TAB Talks #12 "Japanese Aesthetics and Design"
This event has ended.
Japanese aesthetic styles like "wabi-sabi", "ma" and "silence" have a substantial influence on both design and architecture in Japan and abroad. For this TAB Talk, we are pleased to invite Kimiko Gunji, a professor at the University of Illinois who has for over 30 years continued to explore and lecture on these singular concepts that exist in no other language. Professor Gunji will speak on the topic of "Japanese Aesthetics and Design".
Professor Gunji is director of Japan House, a Japanese cultural learning center, strikingly situated in the vast, flat serenity of cornfields, which make up much of the American Midwest. This institution, part of the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois, includes an authentic tea house, called Seikou-an, installed thanks to a gift from Dr. Genshitsu Sen, the 15th generation Grand Master of the Urasenke tea tradition. The Seikou-an is one of the few instances of authentic Japanese architecture located outside of Japan. It is here that Professor Gunji has been teaching her students about Design and Japanese Aesthetics and Zen Aesthetics.
Graduates of her courses in tea ceremony, Ikebana, and aesthetics have gone on to successful careers in various design fields. Many students - including Jim Wicks, vice-president of Motorola who handled the design of its RAZR V3 Series - have also visited the Japan House after graduation.
What is it exactly about this Japanese aesthetic that continues to fascinate designers around the world? How does one go about explaining the manifestations of this aesthetic to foreign audiences - the sharpened sensations that come with a single cup of tea, or the design concepts that are demonstrated in an ikebana flower arrangement? What does "spiritless" design refer to? We hope you will join us for this talk that Professor Gunji has kindly made room in her busy schedule for.
Right after, we'll have a short segment called the 30-second Pitch. Five members of the audience will be invited to introduce themselves to the audience, promote a recent project, or announce a new product, website or company in under 30 seconds. If you're interested, please give your name and contact info at the reception table. Then for another hour, we'll have drinks, chatting, and networking among guests and audience members. Light meals will also be available.
TAB Talks are bilingual Japanese-English and start at 8:30pm, late enough for overworked designers like us. Limited seating of 90, come early.
Kimiko Gunji is Director of Japan House and an Associate Professor of Japanese Arts & Culture in the School of Art & Design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is a full professor of the Ikenobo Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) School in Japan and Chapter President of the Illinois Prairie Ikenobo Ikebana. She holds a Tea Ceremony teaching degree from the Urasenke Tea School, and also holds a teaching degree of Japanese classical dance. She teaches the
following classes for the University of Illinois: Tea Ceremony and Zen Aesthetics, Ikebana, the Art of Arranging Flowers, and Campus Honors Program Seminar: Rigidity and Flexibility in Japanese Arts.
2008-07-01 from 20:30 to 23:30
Doors open 20:00, Start 20:30, Lounge 22:30-23:30
Kimiko Gunji from the University of Illinois will be our guest for the next TAB Talks. Ask your questions here!