In Conversation with Shunji Yamanaka: Treasure Hunting – Prototyping for Envisioning the Future

27 June 2018 | 1pm – 3pm

Kensington, Lecture Theatre 1

Ahead of his upcoming exhibition at London’s Japan House in January 2019, following exhibitions at the Japan House in both Saõ Paulo and Los Angeles, Shunji Yamanaka will give a talk at the Royal College of Art entitled 'Treasure Hunting – Prototyping for Envisioning the Future’. 

In this talk, he will present some of his work, the process that goes into it, and discuss the role that prototyping plays in helping design the future. The talk will be followed by a panel discussion with Kinya Tagawa, founder of award-winning design studio Takram and visiting professor of Innovation Design Engineering at the RCA. 

Shunji Yamanaka has worked as an industrial designer in collaboration with various researchers and scientists since the beginning of this century. He has made many prototypes showing the possibility of their leading edge technologies, and exhibited them over the years.

As the archives of academic documents and papers have opened up, and the internet has given public access to the recordings of various experiments being conducted throughout the world, technology in laboratories is now constantly exposed to the public. In this context, prototypes are becoming more important as the medium that bridges advanced technology and society.

A prototype is now the physical embodiment of speculative story that connects people to technology that has yet to be brought to society.

About Shunji Yamanaka: 
As a design engineer, Shunji Yamanaka has designed industrial products ranging from wristwatches to railway carriages, while also developing the technology behind robots and telecommunication systems. His recent research focuses on re-examining the relationships between humans and man-made objects through projects such as beautiful prosthetics and lifelike robots.

He has has been awarded numerous honours, including the 2004 Mainichi Design Award, the iF Design Award, and multiple Good Design Awards (backed by the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Infrastructure). His 2010 work, Tagtype Garage Kit, is part of the New York Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.

This event has been organised by the School of Design. Please contact Charlotte Furet for more information.