ASPaC Week Report
Sunday, January 15th: 1. ASPaC Awards2016 Final Round of Screening
2. ASPaC representatives meeting
Monday, January 16th: 3. Design Forum of Countries and Region of Ten
4. Panel Session of Countries and Region of Ten
5. ASPaC Awards2016 ceremony
Tuesday, January 17th: 7. ASPaC Awards2016 Exhibition opening ceremony
8. Winners Program 1 Tokyo design study tour 1
9. Winners Program 2 Company visits 1
Wednesday, January 18th: 10. Winners Program3 Company visits 2
11. Winners Program4 Tokyo study tour 2
12. Winners Program5 Company visits 3
Thursday, January 19th: 13. Winners Program6 Workshop
14. Farewell Party
ASPaC means International cultural exchange among students studying design in Asian countries and it aims at fostering young artisans who will be the rising star in Asia for the foreseeable future. ASPaC week, the main event of ASPaC took place from Sunday, 15th to 19th in Tokyo. ASPaC week consists of mainly an award ceremony for the ASPaC2016 winners from 6 countries and region in Asia and winners programs.
Program 1 ASPaC Awards2016 Final Round of Screening
Screening venue: DIC Graphics Corporation Head Office (Nihonbashi)
On January 15th, ASPaC Week begins with Final Round of Screening by juries of designers or university lecturers in the Asian countries and region of six and the countries of four, which will participate in ASPaC next year. They are to screen 24 package design entries of this year’s theme of “Surprise”. The entries which have been selected from more than 3000 highly motivated applications are overwhelming from the professional point of view in terms of theme, graphics, marketing, structure and the degree of perfection.
The screening takes two steps. Firstly all the juries screen the entries individually from the points of theme and visuals. 17 Asia’s leading designers take one hour to judge as well as reading the package design concepts. Their points are aggregated, the entries with high points are selected, and then all the juries discuss the top ones.
In deciding the Grand, Gold and other awards, the serious discussion, ranging from design concepts to how the design is surprising, took much more than scheduled time.
Generally speaking, most Japanese entries tend to focus on the theme; Korean ones show high degree of perfection, Chinese ones have powerful impressions, Taiwan is unique of their own culture, Thai is full of ideas and Indonesia produces colourful and enjoyable works. We could glimpse their local identity, culture, trend and social background.
Program 2 ASPaC representatives meeting
Juries are relieved after completing the final screening. It is a relaxing break, for all the different nationalities, talking about screening results, impressions with biting “Onigiri”, rice ball which represents Japanese traditional meal.
The main agenda for the meeting is ASPaC in the next year.
Firstly the theme of ASPaC 2017, “Challenge”, was announced by ASPaC Chair, Fumi Sasada.
We would like to see how students create “Challenge” with their own idea, not restricted by any conventions or customs. Depending on the countries or regions, there are various kinds of factors to consider, such as circumstances surrounding design industry, with or without organizations or groups, different school calendar and so on. The discussions were livened up. Juries from Singapore and Vietnam mentioned that in their own country there were no free admission contests even for students. There was also an opinion about re-arranging the schedule considering that most Asian universities commence in September. Furthermore, we discussed about overseas exhibitions for winners entries this year.
(The detailed schedule will be announced on the WEB site or FB upon finalized. In Japan, the first screening will take place in June with a sketch and concepts. The selected entries are to be made into three dimension models and they are judged in the Japan final in the same way as this year.)
Program 3 Design Forum of Countries and Region of Ten
Program 4 Panel Session of Countries and Region of Ten
Forum venue: Event Hall on the second floor of Bunkyo Civic Centre
On January 16th, winner students and Japanese merit winner students joined together.
It commenced with Design Forum of Countries and Region of Ten. They are leading designers in Asia, however, their expertise vary with different design circumstances in each area.
This is exactly, several men, several minds. Not to mention for students, but for us professional designers, their presentations were stimulating and thought provoking. Between neighbor countries or countries far away, their languages, culture, customs, trend, show the difference of social background.
Nonetheless, a real passion for design spreading through the Asian countries is truly shared and the communication is established in English as a common language.
The panel of 10 leading designers in Asia chaired by Fumi Sasada, ASPaC Chairman, have more and more heated discussions.
Asia is united into one is sensually felt in only being here.
Design may provide a solution for various issues facing the region, the country and all over Asia as well as business concerns.
It is eye opening to recognize that in some countries one designer may deal with wider design areas from construction design to graphic design, which usually separated into each specialist in Japan. In countries where English is the official second language, there are many designers who have borderless viewpoint, which is very impressive.
For Japanese designers, all of these underline the importance of having the perspective not restricted by design area or nationality. We hope this session will be the precious experience for students to foresee their future before starting their professional career as a designer.
Program 5 ASPaC Awards 2016 ceremony
Now, for the students, the awaiting award ceremony begins. 6 countries and region have selected 4 entries each and the No.1 of total of best 24 Asian students package design will be announced.
It starts with Honorable Award, followed by corporate awards, Japan Foundation Award, JPDA Award, ASPaC Chairman Award, and finally the Grand Prize will be announced. Corporate awards were given to those brilliant works that have impressed the juries from Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd., DIC Graphics Corporation, and Benedict Creations.
Japan Foundation Awards were given to those that well represent traditions or cultures of each participating countries and region.
JPDA award was selected from the point of beautiful package design.
At every announcement, students applauded and praised each other and the whole venue was full of excitement. Yet to be announced are Gold, Silver and Bronze Prize and Grand Prize. Then the performance cut in to liven up the ceremony.
GOCOO, female Japanese Drum band who is successful around the world, shows an excellent performance. In the blackout, the sudden lightening on the stage, filled with the beating sound of Japanese drum, something hot is swelling up in mind, hitting the soul, this moment is completely absorbed in the powerful performance.
While the excitement of students and juries still goes on, Bronze, Silver and Gold prize will be announced. Gold and Grand prize winners are supposed to make a speech. Amazingly, all of them give a speech in English. They look bright in the way they speak so fluently.
And the student, who successfully won the Grand prize, is a student from Shanghai, China. Her splendid surprise of wine bottles that may be displayed horizontal or vertical posture solely by themselves. The top work in the 3000 entries is beyond the expectations of professional designers.
After the great excitement of the ceremony, they are to move up to the reception. Students are released from the tense and take photos here and there with broad smile.
They praise each other in English or in the mixture of their own language show the magnificent world of international exchanges. This global exchanges starting today will be led to the marvelous future for students as well as juries or any participants here.
Program 6 Reception
The day of Forum, panel discussions and ceremony closes with a reception. More than hundred designers gathering under the name of package design look like a party of single company with a sense of unity and they have a great conversation each other. In order to foster the relationship which began in this ASPaC event, they introduce themselves, exchange contact addresses and drink with smile. Time passes very quickly when having fun.
The reception was concluded with the performance of hand clapping together in Japanese manner and they reluctantly parted, especially from juries who would fly back tomorrow morning, hoping to See You Soon.