showing aspects of the world through the filter of units, this exhibition will hopefully change the way people view everyday things that they normally do not give a second thought to, and lead to new discoveries and sparks of creativity.

Exhibition "Measuring: This much, That much, How much?"
February 20 - May 31, 2015
Tuesdays (Except May 5)
11:00-20:00 (Entrance until 19:30)
*April 1(Wed.) - May 31(Sun.) 10:00 -20:00 (Entrance until 19:30)
*Special opening hours for ROPPONGI ART NIGHT: April 25(Sat.) 11:00-24:00 (Entrance until 23:30)
General ¥1,000 / University Student ¥800 / High and Junior High School Student ¥500 / Ages 12 and under may enter for free
*¥200 discount for a group of over 15 people
*With a certification of disability, admission is free as well as that of an accompanying care-giver.
Click here for more discount information
Organized by:
In association with:
Agency for Cultural Affairs; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; MINATO CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION
Subsidized by:
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Special Sponsor:
Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., ISSEY MIYAKE INC.
Sponsored by:
Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd.
Supported by:
New Constructor's Network Co., Ltd., Canon Marketing Japan Inc., Seiko Holdings Corporation, TAKEO CO., LTD., Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Inspection Institute of Weights and Measures, Panasonic Corporation, MARUNI WOOD INDUSTRY INC., Miyasaka Brewing Company, Ltd. (in random order)

Exhibition Team

Exhibition Planning:
Norio Nakamura / Exhibition Graphic Design
Koichi Suzuno (TORAFU ARCHITECTS) / Space Design Supervision
Yoshinori Inamoto (AXIS) / Text Writing
Ken Okamoto / Infographics Design
Syunichi Suge / Concept Research
Norihiko Terayama (studio note) / Exhibit Design
Academic Support:
Tadahiko Hoshida
Space Design Support:
Lui Igarashi
Exhibition Research Support:
Tomoko Ishiguro, Keiko Kamijo, Takahiro Tsuchida
Shop Supervision:
Yu Yamada (method)
Exhibition Coordination:
Tatsuya Maemura (21_21 DESIGN SIGHT)

Participating creators

[Participating creators]

Haruka Aramaki, Maki Onishi + Yuki Hyakuda / o + h, Yusuke Oono, Tomohiro Okazaki + Think the Earth, Kenichi Okada + Kunie Hiyamizu (LENS), Yukiya Okuda, Kasetsu, Chihiro Kabata, Kiriyama Glass Works Company, Wataru Kumano, Fumihiko Sano + MUJI, Bryan Nash Gill, Helmut Smits, Samples of Bookmaking (Yasutomo Ota + Ryosuke Kato), Dainippon Type Organization, Naoki Terada (TERADA MOKEI), Asao Tokolo, Motohiro Tomii, Ryota Nishimoto, Noritake, Maaten Baas, Perfektron, Takayuki Fukatsu, Shinsuke Yoshitake, Ryohei Yoshiyuki to job

[Special participants]

Kaoru Kasai, Nobori Kiuchi, Klein Dytham architecture, Fumiko Sakuhara, Naomi Takayama, Akira Minagawa, Jasper Morrison, Koichi Yanagimoto

  • * The content above is subject to change without prior notice.
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