Kyushu Institute of Design

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Kyushu Institute of Design

Fifty years of design The Kyushu Institute of Design was founded in 1968, meaning that geijutsukougaku (literally “artistic engineering” and usually, as in the name of the Institute, translated as “design”) celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2018. The term came into use about that time and signifies an academic discipline that fuses science with art, the discipline in which people can most freely express themselves. At the end of the 1960s, when the Kyushu Institute of Design first opened, various distortions in economic development were emerging, and changes in society were being demanded, with an upsurge in student protest movements. Rapid development in science and technology enhanced the quality of people’s lives, but it also caused serious pollution, giving rise to reappraisal of the need for such rapid development. The introduction of the academic discipline of design was the university's answer to this situation in society, and it was intended that the Kyushu Institute of Design should foster "designers of the highest order" to devise pathways facilitating the use of technology in a way that is suited to human lives, dubbing this "the Humanization of Technology." Fifty years on, the pollution problem has been overcome and is no longer a major social issue, but design is probably growing ever more important. In the 21st century, the social issue agenda has moved away from pollution toward the declining birth rate and the ageing of society, human and environmental symbiosis, and the advanced information and communications Society. However, the concept remains the same, namely that design, by the smart use of technology, enables us to lead happier lives.