If I think of Japan, the first things that spring to mind are anime, samurai and sushi. Give that thought some time and my mind settles on the culture, mindfulness and the kindness of the people there.
Heading to Tokyo Design Week (TDW), courtesy of Autodesk, these were the thoughts in my mind. Never having been to a Design Week before, I was unsure of what to expect. Having experienced Autodesk University in the past, I expected something similar: A hodge-podge of assorted art and creations with a pinch of Japanese culture for local flavour.
And did it deliver? Oh yes it did!
The event, which was held in a field situated bang opposite the Meiji Jingu stadium in Tokyo, is an institution in itself. It draws designers and artists from all over the world and myriad creations from graphics designers, artists, architects, engineers and students are shown off here.
The event is a celebration of art and design, and you can’t mistake it for anything else.
Autodesk: A tree that masquerades as a car and more
Autodesk had a relatively small booth at TDW but what they had on display was quite intriguing. For starters, they showed off a dress that would start pumping out smoke when someone gets close. At first, you might scratch your head and ask yourself, “Why?” But then you realise art isn’t necessarily about the “why.”
By definition, art can have no purpose than itself and it’s exactly what TDW is about.
Moving on, we encountered a gorgeous, futuristic model car that was “grown from bio-engineered seeds.” I kid you not. Jason Medal-Katz, Gallery Curator and Director of Brand Engagement told us that this is just a concept and that the idea is that you can grow all the components yourself.
“This car may not be ready in 50, maybe even a 100 years,” he said, adding that the car would be made of a fictional material called biofibre and that it would draw energy from sunlight, emitting only oxygen. The idea might sound zany right now, but you have to admit, it’s exceedingly cool, and environmentally friendly to boot.
Looking around the booth we also spotted Under Armour’s boot with 3D printed sole. We’d spotted this at AU: India as well, and you can check out the video below.
Other highlights at the booth also included an intricate, 3D printed model of a building to rival the Burj Khalifa. If you’re interested, the spiral structure is designed to dissipate wind forces and thus, reduce vibrations at the top of the the structure.
Autodesk had also set up PCs (not just any PCs, these were Surface Books) on which anyone could come and design something to be 3D printed or laser cut from cardboard. It’s a neat idea and something that aligns very well with Autodesk’s philosophy of nurturing the maker in all of us.
Rimono Prototype No. 1
This fascinating contraption is, of all things, a cloth-covered electric car. It’s powered by a 5kW electric motor that draws power from a 4KwH Li-Ion battery.
You steer via handle-bars rather than a steering wheel and you can slot a tablet or phone into the dashboard to serve as your HUD or navigator. This strange contraption seats two (tiny) adults.
Rimono is apparently a take on “norimono”, the Japanese word for “vehicle” or “thing to ride”.
Airo Miro: Fishy, very fishy
By far my favourite of the exhibition was the Airo Miro. It’s an “A.I. Fish Companion” that can actually swim by itself in a water body of your choosing. The fish are very large and seem to have sensors that help them avoid colliding into each other and the edges of, say, your aquarium.
At first glance, they’re very realistic and the movement is very natural.
The fish are powered by an 8.4V, 11,400mA battery and can operate for 10 hours non-stop. These fish are also neither small nor light, weighing in at a whopping 2.8kg. An electronic air bladder embedded in the fish maintains neutral buoyancy and ensures that the fish don’t sink to the bottom of your pool.
Now if only they had a life-size sharkbot. What a pool decoration that would be!
There was a great deal of other stuff at TDW. We saw myriad robots designed by kids, “air displays” with floating UI, wooden lego blocks (called Mokulock), fascinating studies in architecture, air filled plastic igloos that hosted sound and light shows, stunning pottery, T-Shirts, paintings, interior design, toys, designer playgrounds (designed by students), a lunar rover, interactive wall fittings and so much more.
The list is long and it is endless. Make sure to check out our Facebook page where we will be putting up images and videos of all of the above and more. You can also check out Tokyo Design Week’s own Facebook page where they’ve also posted pictures of all the above.
Disclaimer: Tech2 was invited to Tokyo Design Week by Autodesk. All expenses related to travel and accommodation were borne by Autodesk. However, every effort has been taken to keep the event’s coverage as impartial as possible.
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Source: tech.firstpost.com -Gadgets
Tokyo Design Week 2016: Where the weird, wonderful and the sublime come together