DESIGNART tokyo 2021: all the exhibitions set to enliven the japanese city this fall

DESIGNART tokyo 2021: all the exhibitions set to enliven the japanese city this fall

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DESIGNART tokyo 2021, one of japan’s largest design and art festivals, will be held in tokyo this fall under the theme of CHANCE!. for ten days — from october 22 – 31, 2021 — design and art will converge in one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities ‘in a time when new ideas, creative thinking, and actions are particularly needed’, as the event’s organizers note. the festival will bring together 300 artists and designers from around the world that work across various genres of art, design, interior design and fashion.


as a media partner of DESIGNART tokyo 2021, designboom previews the themes, venues and exhibitors set to enliven the japanese city this fall. discover our list of highlights below.

DESIGNART tokyo 2021 highlights
KURADASHI – the archetypes
swirl _ we+(left above), bulge lines / gray _ norihiko terayama (right above), vannfall / nedre foss jin kuramoto studio(left below), a different corner_ kazuhiro yamanaka(right below)




KURADASHI — the archetypes

venue: world kita aoyama building, 3-5-10 kita aoyama, minato-ku, tokyo

exhibiting works/artists: jo nagasaka, fumie shibata, teruhiro yanagihara, kazuhiro yamanaka, yusuke seki, daisuke motogi, norihiko terayama, baku maeda, gelchop, we+, satoshi itasaka, ryota akiyama, yoshiki matsuyama, minä perhonen, sho ota, yoy, gen suzuki, ryohei yoshiyuki, shigeki fujishiro, tomoko azumi, and more

planning: DESIGNART support: ubgoe inc.
coordinator: takuto imagawa


while the pandemic keeps limiting the opportunities for creators and users to meet, DESIGNART tokyo, together with the crowdfunding service ubgoe, will hold KURADASHI, an exhibition where you can actually see and purchase valuable works by creators that are not yet available on the market. curated by japanese designer jin kuramoto, this new creative market will bring together a rare selection of works, from prototypes to treasured works that have been stored in ateliers for various reasons and never reached the market.

DESIGNART tokyo 2021 highlights
perrier-jouët & mischer’traxler –‘I am nature’


PERRIER-JOUËT & MISCHER’TRAXLER — ‘I am nature’ makes its world premiere in japan

venue: (uni / bonélan) 5-10-1 jingumae, shibuya-ku, tokyo gyre 4f


maison perrier-jouët continues its years-long collaboration with austrian designer duo, mischer’traxler, unveiling their new artwork ‘I am nature’. premiering in japan, the artwork is the first one where mischer’traxler uses digital technology, inviting us to reconsider how humans coexist with nature. the duo’s ‘curiosity cloud mobile’ installation will also be exhibited, composed of mouth-brown glass bulbs, specially created by the renowned viennese glassware company lobmeyr. the exhibition will take place at, a restaurant space designed by architect tsuyoshi tane that will be filled with greenery and natural energy during the exhibition.DESIGNART tokyo 2021: all the exhibitions set to enliven the japanese city this fall
KEF 60 years – listen & believe


KEF 60 years — listen & believe

venue: polygon aoyama

experience the sounds of KEF, a leader in the wireless Hi-Fi speaker market, in an installation by klein dytham architecture and soundscape by DJ quietstorm. the wireless hi-fi speaker “ls50 wireless II,” will be the main feature of the installation, which will bring a limited-time experience of sound, design and luxury at the polygon aoyama for the duration of DESIGNART tokyo 2021.DESIGNART tokyo 2021: all the exhibitions set to enliven the japanese city this fall
1-15-22 apartment



exhibiting works/artists: multistandard, hikari yamaguchi, leo koda, messagingleaving, nobuaki sato, pan_object, sera yanagisawa, tamako yamada, yurika tanaka

multistandard, a group of creators who garnered attention at last year’s event, will convene in an abandoned building in shibuya for the exhibition 1-15-22 apartment. the exhibition will bring together creators of the same generation that focus on experimental craftsmanship.DESIGNART tokyo 2021 highlights
hibiya okuroji


venue: 1-7-1 uchisaiwaicho, chiyoda-ku

exhibiting works/artists: pivoto, cal tough / atsushi onuma(deco), yuri matumoto. satoru ookubo. syunsuke takase.(communicati-wa), bud brand, tsuyama furniture, yushima art & okunote / kiyoshi isshiki satoru shimizu, karakuri powered by epl inc., kinjo japan / shinya kobayashi, johanna gullichsen rakusai collection

modeled after the elevated railways of berlin, the viaduct in question was built by hand under the guidance of german engineers. the brick arches deep in hibiya-ginza continue to serve their original purpose one hundred years after they were built. last year, the archways were transformed into a sophisticated corridor, hibiya okuroji. the 300-meter-long space is home to a motley series of exhibits, perfectly presenting the kind of art, design, and new ideas that can be expected from strolling around during DESIGNART tokyo.


a space where fashion and art blend with each other | image: salvatore ferragamo × imura kazuto, photo by kenryou gu




venue: salvatore ferragamo ginza flagship store 7-8-2 ginza, chuo-ku, tokyo

material and technical cooperation: unou juku agc inc.

the theme of salvatore ferragamo‘s autumn winter 2021 collection is future positive. kazuto imura, who resonates with ferragamo’s proudest innovation and message of taking a step into the future, will exhibit his work titled ‘opticalverse’ together with brand’s collection. the optical created by his unique technique using half mirrors and spherical mirrors will be on view.



venue: prada aoyama 5-2-6, minami-aoyama, minato-ku, tokyo


prada‘s aoyama store, designed by herzog & de meuron, will host the exhibition ‘sturm & drang preview service’. curated by luigi alberto cippini (armature globale), fredi fischli and niels olsen (gta exhibitions, ETH zurich), the exhibition looks directly at the preliminary non-digital processes in use in computer-generated imagery (CGI). (reservation required) 



venue: tory burch ginza 4-3-11 ginza, chuo-ku, tokyo
tory burch ginza store will hold an exhibition in collaboration with artist kayoko kimura. questioning life and world through her paintings with a soft and delicate touch, kimura will present works that symbolize her view of the world as well as new pieces inspired by tory burch.




venue: Y’s omotesando1f / b1f omotesando hills,4-12-10,jingumae, shibuya-ku

Y’s, the flagship brand of yohji yamamoto, will exhibit a series of interior elements that have a uniqueness of sculptures at the omotesando store. the theme of the collection is ‘ghost’, and it expresses a mysterious atmosphere that gives a sense of floating.

DESIGNART tokyo 2021 highlights
tory burch × kayoko kimura(left), ‘sturm & drang preview service’ supported by fondazione prada(right above), Y‘s / ambi(right below)




FLEXFORM velocity of colours

venue: flexform tokyo 6-4-10 minami-aoyama, minato-ku, tokyo

the flexform tokyo showroom unveils new products introduced in milano salone, together with an installation by architect kentaro ishida and a contemporary art exhibition curated by maho kubota gallery. as the title of ‘velocity of colours’, visitors can enjoy the space, inspired by the colours of the beautiful nature of italy with flexform’s new furniture.



TENTS AT WORK — the ‘steelcase work tent’ brings change to the office

venue: steelcase | wsi worklife tokyo 4f kowa hiroo building, 5-2-32,minami-azabu, minato-ku, tokyo

the pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives — how we live, learn and how we work. steelcase, an insight lead industry leading office furniture manufacturer, has launched the ‘steelcase work tents collection’ as a versatile privacy solution. the work tent, which is designed in collaboration with a world-class tent designer and inspired by the iconic gherkin building in london, will be showcased for the first time in japan.




venue: time & style midtown tokyo midtown galleria 3f, 9-7-4 akasaka, minato-ku, tokyo

the new time & style collection presents a dense lineup of products combining wood with different materials, crafted using traditional techniques from across japan. visitors will experience the space that time & style idealizes, a space with harmony carried by a collection of products sharing the same core concept. the collection delivers modern products based on japanese and broader asian cultural concepts to the world.




venue: unknown harajuku 6-5-10 jingumae , shibuya-ku, tokyo


ariake, a furniture brand founded by the two factories legnatec and hirata chair manufacture, brings its collection to japan for the first time. named after the ariake sea in southern japan, ariake symbolizes a new chapter for the two factories as they embark on a collaboration with international designers for the global market.



CRÉATION BAUMANN / MIKI SATO — talking about curtains

venue: création baumann japan, tokyo showroom 6-4-10 minami-aoyama, minato-ku, tokyo


swiss textile enterprise création baumann will reveal curtains by fabric designer miki sato.

this year’s designs celebrate the appeal of softly shifting textiles that play with light and shadows.DESIGNART tokyo 2021: all the exhibitions set to enliven the japanese city this fall
flexform  ‘velocity of colours'(left above), time & style new furniture collection 2021(right above), ariake new collection show 2021 comes to japan(left below),  création baumann / talking about curtains ・miki sato(right below)



YKK AP & KEITA SUZUKI — window on the future: gaudí meets 3D printing

venue: tokyo midtown, galleria b1 atrium 9-7-1, akasaka, minato-ku,tokyo period : 10/15 (fri.) ~11/3 (wed. holiday)


YKK AP is always thinking of ways to make new kinds of windows that can bring more freedom and happiness to architecture and people’s everyday lives. this particular exhibit will showcase prototypes of windows created with cutting-edge 3D-printing technology, designed with various forms and functions that resonate with the natural environment and inspired by the windows of world-renowned architect antoni gaudí. realized with the special collaboration of gaudí-designed UNESCO world heritage sites such as casa batlló and casa milà,this exhibit offers a view into the future of windows, which has evolved at the thresholds of nature and human life.

DESIGNART tokyo 2021: all the exhibitions set to enliven the japanese city this fall
morimura yasumasa, self-portrait through art history(van gogh/blue flame), 2016/2018, inkjet print on canvas, 65×54.5cm(left)
ritsue mishima, amon, 2019, glass, 45.5x37x37cm (reference image) photo by francesco barasciutti(right)


ART: from unique galleries to large-scale work


KOHEI NAWA AT GINZA SIX — ‘metamorphosis garden’

venue: 2f central atrium, 6-10-1 ginza, chuo-ku, tokyo period: ~ april 2022 (dates to be confirmed.)
press release #02 september 2021

‘metamorphosis garden’ is an installation with the theme of life, matter, and a world in which ambiguous entities coexist on the boundary between the two. expressing the emergence of a new narrative out of chaos, it is a development from the biota (fauna/flora) installation (2013) on inujima island in the seto inland sea. an augmented reality performance created in collaboration with choreographer damien jalet creates a constantly changing world in which real objects and images of augmented reality overlap.



venue: courtyard hiroo, 4-21-2 nishi-azabu, minato-ku, tokyo period: 10/1(fri)-11/26(fri)

courtyard hiroo, a cultural and commercial complex under the concept of open, social, borderless, sets their exhibition theme for 2021 as ‘look forward!’ the selection of works of the artists from a-tom ceo, shigeru aoi’s collection, as well as past participants of cultural activities of a-tom will be exhibited, that give courage and strength to drive our excitement about the future.




roppongi area, where contemporary art galleries converge in buildings such as piramide and complex665, is also participating in DESIGNART tokyo 2021. on the ground floor of piramide, perrotin tokyo will hold a solo exhibition of french artist JR, on view until november 20, 2021. meanwhile, tomio koyama gallery, shugoarts, and taka ishii gallery have opened their spaces in complex 665. shugoarts, founded by shugo satani, selects artists with local roots and a mindset that transcends time and national borders and disseminates their activities from tokyo. the gallery will hold ‘where I am standing’, a two-person exhibition by yasumasa morimura and ritsue mishima  from october 30 to november 27, 2021.


DESIGNART tokyo 2021: all the exhibitions set to enliven the japanese city this fall

kohei nawa at ginza six ‘metamorphosis garden’

final things not to miss are: the DESIGNART tokyo 2021 limited edition bottles, created by the kagoshima sake brewers association with original labels by graphic artist yoshirotten; the furniture exhibition by swedish furniture brand string® at the DESIGNART tokyo 2021 information center; the festival’s official e-bikes, vanmoof’s S3 and X3, which will be available for test-rides at the world kita aoyama building and at the brand’s store in shibuya; and the six blue bottle coffee venues in aoyama, roppongi, ebisu, ginza, hiroo, and shibuya, which will serve as the official cafe of the festival (pro tip: for the duration of the festival, if you show the official DESIGNART instagram account to the cashier you will receive a piece of ‘blue bottle yokan’ – a japanese traditional sweet – with every drink you order!).

DESIGNART tokyo 2021: all the exhibitions set to enliven the japanese city this fall
do not miss roppongi area, where top contemporary art galleries converge
© JR / courtesy of the artist & perrotin. photo: claire dorn



project info:


name: DESIGNART tokyo 2021

organizer: DESIGNART tokyo committee

founders of designart: akio aoki (miru design), shun kawakami (artless inc.), hiroshi koike (non-grid), okisato nagata (timeless), astrid klein & mark dytham (klein dytham architecture)

duration: october 22 – october 31, 2021

location: omotesando, gaien-mae / harajuku, meiji-jingu-mae / shibuya, ebisu / daikanyama / roppongi / ginza / online


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