Geeky-Girly Innovation: A Japanese Subculturist’s Guide to Technology and Design

Date: Monday 7 November, 6.45pm
Venue: TBC

Analyzing everything from super-toilets to cute character stationary goods, from Kubuki to manga and anime, from bikes to robots – strategy expert and subculturist Morinosuke Kawaguchi supplies a road map for the future of international technology and design.

Japanese contemporary subculture such as manga, anime, TV games and girls’ fashion are full of unique functionalities. Through a myriad of examples Kawaguchi explains how to translate the anthropological features into industrial product specifications. Kawaguchi’s message is universal: one can leverage the power of subcultures, especially the childlike, feminine and cute aspects so characteristic of Japanese otaku (geek) culture, into developing top-tier products for the world market.

Kawaguchi’s unique approach is to connect monozukuri (excellence in manufacturing and design) and emotional design to bring product development to a new level. For that it is essential to understand human nature in great depth, since any future design is bound to require more than mere efficiency and purpose. Subculture has always reflected human nature and is a great indicator of what the future of technology is going to be like. And, more importantly, how people will use and relate to electrical artifacts.

Morinosuke Kawaguchi is Principal, Associate Director at Arthur D. Little, (Japan) Inc. and lecturer at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He is renowned as a strategy expert in Management of Technology (MOT), intellectual property management (IPM) and also technology & innovation management (TIM) in various industries such as telecommunications, electronics and the car industry. In Japan, he is considered the inventor of a new concept in product engineering and technology development that draws from Japanese culture, especially from the concepts of monozukuri and otaku subcultures. He’s an award-winning author whose books are translated into Korean, Chinese, Thai and soon English.

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