Originally published in Destination: Limited Edition Design (Mondadori Electa, 2008).

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT opened in March 2007 in the Roppongi district of Tokyo, in a park-like setting within a vast commercial and residential development called Tokyo Midtown. Together with the Mori Art Museum and the National Art Center, 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT helps to form the city’s cultural cluster known as the Roppongi Art Triangle. The facility comprises two trapezoidal concrete, glass and steel buildings designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, with programming overseen by a tripartite directorship representing the country’s foremost design superstars: Issey Miyake, Taku Satoh, and Naoto Fukasawa. This Kunsthalle-style museum (without a permanent collection) regularly organizes temporary, thematic exhibitions that aim to foster debate about contemporary design and explore what design might be in the future. The name plays on the English term “20/20 vision,” suggesting sight, or vision into the future. Supported by the Issey Miyake Foundation, it is the realization of a dream held by an alliance of Japanese creatives to establish a research center for design: a place for thinking about design, where design is actually made, and where the public can view a range of design perspectives. By way of example, the institution has already mounted pioneering exhibitions exploring the themes of chocolate and water as related to design.


21_21 Design Sight

9-7-6 Akasaka, Minato-ku,

Tokyo 108-8361

Japan