I attended two seminars on Monday, November 2. They were very different in terms of topic, but had some common message which I found very interesting.

During lunch hour, I attended the lecture by Kei Matsushita, Graphic Designer, as a part of the  Design Nippon Lectures 2009 held for several days.  I have been very interested in design lately and Mr. Shigeaki Haraki with whomI serve on the advisory board of Vantan Design Institute invited me.

I found Mr. Matsushita’s lecture informative, exciting and stimulating.  He talked about the new requirement of designers today.  Namely,  the need to be aware of the issues in the society, and to develop  capability to explain in words.  He also discussed the role and mission of the university in providing opportunity for companies and students to compete and collaborate.  His comment about the responsibility of designers to enlighten the public, while making the hurdles low enough so that people are not intimidated was very insightful, I find. I had a pleasure to meet and discuss briefly with Mr. Matsushita after the lecture (Mr. Haraki introduced me) and hope that I would have a chance to do something with them.

In the evening, I went to the seminar by Kazuyo Katsuma, entitled “Reasons behind working hard to make the world a better place” at the Academy Hills in Roppongi. This lecture was the first of the Global Agenda Series which I have been heavily involved.  I know Mr. Katsuma, and have known her initiative, CHABO.  Her presentation was very comprehensive and well balanced with emotional appeal and analytical rigor.  I was quite impressed with the well thought-out mechanism of the CHABO.

Both of these lectures discussed the need to be much more aware of the social issues and what we can do about them.  It was a good day with many things to reflect.