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.
So, how will design look in fifty years’ time as its centenary approaches? The answer to that question surely depends on everyone involved in design. The more people that are involved, and the higher their quality, the better the future that wlll be created by design. Therefore, our mission over the next fifty years must be to build a place of education and research where more, and better, people gather, and want to gather. To this end, we will strive to create a truly international campus and an educational and research environment where differences in language and culture are no barrier to action and where those very differences provide an impetus towards the progress of design. Moreover, we will strive to form a loose network, or “design ecosystem,” in which everyone involved in design is a stakeholder, without rigid status and with no sense of strong separation between “non-academics” on one hand and “students and faculty members” on the other, with the Ohashi Campus at the hub of this network as a place of new creation.
We cordially welcome the participation in design of everyone who has an interest and who seeks a place to utilize various relevant skills.