メッセージ
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 stunning 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 decided to start 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, are working together to propose a new way of life.

 

It is our great hope that many people will join this initiative and enrich the hearts and lives of people around the world. The competition will begin in 2021, the memorable year of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

隈研吾プロフィール写真KengoKumaPortraitPhoto

Photo © J.C. Carbonne

Due to the Coronavirus, the world is about to change dramatically. Getting out of the “closed box”, getting out of the city, and getting closer to nature will be the theme of the post-Corona world. In this new world, furniture as a device to connect humans and the environment will attract more attention than ever before. There is also a possibility that the definition of "furniture" itself will change. Please propose furniture suitable for this new era with new and bold ideas. I would like to send out to the world a new way of thinking about furniture from Higashikawa, a place rich in nature.
Kengo Kuma
Chairman / Architect, professor at the University of Tokyo
松岡市郎プロフィール写真IchiroMatsuokaPortraitPhoto
Hello from Higashikawa Town, the "Town of Photography" and Cultural Capital of Photography. We are pleased to announce that Higashikawa, in collaboration with architect Kengo Kuma, will hold the "Kengo Kuma & Higashikawa KAGU Design Competition" with the 2021 Olympic year 2021 as the starting year. The town of Higashikawa and the neighboring towns of Higashikagura and Asahikawa are highly regarded both in Japan and abroad for their furniture manufacturing, which takes advantage of the high quality of Hokkaido lumber and the skills of the local craftsmen. This year's competition is open to students who are interested in design in Japan and around the world. Each competition will have a different theme, and this year it will be "wooden chairs". We are looking forward to seeing your wonderful chair designs, whether it is a chair to for your children or family, a chair to give to someone who has been good to you, or your own chair to comfortably sit in. In commemoration of this competition, we are planning to produce a chair designed by Kengo Kuma and made by our skillful craftsmen. We are looking forward to receiving entries from students. Thank you very much.
Ichiro Matsuoka
Mayor of Higashikawa The Cultural Capital of Photography And “Town of Photography”

Deadline for pre-registration

February 27, 2021

As of February 27th, 2021 at 12PM (noon) Japan Standard Time, we are no long accepting pre-registration.
We wish to express our sincere appreciation for all of you who pre-registered for this year's competition.

As of February 27th, 2021 at 12PM (noon) Japan Standard Time, we are no long accepting pre-registration. We wish to express our sincere appreciation for all of you who pre-registered for this year's competition.