We are very glad to have two very relevant Keynote speakers for this years conference:
Opening Keynote: Kenya Hara
Born in 1958, Kenya Hara is a graphic designer, professor at the Musashino Art University and, since 2002, the art director of MUJI. He is interested in designing “circumstances” or “conditions” rather than “things.”
Mr. Hara has traveled the world widely in an attempt to investigate the meaning of “design.” These efforts were crystallized in the international touring exhibitions “RE-DESIGN,” “HAPTIC” and “SENSEWARE”, each title representing a keyword that embraces the ever-changing value of existence. He incorporated traditional Japanese cultural features in designing the opening and closing ceremonies of the Nagano Winter Olympics, as well as in the promotion of the Aichi EXPO. He has designed commercial products for many companies, including AGF, JT, KENZO, was involved in the renewal project of the Ginza branch of Matsuya Department Store, and worked on the signage for Mori Building VI and Umeda Hospital.
He has received numerous design awards, including the Japanese Cultural Design Award. His book, Design of Design (Iwanami Shoten, 2003) received the Suntory Arts and Science Award, and its new revised and expanded English edition, DESIGNING DESIGN (Lars Müller Publishers, Switzerland, 2007) has reached readers all over the world.
Closing Keynote: Michael Shanks
Michael Shanks is an archaeologist at Stanford University, where he holds the Hoskins Chair in the Department of Classics. He has researched contemporary design, beer cans, cars (with DaimlerChrysler), prehistoric mortuary practices, as well as art and craft in the cities of Greek and Roman antiquity. He leads the excavations of the ancient Roman town of Binchester in the English/Scottish borders, looking into the connections between empire and military occupation. Drawing on his background in anthropology and historiography, his interests cover long term trends in culture change, manufacture and industry, the interplay of tradition and innovation, as well as heritage and the role of the past in the present.
A series of critical interventions in debates about the character of the archaeological past have made him a key figure in contemporary archaeological thought. For Michael, archaeologists do not just discover the past; they work on what remains.
Archaeology, the discipline of things, design and making, is about our relationships with what is left of the past. This means we are all archaeologists now; cultural heritage lies at the core of who we think we are, and how we might respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow.