21_21 DESIGN SIGHT Exhibition Insects: Models for Design Graphic designer Taku Satoh is exhibition director, and Takeshi Yoro, an anatomist known as an insect lover, is exhibition supervisor.

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Insects have evolved over a much longer time than humans and are a rich source of inspiration, the Graphic designer Taku Satoh directs an exhibition and Takeshi Yoro, an anatomist known as an insect lover, is the exhibition surpervisor. The exhibition takes insects as models for design. Human life only dates back about two hundred thousand years whereas insects evolved and reproduced for hundreds of millions of years. Taku Satoh that rather than learning from insects they are treated as objects for extermination especially in cities like Tokyo.”So let us pause for a moment. How rudely we behave toward these great biological forebears! As a child I enjoyed collecting insects, and it was that recollection that first triggered the plan for this exhibition. I at once consulted Takeshi Yoro, the great insect lover, who has even built in Kamakura an insect memorial (mushi-zuka). Such is how this exhibition started. More and more interesting stories came to light as we discussed with insect experts.” said Taku Satoh.

“Adults are at best indifferent to insects, and sometimes even loathe them. But children are different, and they love insects, perhaps sensing an intimacy with bodies smaller than their own.

Once you understand the excitement of watching insect, the action becomes addictive. People might find this a strange passion, but I urge all of you to liberate yourselves from prejudice and look at insects once again. You will find them wonderful and fascinating.

I can understand why some people hate insects, since I dislike spiders and centipedes. But not all insects are the same. I never cease marveling as I look at their details through a microscope. Our sensitivities have been built up slowly over the 3 billion years of life on earth, but as humanity has always dwelt within nature, we should seek harmony with it.

Consider the leaves on a tree branch. By what rules are they arranged? The sun rises in the east and moves daily to set at nightfall in the west, so how it is that the tree can fix its leaves to receive the best exposure to light? The trees we see before us will answer these questions.

As children grow up they are taught that thinking entails the answering of questions, but isn’t it really the other way around? Life has continued over 3 billion years because it has confronted, then solved the problems that it has been presented with. What we have in front of us, I believe, are the answers to questions once posed. It is as if we see the lists of answers in school books, and then ask what are the questions that gave rise to them. I hope from now on you will consider insects in such a frame of mind.” said Takeshi Yoro.

While learning about this exhibition I could not help but think of young insect breeder Adrian Kozakiewicz/Insecthaus® that I met in Milan at a Gucci event and have been following ever since.

Designers, architects, structural engineers and artist exhibit work inspired by insects. “Some have used their tiny skeletal systems to produce artificial objects, others have studied the skillful way they fold their wings and applied this to robots, others again have learned from the structure of larva nest how to generate human architecture. Astonishing ingenuity is found in every aspects of insects, from mouths and eyes to legs. We also found the interesting rules that lie behind the way we named insects through the relationships with them. The exhibition offers creators and visitors an opportunity to learn from insects and to reconsider their relationships with us.” said Taku Satoh.

Till November 4th

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT Gallery 1 & 2
Midtown Garden, Tokyo Midtown, 9-7-6 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN tel +81(0)3-3475-2121 www.2121designsight.jp

5min. walk from Roppongi station (Toei Oedo Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line) and Nogizaka station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)


Agency of Cultural Affairs; Ministry of Economy,

Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.
Stratasys Japan Co., Ltd., Kyushu University Museum, Canon Inc., Canon Marketing Japan Inc.

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT Directors Associate Director
Director of Programs

Issey Miyake, Taku Satoh, Naoto Fukasawa Noriko Kawakami
Tatsuya Maemura

Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.