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Kotaro Abe

MA work


“There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.” - James Thurber, American Cartoonist

For nine months, I have been on a quest to explore the introspective value of sunlight for me. By conducting a series of ritualistic activities to appreciate the existence of sunlight and to ask for more, I have grasped my values of sunlight in different scales and contexts. From an experience of taking a holiday from the sun to a field trip to Iceland, I have prototyped rituals with the ultimate aim to maximise my “exposure” to sunlight in physical and mental terms. The project questions the meaning of sunlight in modern society, and what sunlight is for us today.

This project’s outcomes are objects, prototyped rituals and film documentation of the whole quest.


  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Design Interactions, 2017

  • Kotaro is a Japanese designer currently based in London. His background in interaction design / computer human interaction, he utilises his multidisciplinary skills such as prototyping, electronic engineering, software coding and film making to activate the people’s mindset by using the methodology of critical design and process art.

    After gaining BA in Environmental Information studies at Keio University (Japan), he worked as a visiting researcher in Keio University as an interaction design tutor. He is now finishing his MA in Design Interactions at Royal College of Art (UK).

  • Degrees

  • BA in Environmental Information, Keio University, 2015
  • Experience

  • Freelance designer, Freelance, 2015-; Visiting researcher, Keio University, 2015
  • Exhibitions

  • The Language of London, KK Outlet, London, 2016; Sonar 2016, Barcelona, 2016; Ars Electronica Festival 2014, Linz, 2014; NTT ICC Open Space 2014, Tokyo, 2013-14; ACM SIGGRAPH ASIA Art Gallery 2013, Hong Kong, 2013; Laval Virtual 2012, Laval, 2012; ACM SIGGRAPH 2012, Anaheim, 2012
  • Awards

  • First runner up, Bloomberg London Divider Competition, 2017; Wood Pencil, D&AD, 2017; Finalist, WIRED Japan Creative Hack Award, 2016; Selected art work, ACM SIGGRAPH ASIA 2013, 2013; SFC Student Award, 2012; Grand Prix, The 20th International Collegiate Virtual Reality Contest, 2011
  • Conferences

  • “unsettled”, Virtual Reality Society of Japan Conference 2014, 2014; “Ambient Camera: Who released the shutter?”, ACM SIGGRAPH Asia 2013, 2013; “Perch on My Arm!”, Laval Virtual 2013, 2013; “Perch on My Arm!: A Haptic Device that Presents Weight and a Sense of Being Grabbed”, ACM SIGGRAPH 2013 Posters