A Flood of Art, Design and Media events in Tokyo


In mid to late autumn of each year there is a flurry of interesting art, design and media related events in Tokyo.  Here are a few that we’ll be either attending or keeping an eye on.

Digital Content Expo 2011

Thursday, the 20th of October to Saturday, the 22nd of October

This is what it says.  The best of Japanese CG and 3D art and animation will be on display.  There will also be a wide range of hi-tech companies showing off such things as interactive tables, thermal drawing devices and the latest in 3D cameras and display technology.


AdTech Tokyo

Wednesday, the 26th of October to Friday, the 28th of October

This is an industry event for the ad business with lots of closed seminars and heavy hitting agency types giving key notes.  However, free entrance can be obtained with pre-registration which will give you access to the main exhibition hall and some of the sponsored rooms.  Last year Microsoft was showing off the Kinect before it’s public release and Adobe had some interesting seminars about their approach to helping in the production of iPad/tablet magazines like ‘Wired’.  More ‘business’ than ‘creative’, but very interesting and inspirational nonetheless.

Design Tide Tokyo

Sunday, the 29th of October to Thursday, the 3rd of November

Design Tide started as the upstart event in 2005.  However, in recent years it has been solidly establishment with its base at the upmarket Tokyo Midtown complex near Roppongi Station.  As opposed to TDW, Design Tide is a ‘curated’ event so not just anyone is allowed to exhibit here – or perhaps you just need to know the right people.  The tough times that the design industry has been going through (along with everyone else) is perhaps reflected in the theme of this year’s event.  “Trading design. Trading Ideas”.  Time to cash in.


Tokyo Designers Week

Tuesday, the 1st of Novermber to Sunday, the 6th of Novermber

This event has become an institution in the Tokyo design scene.  There tends to be a strong focus on product and interior design but the work on display can be quite diverse.  There seem to be a few less exhibitors than last year.  The theme in English is ‘Love/Arigatou’ while the theme in Japanese is still ‘Love’ but instead of ‘Arigatou’ it’s ‘Love of the earth, love of people and love of things’.