In this day, an array of design skills are required to meet the demands of our drastically changing world.
The ability to anticipate future changes, bring innovation to people’s lives, and lead the way to a new age. The ability to discern essential values and bequeath traditions to future generations. The ability to be considerate, and understand the unspoken. The ability to observe intricacies of humans and nature in detail, making sense of complicated events to discern the hidden context of changes, and understand their essence. And the formative ability to give shape to that insight.
In the Department of Design, these abilities are nurtured through an education and research system centered on ten studios specializing in a diverse range of disciplines. Students are equipped to face the changing times with supple sensibility, logical thought, free and varied concepts, and a broad cultural foundation.
Tokyo Fine Arts School, the precursor of Tokyo University of the Arts, was founded in 1887. Specialization in design began with the establishment of the Department of Design in 1896 and has produced a host of exceptionally talented students and alumni at the forefront of design from the pre-war era when design was considered an industrial or commercial art to developing various post-war era design fields, and right up to the present day.
Tokyo University of the Arts is the only national composite arts university in Japan, comprising faculties and graduate schools of fine art, music, film and new media. Leading talent from a range of artistic fields gathers in an unparalleled creative environment conducive to student interaction across disciplines. For example, a design student’s animation may be accompanied by sound created by a student from the Department of Music.
The Power of 10
The Department of Design is founded on 10 independent studios, with six specializing in ‘visual’,‘ functional’, and‘ spatial’ design research, and a further four in‘ environment’, ‘moving image’,‘ painting’ and‘ theory’.
Enrolment to the undergraduate course is limited to around 45 new students each year enabling dialogue centered small group instruction. Full time instructors in the 10 studios work with part-time instructors at the leading-edge of their respective fields to provide step by step tutelage of specialist skills and knowledge through practical exercises, technique training, and lectures with an emphasis on supporting free development of skills without confinement to existing genres. Students can progress through a unique curriculum that allows time and space to discern their own aptitude and concentrate on discovering their future paths.
Graduate students select a studio to pursue their research and creative work in. Aside from furthering specialist research, graduate students also take part in social and industrial collaborations spanning different studios. Furthermore, the course enables high level creative research and formation of your own design theory in the latter stage of the doctorate program.
First year students learn design fundamentals at the Toride Campus, a green and peaceful environment perfect for concentrating on creative pursuits. From the second year, students move to the Ueno campus which is steeped in the art history of Japan. The convenient location and weight of history surrounding the Ueno area serve to rouse creative inspiration, providing an unrivaled experience.
We seek students with the ability to create. This includes the ability to observe, think, and communicate. That is to say, the ability to observe things objectively, discern the structure, seek out challenges, view the whole picture, focus on the details, summarize your own solution to the challenges in an artistic way with free imagination and a supple sensitivity, and to translate that to society. The department of design is actively seeking students who will not spare effort to hone their creative skills, and have a strong will to move the world with their creativity.
Design Education for Society
The Department of Design conducts a multitude of projects in conjunction with society, industry, community and international partners. Students gain hands-on experience conceiving draft proposals in cooperation with local public entities to vitalize local economies and create measures to develop and pass on traditional crafts and techniques, proposing liberal business plans for prominent Japanese companies, and conducting exchange projects with overseas universities using design as a common language. Student creativity is stimulated through actively practicing ‘open educational research’, resulting in an exceptional design education that fuses research with social service.