Tradition & innovation

An exhibition designed by Nendo at the Canadian Museum of Innovation explores the relationship between Japanese culture and design.

Japan: Tradition. Innovation, an exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Innovation in Quebac was designed by Nendo to explores the relationship between Japanese culture and design.

Five different themes, namely transportation, robotic technology, social status, consumer culture and play, were highlighted in the exhibition.

Instead of constructing temporary interior walls Nendo decided to use “roofs” in a variety of heights and sizes to demarcate the differently themed areas in the exhibition space of 650 square metres.

Visitors could easily navigate between the different zones by following a  subway-like map graphic on the  floor.

Nendo explained that visitors could “look out into ‘outside spaces’ from underneath the roofs and, conversely, peer back into the ‘inside spaces’, producing a hybrid, effervescently-changing space in which the relationship between inside and outside can never be known for sure”.

At first the exhibition space appears to a jumbled array of exhibits but upon closer inspection one realises that the space is, in fact, carefully divided using invisible space-defining practices. “Ma” and “shikiri” have existed in Japanese culture since ancient times and results in the massive exhibition space losing it homogeneity. Rather, says Nendo, “it provides visitors with the chaotic spatial experience of Japanese urban space”.