Work trip to Nagoya! (Part 1) 2020.08.24
It was a trip out to Nagoya, where we had brought out panels and physical models out for secondary judging for the highly prestigious annual "Good Design Show" competition.
It's my first trip since the Coronavirus situation struck and all but the most necessary physical meetings were cancelled. As a young staff member, I basically had no necessary reason to leave the workplace - or the house, since I'm working for home, so I was really happy to be able to go on this trip. In fact I had to ask for it, because it was originally the job of a slightly more senior staff member. However, speaking to him, there really wasn't any reason I shouldn't be able to go in his place, and so I put a word in to my boss during one of my our Zoom Meetings. Boss said yes near immediately. That was easy.
The judging venue for this year's Good Design show was held at the Aichi Sky Expo, right next to the Chubu International Airport. Most exhibitors would probably use the airport, but our firm sent out a huge model so I had to transport that by train. Or Shikansen. Leaving our office in Tokyo, I took local trains to the Shin-Yokohama Station, where I boarded the Nozomi Shinkanzen which took me straight to Nagoya Station. At Nagoya Station, I switched to the local Meitetsu Train direct for the Airport. The Shinkansen ride from Shin Yokohama to Nagoya takes only 1 hour and 20 minutes and the entire one-way trip took about 3 hours.
If the weather was good, this was supposed to be Mt. Fuji. It wasn't good.
The site itself isn't much to talk about, Aichi Sky Expo is like any other world class exhibition venue, clean, spacious and dazzlingly empty when there's nothing to do. Within the exhibition hall however, it was rows upon rows of models and panels set up and exhibitions from all sorts of categories. The "Good Design Show" is an international competition (Granted, mostly Japanese) judging not just architecture but design of all categories from simple advertisement gimmicks to towering stadium or building level commercials. Architect of course, ranges from small houses or even impermanent structures to huge campus both inside and outside Japan. Product designs can be submitted from small nano-scale medical implements all the way to tunnel boring machines (the ones that make your train tunnels - i kid you not).
Every and anything can be designed, submitted and judged here. I have never seen a larger celebration of good design in the world before, and so I spent 1 extra hour looking around and taking notes. This is my kind of wonderland. Unfortunately no pictures are allowed at this stage, after the judging the actual show will be held in October and is open to the public.
Now though, I had to lug my huge luggage back to office, which took me another 3 hours back and gave me a sore shoulder for the weekend. All in all, being able to go out to see Nagoya, the design show and the world outside ( I did do my due diligence though), was a good breath of fresh air to recharge myself for a while.
I'm an aspiring architect pursuing/living my dream of working in Japan.
I work in Tokyo, but live across Futagotamagawa in Oakhouse Kajigaya, Kawasaki.
Working in Japan is hard, but there's lots of opportunities to play hard as well.
I hope to share a little of my experience with everyone through this blog.