Archive for the ‘creativity’ Category

Yugo Nakamura – A Wizard, a True Star

It’s the first day of our exploration of design and sustainability in Tokyo with Max Schorr and Casey Caplowe of GOOD Magazine and Valerie Casey of IDEO.

Wending our way through Shibuya, we arrive at tha ltd, the studio of maverick web designer Yugo Nakamura. You enter through the ground floor of a non-descript apartment building to an open foyer that doubles as a meeting space.

Nakamura, dressed casually in jeans and blue sweater, is a tall man with a shock of black hair peppered with gray. Using a laptop and projector he shares some of his latest work involving interactive Internet animation, including a series of ads for Uniqlo.

Another of Nakamura’s projects is an image bookmarking website, designed as a frame. “I love making images and looking at images I love,” Nakamura says. .

“It’s interesting because it’s the first generation of digital interactive art design on the web,” says Schorr.

Asked about his approach to work, Nakamura says, “I’m interested in methodology. “We work like craftsmen. Our clients have their ideas. We want to make our products as original and fun as possible.”

Asked about collaborating with his American visitors somewhere down the road, Nakamura’s enthusiastic.

He notes that getting people to do good often starts on a small scale, from mundane social networking like dating and friend finding.

“Maybe we can come up with a mechanism for mobilizing a small part of people who that will enable the collections of goodness among people through communication,” he says.

(Daniel Rosenblum)

Yugo Nakamura at his office

Yugo Nakamura at his office


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I started to read Seth Godin’s new book Tribes last night. I have never read his book before. Tribes is easy to read, yet at the same time, is empowering and inspiring. I read about 30 pages of the book in my 40-minute subway ride. Then I checked his blog once I arrived at work this morning and found out that he was “offering an apprenticeship/not-internship/graduate school/charm school track-changing opportunity to a few people this winter. It’s free, it’s fairly audacious and I hope you’ll check it out. It might not be for you (in fact, it probably isn’t) but I have no doubt that you know people who might be interested.” Here is the link for further details.

I like the idea of apprenticeship. Seth Godin has a monk head. I thought about a book called The Priest and his disciples by Hyakuzo Kurata. I read it when I was in high school back in Japan. While I do not recall too much about what was written in the book, I like the notion that the guru of marketing is going to hand-pick his willing disciples to sit down and share his wisdom with them. And it is great that he is doing it for free. Try to quantify what may transpire in the six months that you spend with him. Too bad all applicants are required to speak perfect English…………..(How do you define “perfect”?)


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Daniel Pink of the Whole New Mind speaks at Japan Society on Monday, October 6. Dan, a Japan  Society Media Fellow, will be talking about his recent journey into the heart of the manga industry in Japan – including into the underworld of the manga fan – as well as about his new book, “The Amazing Adventures of Johnny Bunko”.   The evening comes complete with refreshments and a book sale and signing (magic chopsticks included!).

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Daniel Pink. Illustration by Rob Ten Pas

Daniel Pink. Illustration by Rob Ten Pas

Daniel Pink‘s book, Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need, will be the publishing company’s first imported manga!

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On February 6, 2008, Keith Yamashita, Chairman of SY Partners, distributed these two handouts at the symposium For Profit, For Good: Integrating Social Value into the Bottom Line. Together, the handouts’ purpose is to help people create new value and spark innovation in the face of the status quo:

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Innovators Network member Ann Rutledge and Sylvain Raynes of R&R Consulting were featured in a segment of “NHK Special,” a “60 Minutes”-style public affairs program broadcast nationwide on Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK. NHK highlighted R&R’s innovative approach to finance and how they use principles of aerospace to prevent turbulence, or financial crises.

To read more about their appearance on NHK, please visit R&R Consulting’s website http://www.creditspectrum.com/.

Please note the program will be shown in the US on Sunday July 6th, at 10:02 PM EST on TV Japan channel. For a programming list, please visit http://www.tvjapan.net/en/img_pdf/jul1.pdf (English), or http://www.tvjapan.net/pro_list/?date=2008-07-02&area=22&TZ=0 (Japanese).

To subscribe to TV Japan in New Jersey, please visit: http://www.tvjapan.net/en/watching/cabletv_result.php?list=true&country=USA&

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Project Row Houses’ sister organization Row House Community Development Corporation (Row House CDC), formed in August 2003, now receives 5% of referral fees for all purchases made through the Amazon.com Associates Program. All contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law. Row House CDC is based in Houston’s historic Third Ward, and envisions uniting mixed-income housing, green space, public facilities, artists’ living/studio spaces and historic preservation.

To support Row House CDC, please visit http://www.rowhousecdc.org/.

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