President Message

Design has deep ties to the very roots of humankind.
It bears responsibility for human beings’ future and ties all people together as one.

Design can be thought of as the wisdom that helps humans live on to see tomorrow—this is an idea that has been on my mind as of late.

The Cave of Altamira in northern Spain houses the world’s oldest cave paintings. For what purpose did our ancestors from the Paleolithic era paint these images of animals such as cows and wild boars? It seems that they created the sketches in order to assist in the capture of such animals—viewers of the paintings reflected on the images before sleeping at night. I believe that this source of wisdom for living out the coming day was the starting point of artistic design.

Today we no longer have such caves, but in our cities there are numerous walls in the spaces between clusters of buildings, inside train stations and in other such locations, and it is on these walls that designs to help us live on can be found. The same applies to product and spatial design. When we look around us the world, there are countless examples of this type of design. If each designer is considered to be a provider of wisdom for the coming day just as the originators of the Altamira cave paintings did, design itself becomes a superb undertaking with deep binds to the roots of humankind, an endeavor that bears responsibility for the future of human beings and ties us all together as one.

I am a graduate of Kuwasawa Design School (KDS). During my student days, classes were highly innovative and unique, eliminating the borders that separate various genres such as design, sculpting, architecture, molding theory and others. By utilizing various themes and subjects, Professor Yoko Kuwasawa helped me achieve a type of expressive power that dissembles all preconceived notions through a concept she called gainen-kudaki (“concept pulverization”).

Lately, many schools are adapting their curricula to the currents of the times, resulting in all institutions become relatively similar. KDS’s strength lies in the individuality of each of its subjects or themes. The unmatched appeal of Kuwasawa is found not only in its passing down of Bauhaus design influence to the present day, but also in its education that inspires students and remains in their hearts long after graduation.

Amidst our long history, the design work seen in the Altamira cave paintings is a trace of the potential one human being possessed in regard to the future. It is a historic remain tied directly to the hopes of humankind. I hope from the bottom of my heart that each and every student at KDS will also leave behind a vestige that is tied to human hopes and dreams, and also that the School’s tireless efforts will result in design education that cultivates such students.

Katsumi Asaba
Tenth President of Kuwasawa Design School
photo by Sayaka Mochizuki