Photo: Yukio Shimizu

Floating Compass


LEADING EDGE DESIGN have been focusing on future-oriented product design while consciously integrating aspects of human physicality and the way we relate to objects around us. This time the group propose a new interface for the navigation of the entire exhibition space. The display that lacks conventional explanatory elements is expected to unlock new sensual and intellectual channels in the visitor. Also exhibited is a work titled ”Floating Compass”, based on superhydrophobic technology to convey through a water strider motif the delicate sensation of “touching” a water surface.


Shunji Yamanaka [Japan]

Graduated from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Tokyo in 1982. Worked for Nissan Motor Design Center before going freelance in 1987. After working as an associate professor of the University of Tokyo 1991 through ‘94, he established his own design company, Leading Edge Design, in 1994. Was appointed professor at Keio University in April 2008.
While designing industrial products such as cameras, watches, automobiles and furniture, Yamanaka has been pursuing research and development in robotics, informatics and other scientific fields. Thanks to his extensive research into responses to shapes of ticket gates, he became a key figure in developing and implementing JR East’s “Suica” automatic ticket gate system.
Won a Gold Prize at the Good Design Award 2006 for the “OXO daikon grater”, and a Good Design Award for Ecology Design in the New Territory Design category for the “Aimulet” batteryless communication terminal.

Hisato Ogata [Japan]

Graduated in Engineering Synthesis from the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Engineering, in 2000. After leaving the International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in 2002, began to work as a web designer and programmer. Joined Leading Edge Design as a design engineer in 2003.
Won an Excellent Work Award at the DESIGNTOPE design competition in 2001, a “Jury Recommended Work” award at the Media Arts Festival, Agency for Cultural Affairs, a Good Design Award (2004) and an iF Product Design Award (2005) for “OnQ” (NTT DoCoMo).