History “Media-Conscious”


Nagoya Design City Declaration, The World Industrial Design Conference (ICSID), World Design Exposition

In 1989, Nagoya City declared itself a “Design City” with the aim of promoting development of a world-class community with design as its core and to develop into a metropolis brimming with creativity. That same year, the city took a major step forward as a City of Design by hosting the “ICSID’89 Nagoya” as well as the “World Design Exposition,” a large-scale event held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Nagoya’s incorporation.

(Reference: International Design Center Nagoya (IdcN) Business Overview/20 Years of History | International Design Center Nagoya 20th Anniversary Project http://www.idcn.jp/20th/outline/index.html )
ICSID: International Council of Society of Industrial Design ; now WDO (World Design Organization)


International Biennale in Nagoya (ARTEC)

Occasioned by the World Design Expo, International Biennale ARTEC has been held five times since 1989 at venues including the Nagoya City Art Museum and the Nagoya City Science Museum. Rooted in Nagoya and the Chukyo region at a time when media art was booming in Japan, the event showcased many superb artists.

(Reference: Floating Archives Storage, The International Biennale in Nagoya-ARTEC 1989-1997)



Compared to the western part of Garden pier in the port of Nagoya, which after the World Design Exposition saw a complete change, the warehouses in the eastern part retained their working port feel and character, but as a bonded area, this location was normally inaccessible.
In 1999, Warehouse No.20 was opened as an art space on an experimental basis. This “artport” hosted a variety of events and programs including “MEDIASELECT” an exhibition of media art, “Playground [Agit],” opened as a children’s playground and “given,” a program for experimental uses of the warehouse, along with many citizen-sponsored events, and for five years, the space was bustling with crowds.

(Reference: artport2000 flyer)

Garden pier in the port of Nagoya Warehouse No.20 (© Muto Isamu [N-mark])

Port People, and Candy Factory, “VOICES”, 1999 (© Muto Isamu [N-mark])



In 1999, the group “MEDIASELECT” was formed at “artport”—which itself was formed in continuation of ARTEC—while artport opened with its first exhibition “MEDIASELECT ’99,” which was sponsored by them. Over the subsequent ten years, a series of these exhibitions provided a venue for media artists to present their works and contributed to the development of young writers and researchers.

(Reference:Floating Archives Storage, MEDIASELECT 1999-2009)

Tsuda Yoshinori, “anti spectacle”, 1999

Kei Fushiki, Masashi Igaki, Rie Takagi, and Tamami Yamada, “RA RA”, 2004


11th International Symposium on Electronic Art 2002 Nagoya (ISEA)

A fully international event opened with ISEA2002 NAGOYA (International Symposium on Electronic Art 2002 Nagoya), the first ISEA held in Asia and based on the history of “Nagoya Orai” (Nagoya Streets), a booklet of the area compiled about 200 years ago in 1821 and used by Terakoya school and other such places. Whereas “orai” originally meant the coming and going of people and goods, more recently the theme of “orai” has referred to aspects such as avenues, traffic, friendship, and communication. Bringing together more than 1,500 participants from over 30 countries, this event was a venue for “orai” : for “mutual exchanges” featuring a variety of discussions on electronic art and media art; for “orai / avenues” to enable mutual stimulation and cooperation between adjacent sciences and other fields; for “orai / friendship” where the West and Asia meet and recognize each other's cultural diversity; for experimenting with “orai / traffic” in urban spaces, both in the real world and virtually; and for “orai / communication” to provide interaction and deepen understanding between people in the arts people and residents.

(Reference: Inter-Society for the Electronic Art (ISEA) 2002 Nagoya Application Procedure)


Icograda Congress Nagoya Japan “Visualogue”

In October 2003, the World Graphic Design Conference Nagoya was held in conjunction with the 20th General Assembly of Icograda. The first meeting of this scale on the history of Japanese design since the 1960 “World Design Conference”, this congress on the theme of the “Beauty of Information” welcomed 3,800 participants from 49 countries around the world.

(Reference: Japan Graphic Design Association Inc. (JAGDA) (2021) Icograda Congress Nagoya Visualogue https://www.jagda.or.jp/news/2636/ )
Icograda: International Council of Graphic Design Associations; now ico-D (International Council of Design)


Joining UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Since the “Design City Declaration” in 1989, Nagoya City has collaborated with local industries, design organizations, and educational institutions on various city-administered design-centered efforts, such as hosting the world’s three major design conferences and expositions, establishing an international design center, and sponsoring initiatives to raise citizen’s and businesses’ awareness of design and programs to train young designers.
Nagoya City worked together with the Nagoya Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the International Design Center Nagoya in preparing to gain membership in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. In March 2007, the application was submitted to UNESCO for the membership in the design category. Following the review process, Nagoya City was appointed as an UNESCO City of Design in October 2008.

(Reference: Nagoya, UNESCO City of Design Organizing Committee, History of Design City of Nagoya http://www.creative-nagoya.jp/about/nagoya/ )


streaming heritage 2021 spring
streaming heritage 2021 autumn
streaming heritage 2022

Recreating Heritage (Two flow of “Between the Plateaus and the Sea”)