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MESSAGE

We are entering a time in which the value and potential of rural areas are being reconsidered. Higashikawa, the “Town of Photography,” and “Cultural Capital of Photography,” is a beautiful town in Hokkaido, Japan. Located in a beautiful rural setting, surrounded by the Daisetsuzan mountains, it is also blessed with pure groundwater. With the aim of communicating the richness of life through architecture and furniture, the town has promoted a new initiative in collaboration with architect Kengo Kuma, who has a strong interest in the use of architecture and design in rural settings.

 

Higashikawa, with its small size and thriving furniture production industry, has long implemented programs that would only be possible here: It starts with the “Your Chair” project, which gives the children a sense of safety and belonging from a young age. In Elementary School, the children learn while surrounded by wooden furniture. When they graduate Junior High School, as a graduation present, they take home their wooden chairs that they have used and cared for over three years. It is now time to start a new project and train the young people who will be the leaders of the next generation.

 

As the world endures the new Coronavirus crisis, the problems with our overcrowded metropolitan lifestyles have become clearer, and a search for a new lifestyle has begun. The resources and possibilities in each region are beginning to provide inklings of ideas for the development of this new lifestyle. Architect Kengo Kuma has joined us in supporting our town and our region. He is an early advocate of promoting the appeal of regional communities through architecture, with a strong interest in expanding the use of local resources and educating the next generation of young people. In a sense, Kengo Kuma, who is working on regional revitalization though the world of architecture, and Higashikawa, a sparsely populated town blessed with a rich environment and a thriving furniture industry, have been working together to propose a new way of life.

隈研吾プロフィール写真KengoKumaPortraitPhoto

Photo © J.C. Carbonne

COVID-19 has changed our indoor lifestyle such as normalizing remote work and at the same time increased opportunities to go for walks or eat outdoors. Having spent more time in the open air, the objects we surround ourselves with outside will also change so that we can make the time more comfortable. A revolution in our lifestyle is currently underway. Please propose furniture that can fit in the open air which would enrich this new lifestyle of ours.
Kengo Kuma
Head Judge / Architect, professor at the University of Tokyo
松岡市郎プロフィール写真IchiroMatsuokaPortraitPhoto
The theme for the 3rd competition was determined as "Furniture Fits in the Open Air.” Hokkaido, Japan is blessed with forest resources and our region aims to create world-class furniture through the use of high-quality wood and the skills of our outstanding craftsmen. We hope to co-create with you so that KAGU will spread from around the world to Higashikawa and from Higashikawa to the rest of the world. We look forward to receiving many entries from all over the world.
Ichiro Matsuoka
Mayor of Higashikawa, the Cultural Capital of Photography and “Town of Photography”
藤田裕三プロフィール写真
Thanks to the great support of everyone, we are very pleased to announce the 3rd annual “Kengo Kuma & Higashikawa” KAGU Design Competition. We look forward to receiving entries from many young people around the world, with the hope that KAGU, which brings people and the world together, will continue to flourish under the theme of "Furniture Fits in the Open Air".
Hiromi Fujita
Chair of the "Kengo Kuma & Higashikawa" KAGU Design Competition Executive Committee

Deadline for pre-registration

February 28th, 2023

Pre-registration is closed as of February 28th, 2022.
Thank you very much for your registration.

Pre-registration is closed as of February 28th, 2022. Thank you very much for your registration.