World Design Assembly
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Design Beyond

We face numerous challenges like global warming which cannot be resolved at the national or regional level alone. At the same time, digital technologies have driven an irreversible evolution of human lifestyles as social networks speed the exchange of information.

The pandemic forced us to experience the real, physical world and the virtual world. This is truly the advent of a new way of living.

What does it mean to meet people? What is a friend, family, oneself? What is the significance of cultivating a sense of all-embracing love? In sweeping change, some find convenience and efficiency; others discern new facets of the human condition.

How to go about forging a new way of being for humankind on Earth, our unique planet? How to find joint cause with people we don’t know and with whom we don’t yet share a sense of connectedness? What future will we chart for ourselves?

As the world changes, so too design will evolve. Join us as we seek to move beyond all boundaries in considering a new tomorrow.

Can design transcend itself?

October 27 (fri.)

Research & Design Education Forum

Presentations and discussions that highlight advances in design education and partnerships between the private sector and education institutions. Paper presentations and poster exhibition exploring theme Design Beyond.
(Open to the public, @Design Research Institute, Chiba University)

October 28 (sat.)

Design Conference

Keynotes and breakout sessions exploring the theme Design Beyond.
(Open to the public, @Roppongi Academy Hills)

October 29 (sun.)

WDO General Assembly

(WDO Members only, @Roppongi Academy Hills)

Chiba University

Design Research Institute, Chiba University (10/27)

Bunka 1-19-1, Sumida-ku, TOKYO JAPAN

Roppongi Academy Hills

Roppongi Academy Hills (10/28-29)

Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 49F, Roppongi 6-10-1, Minato-ku, TOKYO JAPAN


The World Design Assembly (WDA) presented by the World Design Organization (WDO), an international design organization, will be held in Tokyo in October 2023. The conference will be the first to be held in Japan in 34 years, having previously been held in Kyoto in 1973 and Nagoya in 1989.

About World Design Organization

World Design Organization (WDO)® is an international non-governmental organization and the international voice for industrial design. We advocate for Design for a Better World, promoting and sharing knowledge of industrial design-driven innovation that enhances the economic, social, cultural, and environmental quality of life. Today, WDO services over 180 member organizations, representing thousands of industrial designers around the world.

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Excutive Committee

Executive Committee Chairperson

Kazuo Tanaka

WDO Regional Advisor / CEO, GK Design Group, Inc. / Special Advisor, Japan Industrial Design Association

Deputy Executive Committee Chairperson

Tadanori Nagasawa

Dean, Musashino Art University

Executive Committee Members

Minako Ikeda

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Art and Design, Kyushu University

Akihiro Kubota

Professor, Media Arts Course, Department of Information Design, Tama Art University

Eisuke Tachikawa

President of Japan Industrial Design Association (JIDA), Representative of NOSIGNER

Hiroyuki Fukano

President and CEO, Japan Institute of Design Promotion

Shinji Yajima

Executive Director, Japan Institute of Design Promotion

Makoto Watanabe

Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Chiba University

Kazuo Tanaka

Design has progressed as the economy and industry have grown, but we now find ourselves facing major challenges in connection with that progress. As is made evident by climate change, humankind’s boundless appetite is having a serious impact on our unique planet and its environment. The rapid development of digital technologies has transformed communication for many. In both work and learning, social networks have given us the ability to transcend time itself, prompting the world to reaffirm connections between people.

As the world changes, so too design will evolve. Design has an important role to play as we think about and create a future that remains as-yet unseen.

Design does not exist for industry and technology alone, but also for the life sciences, politics, economics, philosophy, and every area of human endeavor. Design provides a tool for transcending conventional wisdom and values, a system of thought that equips us to pioneer a new world.

What can design bring to design itself? Having transcended national borders, races, and generations, can design now transcend itself?

World Design Assembly Tokyo 2023

Executive Committee Chairperson Kazuo Tanaka


Be the first to hear announcements of keynote speakers, registration and other events happening in Tokyo in 2023.


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Administrative Office, 33rd World Design Assembly Tokyo 2023

(located in Japan Institute of Design Promotion)