Profile photos of the five speakers. Clockwise from top left Jessica Driscoll (Head of Immersive Technology, Digital Catapult), Irini Mirena Papadimitriou (Creative Director, FutureEverything), Dan Tucker (Immersive Creator and Executive Producer), Kei Wakabayashi (Contents Director, Black Swan), Seiichi Saito (Director, Panoramatiks (ex-Rhizomatiks Architecture))
Wednesday 03 March 2021

Japan has been at the forefront of developing technology from robotics, AI, to VR. Big tech companies have invested in developing ground-breaking technologies. The UK has a vibrant creative arts and tech sector with a penchant for experimentation with technology. With increasing interest in immersive technology, more investment is going into programmes that support Research and Development of creative tech projects.

We will explore in this session how key initiatives and programmes such as Creative XR nurture and support cross-disciplinary working, R&D, and the development of new ideas. 

What is the relationship between the independent artists, musicians, technologists and the advances in creative tech? How do artists, technologists, academics, and scientists begin to work together? What are the challenges and opportunities? 

Event outline

Date/time: 18:00-19:30 (JST), Wednesday 3 March 2021
Organised by: British Council
Participation: The event is free (with Japanese-English simultaneous interpreting). 
To participate, please sign up via our online registration form by 16:00 Wednesday 3 March 2021. 
Platform: Zoom (a link for accessing the forum will be sent to participants)


Jessica Driscoll, Head of Immersive Technology, Digital Catapult
Dan Tucker, Immersive Creator and Executive Producer
Irini Mirena Papadimitriou, Creative Director, FutureEverything
Seiichi Saito, Director, Panoramatiks (ex-Rhizomatiks Architecture) 
Kei Wakabayashi, Contents Director, Black Swan

Speaker profiles

  • Jessica Driscoll, Head of Immersive Technology, Digital Catapult
    An immersive technology leader with specialist understanding and insight into audiences and testing new broadcast technologies at scale, Jessica’s hands-on experience in immersive is shaping Digital Catapult’s support to industry. She has previous experience at BBC Research and Development, as well as a range of roles across each part of the immersive industry from startups and NGOs including the Cornerstone Partnership where she developed VR training for children’s services, to business development and content production. 
  • Irini Papadimitriou, Creative Director, FutreEverything
    Irini Papadimitriou is a curator and cultural manager, currently Creative Director at FutureEverything, an arts organisation and innovation lab in Manchester. She was previously Digital Programmes Manager at the V&A and Head of New Media Arts Development at Watermans. Her display, Artificially Intelligent, was exhibited at the V&A in 2018. 
    She has been a co-curator for the Arts & Culture experience at Mozilla Festival and she is co-founder of Maker Assembly, a critical gathering about maker culture. She is an Imperial War Museum Institute Associate, an Industry Advisory Group member for SODA (School of Digital Arts) at Manchester Metropolitan University, and an Advisory Board member for ONX Studio, a collaboration between Onassis USA and New Museum’s cultural incubator NEW INC. 
    Irini has been a recipient of curatorial research programmes including M0BIUS (Finnish Institute), Art Fund Jonathan Ruffer, Mondriaan Fonds and British Council, and she has served as a jury member for Prix Ars Electronica, D&AD Awards, Lumen Prize, Vertigo STARTS and ACM Siggraph.
  • Dan Tucker, Immersive Curator & Executive Producer
    Dan is an award winning digital producer and curator with over 25 years of experience of working with broadcasters, digital agencies, startups and international artists. Passionate about interaction and story, Dan works in the intersection between multiple screen industries, from television documentary to virtual reality. 
    His experience spans the production of TV projects like Charlie Brooker’s How Videogames changed the World to digital projects like the interactive drama Our World War and the VR documentary Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel for the BBC.  As Curator of Alternate Realities for Sheffield International Documentary festival, Dan created a touring exhibition of digital art and documentary. Showcasing ground breaking immersive and Interactive works from the Guardian, Greenpeace, BBC and National Film Board of Canada. More recently Dan has been a Commissioning Exec for BBC Arts and Arts Council England’s New Creatives, Head of Partnerships for York Mediale, Researcher for the BFI and Producer of the CreativeXR project Dazzle 2021.
  • Seiichi Saito, Director, Panoramatiks (ex-Rhizomatiks Architecture) 
    Born in Kanagawa in 1975, Mr. Saito began his career in New York in 2000 after graduating from Columbia University with a Master of Science degree in Advanced Architectural Design (MSAAD). Since then, he has been active in creative work at the ArnellGroup, and returned to Japan upon being selected for the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2003. He produces works in the commercial art field which are three-dimensional and interactive while also being based on the firm grounding in logical thought that he cultivated through architecture. Mr. Saito has won numerous international awards since 2009. Launched Rhizomatiks Co.,Ltd. in 2006. Since 2016, he serves as director of Rhizomatiks Architecture.  
    Vice Chairman of Good Design Award 2018-20. Creative Adviser of 2020 Dubai Expo Japan pavilion. An expert for the Peoples's Living Lab Promotion Council for Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan. 
  • Kei Wakabayashi, Contents Director, Black Swan
    Kei was born in 1971 and spent his early childhood in London and New York. After graduating from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in French Studies at Waseda University, he joined Heibonsha, and became part of the editorial department for “Gekkan Taiyo.” In 2000, became an independent editor. Afterward, he edited a wide range of publications, including magazines, books, and exhibition records, and became active as a music journalist. He was assigned as the Chief Editor for the Japanese edition of “WIRED” in 2012, and left the post in 2017. In 2018, he launched blkswn publishers, Inc. and authored the book, “Sayonara Mirai” (Goodbye, Future), published by Iwanami Shoten (April 2018).

External links

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UK in JAPAN, Digital
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UK in JAPAN Programme