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Critical design in JapanMaterial culture, luxury, and the avant-garde$
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Ory Bartal

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526139979

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526139986

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Postmodern critiques, Japan’s economic miracle, and the new aesthetic milieu

Postmodern critiques, Japan’s economic miracle, and the new aesthetic milieu

(p.31) 1 Postmodern critiques, Japan’s economic miracle, and the new aesthetic milieu
Critical design in Japan

Ory Bartal

Manchester University Press

This chapter presents the rise of the avant-garde milieu of designers in Tokyo, which revolutionised visual and material culture beginning in the 1960s and continues to impact it in the present. This milieu included designers such as Ishioka Eiko and Tanaka Ikkō (graphic design), Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo (fashion design), Kuramata Shirō and Uchida Shigeru (interior and product design), and Andō Tadao and Isuzaki Arata (architecture). These designers all made decisions and created artefacts that radically altered and reshaped the course of Japanese design history. The development of their critical design is presented in the context of the aesthetic, economic, social, and political forces operating during this period and is linked to the rise of critical theories. Moreover, this chapter presents the development of social media and the rich working relations and collaborations among these designers and between them and members of the artistic avant-garde active during these years.

Keywords:   Postwar Japanese art, Postwar Japanese design, Critical design, Japanese style, Orientalism, Material protest

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