Programme participants putting their hands together in the middle of a circle

British Council, photo by Kenichi Aikawa

The following 13 artists and creative practitioners from Japan and the UK participated in the Playable City Tokyo 2016 Creative Lab.

Shiho Ishikawa

Art Director and Artist. Alongside her work as Planner/Art Director for TV commercials and graphic design at advertisement agency ADK based in Tokyo, she also produces a mixed range of works as an artist. She is interested in the mixing of Japanese and western cultures and communication that doesn’t rely on being able to speak the same language. Her educational picture book “Alphapet” merges Japanese Origami culture and the western alphabet. It has been published in five languages and workshops have been delivered around the world. The “Tick tack studio” clock collects numerals from around the world to display the time, and has an app currently in development. In the “The Other Me” children’s workshops delivered in collaboration with museums, children are encouraged to stretch their imagination by tracing the outlines of their bodies to create another self. Working with digital content producers she is currently exploring how this might be developed into digital content.


Noritaka Ishibayashi

Architectural Designer. After gaining experience working on town planning, residential, office, commercial and public realm projects at an architectural office, he set up his own practice. “ICOME” is a creative unit which brings ideas to life by approaching design from multiple viewpoints not limited to architecture. He is fascinated by cities, drawn to their richness of character, and is involved in many creative pursuits that reveal or help the discovery of new city dimensions. He is involved in the setting up and running of the Shibuyagawa Film Festival, a festival created with the idea to make the city into a movie theatre, and also the Shibuya Zunchyaka! event set up with the notion to fill the city with sound.

Saaya Inoue

Working for Mori Building Co., Ltd., she started her career in the organising team for the Roppongi Art Night festival and Roppongi Hills 10th Anniversary campaign. Wanting to develop her foreign language skills, she later applied to the Company’s training scheme and was posted in Singapore for 6 months and in Shanghai for 9 months. She currently works at a team running shared offices for foreign companies and developing schemes to attract more foreign culture to the Toranomon area of Tokyo. Her interests lie in all things relating to art and the city, and she designs stage sets for small theatres as a hobby.

Yuta Inoue

General Manager, Startup Studio, \QUANTUM Inc. Leading corporate accelerator programs and open innovation projects. By leveraging human-centered UX design approach, prototyping capabilities, and art of storytelling, we build IoT products and develop new businesses together with big corporations and startups. Ex-McKinsey consultant, Ex-WIRED Magazine correspondent.

Yoshinari Kou

Founder and Director of Nestegg. The company, founded in 2009, specialises in microcomputer circuit development for clients ranging from universities, start-ups and SMEs. In 2014 he obtained an international patent for "mille-feuille", an automated electronic schematic design tool that enables software engineers to design hardware with little or no previous experience. Prior to setting up his own company he worked for Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd (present IHI Corporation) where he was involved in the development of new technologies for measuring instruments.

His major at the Graduate School of the University of Electro-Communications was is in mechatronics which included the design of electronic circuits and mechanism design. His current interests are laser cutters, vacuum molding, and using 3D printer generated mechanism design and robots.

Daichi Sato

Masters student, Graduate School of Tokyo Institute of Technology. After graduating from the department of architecture at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, he spent a year studying abroad at the school of architecture, KTH Sweden Royal Institute of Technology. On his return to Japan he joined Rhizomatiks as an intern and has participated in various projects of Rhizomatiks Architecture. He has been participating in Playable City Tokyo since 2015. His interests are in designing human experience and imagining what might happen in the near future.

Hisami Takesawa

Designer, Art Director. After studying product design and universal design at art college, she started her career as a TV commercial planner and graphic designer in an advertising company. She now works freelance, signing resident contracts with clients of the projects she takes on. She advises on the application of new technologies and products under development, proposing various problem solving methods that utilise new technologies that connect society with services, UIUX design, and the production of videos to convey those services. Through this work she comes into contact with more conceptual future focused projects as well as more outcome based projects.

Yoshihisa Yabuuchi

Working for NEC Corporation, he started his career in business systems marketing. He joined the Headquarters for Promotion of New Business Development in 2014, where his role is to propose new projects that utilise the company’s new technologies. Involved in research and new business development for the company’s Smart City and CSV (Creating Shared Value) projects, he works on schemes that cross industry boundaries and connect with local governmental bodies. In 2016, he transferred to the City of Yokohama local authority on placement to the Policy Bureau, Co-governance and Creation Division. He is involved in developing the city’s co-creation policies and frameworks, and creating PoC (Proof of Concept) with various private sector companies.

He participated in the Playable City Tokyo 2015 programme, drawn to the Playable City call to explore the creative use of technology and the universal language of “play” as a tool to transform cities into places of unexpected interaction. He is a member of the PCT team whose Mischievous Footprints idea was shortlisted for the 2016 Playable City International Award.

Junki Yoshioka

Digital Hospital Artist and Fab Nurse. After gaining experience working as a ward nurse at an emergency medical center, he now works as a visiting nurse delivering at-home care. Wanting to change the negative images people have of hospital environments, he started delivering “Digital Hospital Art” to draw patients’ dreams to life by bringing the magic of digital art into hospitals. He has developed sensing based systems that match the body mobility of individual patients, and has created interactive digital art for hospitals in collaboration with medical staff. Current work includes research on “Fab Nurse”, looking into applications of digital fabrication technologies in nursing.

He is interested in technologies that can be tailored to support patients and families by responding to their individual conditions and environment, and communities where collaboration occurs across fields, such as medical, art, design, engineering etc. His wish is to realise a world in which everyone has the freedom of choice and expression.

Fred Deakin

Fred Deakin runs the creative studio Fred & Company which specialises in collaborative, social and interactive projects. As half of the band Lemon Jelly Fred has been Mercury and Brit nominated, sold over half a million albums and headlined stages at Glastonbury and Bestival. Fred was previously co-founder and director of ground breaking London digital design agency Airside which won and was nominated for two BAFTAs, nine D&ADs and a Webby among many others. He is currently Professor of Interactive Digital Arts at University of the Arts London.


Nikki Pugh

My practice explores how we perceive, move through and interact with our surroundings. To do this I harness techniques adopted from walking-based practices, guided tours, physical computing, locative media, pervasive gaming, installation and collaboration. Often I use participatory events as spaces in which people can engage in conversation - to this end I see the objects I make as being tools to help us explore different potentials together. Throughout 2016 I am a fellow at Birmingham Open Media (BOM) and associate artist at Fermynwoods Contemporary Art (FCA). BOM supports practice-based research within and across art, technology and science, whilst FCA's focus is on developing site responsive artistic practice. At the start of this year I exhibited at The Lowry as part of their showcase of digital art 'Right Here, Right Now', and also had my work discussed in two articles in Leonardo Electronic Almanac's edition exploring contemporary uses of locative media. I recently delivered the opening keynote at the 3-day Playful Learning conference (Manchester Met) and I've also authored a chapter for the upcoming publication Envisioning Networked Urban Mobilities. I have been mentor for two artists as part of the Random String fellowship programme (exploring the creative potential of interactive and networked technology in the arts) and have also been an artist in residence at Wolverhampton School of Art throughout the 2015-16 academic year.


Vahakn Matossian

Vahakn Art & Design studio creates interactive and real-world public projects. Based in London, a city full of activities and rules, the studio takes pride twisting reality to show the world in a different light. Play, discovery and imagination are the imperative. He started Human Instruments in 2013, a company dedicated to creating accessible music technologies. I.e. Musical Instrument devices for people with varying physical disabilities. Vahakn Art & Design Studio was started by a British-Armenian-German designer Vahakn Matossian. He has been working in the realms of interactive art and design for a number of years. Son of digital music pioneer and interactive artist Rolf Gehlhaar, he graduated from the University of Brighton's Three Dimensional Design, and the Design Products Masters at the Royal College of Art in London, 2009.

Clients include, Yamaha, Designtide Japan, Hulger, Glastonbury Festival, British Film Institute, Innovation Labs, Denmark and Cybersonica.


Becca Rose

I am an artist, designer and educator.  My background is in puppetry and education. In 2012 I started to experiment with soft circuits and the Arduino to animate paper, and add new dimensions or interactivity into my puppetry work. These experiments took my practice in a new direction, and since then I have taught creative-coding and worked on design projects with Ideo, Intel, Makerversity, NuVu, Lost my Name, Make Media, and Interactive Scientific.  I am fascinated by how people learn. I’ve been working in non-formal education settings for a number of years, and have been exploring how people learn though creative participation and through connecting with other people. I recently completed a postgraduate degree in Design at Goldsmiths, where I carried out research into designing methods for interconnected learning experiences. My current practice is interdisciplinary and encompasses craft, folk-art, storytelling, education, and creative technologies. I work with smart materials such as conductive paints and threads, animation, participatory events, and other interactive methods to bring stories to life. I hope to create spaces or experiences where people can share stories, learn, and feel good in the process.