Tech and Design align with Rakuten’s Big Data at Tokyo’s Art Museum


A new exhibition entitled “Kashiwa-Ten” is underway at the National Art Center in Tokyo’s Roppongi district. It provides a journey through an electrifying landscape of design sensibilities and Rakuten’s technological transformations to imagine the future and the human experience with one of Japan’s most revered creative visionaries.

Kashiwa Sato needs little introduction. He is the Chief Creative Officer of Rakuten Group and is locally and globally renowned for his numerous industrial and non-industrial design projects. The 2021 exhibition celebrates the culmination of thirty years of cutting-edge creativity and multifarious achievements at the vanguard of technological practice, theory, and design.  Curated by Mr. Sato himself, the exhibition is his largest showing to date and offers viewers a unique opportunity to inhale his thought-provoking subjects and methodologies. 

Researcher Tomoyuki Mukasa and Manager Soh Masuko of Rakuten Institute of Technology (RIT) collaborated with Mr. Sato to create an installation piece entitled “Unlimited Space” that connects Rakuten’s big datasets with design innovation. When viewers step into “Unlimited Space,” their body movements are tracked to create a digital projection of themselves composed of an amalgamation of keywords collected from Rakuten’s service websites all over the world. Displayed in Rakuten’s original font, “Unlimited Space” allows viewers to visualize and experience the black box of big data, providing a valuable means through which to make sense of big data, human-computer interactions, and users’ activities and desires with Rakuten’s 70+ platforms.   

Dr. Mukasa describes the installation as a space that can expand and evoke sensory experiences within the viewer: “All you need to do is dive into the big data. You may find something, possibly your hidden desire, without thinking.”

In celebration of the opening of the exhibition, CEO Hiroshi Mikitani convened with Mr. Sato to discuss inspiring the future with technology and design. Called “Hiroshi Mikitani x Kashiwa Sato | Tech & Design, Unlimited Future,” the event was held online on February 9. More information and details can be found here. (The event was held in Japanese.) 

“Kashiwa-Ten” and “Unlimited Space” opened on February 3 and is scheduled to remain on display until May 10, 2021. (Please be advised that dates are subject to change.) Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Copied! instagram