Researcher List

Laboratories in Department of Design and Architecture

Architectural Design Lab
Prof. Kazunori FUKUHARA

Architectural Design Lab

I think that the act of designing the environment has the same meaning as the act of considering how it affects humans. I am exploring what is important for future architectural design. I have experience of working at an architectural design office for 22 years and I have conducted research at university for 6 years. In our laboratory, our students aim to explore practical architectural design methods and gain the practical skills. For example, Togo Murano, who was active in the modern era of Japan, is an architect who utilized new ways, as well as old ways that medieval craftsmen used. His architectural design expressions are unique. I am aiming to elucidate part of the design process by analyzing his design drawings. I would like to record the good old method that current architects have forgotten, and use it for future architectural designs.

Visual Design Lab
Prof. Miki IMAI

Visual Design Lab

Visual elements such as letters, characters, icons, photographs, and symbols - basic elements of design - are items worthy of research or study. Items such as books, advertisements, packages, and web sites are not merely objects to read or view. Such items contain information -“messages”- and in this course we will analyze the design and techniques (including research and marketing) used in order to precisely convey the embedded messages. Moreover, this course will examine the careful phrasing used in editing and planning. Finally, this course will touch upon the area of “design history,” surveying both current trends and those of the past.

Living Space Design Lab
Prof. Yumi KORI

Living Space Design Lab

Our laboratory studies and designs space from the point of view of "living". "Living space" encompasses the built environment that people inhabit and experience throughout their daily lives, including architecture, interiors, landscape and urban space. In our focus on “living space,” we study not only private spaces, such as houses or apartments, but also public spaces where people spend many hours each day, for example, in a school, office, health facility or hospital, restaurant or cafe, library or museum, park or plaza, and townscape or street space. When we study the “living space,” we explore not only the architectural perspective, but also the art perspective, with the ultimate-goal of enriching our lives.

Digital Design Lab
Prof. Koji NISHIO

Seminar students examining an interior model
Seminar students examining an interior model in the Digital Design Lab

In our laboratory, we study interior design and human spatial cognition. For interior design, we focus on conditions of sites, facade design, and interior space, and create interior design beyond general indoor space. As the foundation of our lives, architecture and cities have a strong psychological effect on us. To consider our basic way of moving, the ideal design is one in which research findings on the spatial perception acquired through walking are applied. We search for a way to create architectural and urban spaces that people can easily understand, by examining the hemispherical differences and individual variations in human brain functions that governs our spatial perception and evaluates space.

Structural Design Lab
Prof. Seiichi SHIRAGA

Structural Design Lab

It is important that architectural structures have sufficient strength and rigidity to withstand loads such as earthquakes and wind and the frames of buildings protect human life without partially undergoing plasticization and collapsing even when there is a major earthquake. Simultaneously, the frame of a building comprises many architectural structures, and the way its structures are composed has a significant effect on its architectural form. Determining how a structure should be composed (structural design) requires an understanding of the type of behavior that will be displayed by the structure under a load. In this laboratory, we learn, both analytically and experientially, the effects of structural composition and seismic motion on the elastoplastic behavior of small- to medium-scale steel buildings in order to understand how we can improve their earthquake resistance and streamline their structural forms.

UX Design Lab
Prof. Ryo MASUOKA

UX Design Lab

We focus on UX Design (User Experience Design), especially on advanced interface design.
In Japan, interface design activities have spread rapidly since the 1980s, and large companies have been enhancing their UX design departments. This means an increase in the importance of this field worldwide. In the future society, information technology will be further developed and spread. The popularization of advanced information devices will require the realization of informational usability: high-quality interface design. We propose UX design from the perspective of cognitive mechanisms and human nature to respond to the demands of society. We are also seeking the possibilities of design for future society.

Interior Design Lab
Prof. Youichi OISHI

Interior Design Lab

In modern society, where people have diverse tastes, interior design has a manifold role and significant effect on different aspects of our lives. In this laboratory, we will cultivate the ability to design innovative spaces for a new era through research on space design, furniture design, and various elements and systems, all of which are directly connected to our daily lives, in settings ranging from living spaces to commercial and public spaces. In order to take advantage of the fact that our campus is located in Umeda Chayamachi, we will lay the foundation for the ideation of new designs by actively participating in regional and industry?academia?government collaborations and forging relationships with businesspeople and the city, which will help students develop their career skills.

Architectural History and Culture Lab
Associate Prof. Noritsugu TSUMAKI

Architectural History and Culture Lab

In this laboratory, our research is concerned with architecture and culture. While the former refers to buildings and the society that surrounds them, the latter considers the relationship between the built environment and human behavior. Currently, we are researching Western perspectives on the Japanese culture.

Product Design Lab
Associate Prof. Ai AKAI

Product Design Lab

Products do not exist as single objects. They are deeply intertwined with each other in their environments, the spaces around us, and in our lives. That is to say, we believe that product design is more than simply the design of shapes and the use of color: it is fundamental to making people's lives more pleasurable and fulfilling, and it can also help solve hidden problems in our daily lives. At Product Design Lab 2, although we generally focus on lighting design and the design of illuminated spaces, we also design a wide-ranging variety of products such as furniture, cookware, and stationery. Furthermore, we also carry out research, and lecture on materials and fabrication techniques that are essential to the product design process.

Architectural Planning Lab
Associate Prof. Yoshitsuna KUTSUKI

Example of Residential Design Practice
Example of Residential Design Practice

Architectural design demands not only technical skills but also diverse knowledge on art and history. We learn theories that have been built up through the broad views and deep insights of excellent architects and theorists, and acquire the basic knowledge required to our ideas into tangible designs. Our laboratory trains practical architects and engineers who have the eye to see, the heart and mind to feel and think about, and the hand to create architecture.

Interior Planning Laboratory
Associate Prof. Asako YAMAMOTO

24mm plywood house
24mm plywood house

Every place has a space that embraces people, whether it is for living, working, or enjoying themselves.
This is a laboratory that deals with and practices interior design from both the "five senses" of comfort and the "theory" of usability and environmental performance.

Main Research Topics

  • Space design and research related to living
  • Renovation design and research
  • Design and research related to art and exhibitions
  • Space design and research to support child-rearing

Industrial Design Lab
Assistant Prof. Shinji MIURA

Industrial Design Lab

Many of the industrial products around us are usually made using some kind of design, manufacturing and development technologies. It is clear that new technologies have an impact on the design of products of the day, as evidenced by the changes in product design from the past to the present.

In our laboratory, we learn from existing technologies and develop new product design, prototyping and design methods that incorporate new technologies such as digital fabrication, computational design, and eye tracking, as well as research the future of product design that can be realized by new technologies.