Won “Best of the Best” of the Red Dot Design Award!

Japan has more than 6000 high schools, about 4000 of which have a baseball team. Every summer, there’s a championship to decide the best team in Japan. Many people get excited, and fortunes are moved. On the other hand, people called a man with good sense raise voices against the trend, like “Don’t prey on the innocent effort of high school kids.” To be honest, I doubt if high school kids are such innocent, though.

Another common criticism is “Too much emphasis is attached to high school baseball.” I think it’s valid. All the championship games are broadcast on TV for more than two weeks, which never happens in other high school sports. Of course, it’s not because most of the media tycoons are baseball fans but because high school baseball is much more popular than other high school sports. It’s the simple consequence of the free market in Japan. In fact, I always enjoy watching such debates over the pros and cons, rather than high school baseball itself.

Photo credit: https://web.archive.org/web/20161024095841/http://www.panoramio.com/photo/88103038

Once I liked sports where it’s clear which side wins or loses, but now I seem to have lost interest. Instead, what draws my interest is scoring sports such as figure skating, synchronized swimming, etc. There’re always some people complaining about scoring, while judges give a score, expecting such criticism. I don’t mean to criticize the people who complain. They are also an important part of this activity where we rise to the challenge: Excluding the subjectivity as human beings. We can see or predict human emotions and relationship even in the scoring process. That’s why I find scoring sports more interesting.

I think awards related to art, literature, design, etc. are of the same nature. For example, the Academy Award criteria (selectors) have changed several times following repeated criticism from the public. Such constant improvement keeps the validity and authority of awards. I’m sure you can enjoy the Oscar race more by learning the changes and imagining political forces behind the scene, which is similar to scoring sports.

As this is the subject of today’s article, do you know an international design award, called Red Dot Design Award (RDDA) established in 1955? It’s a little shorter in history than the Academy Award but is prestigious in the design industry. Fortunately, one of our new dining chairs won “Best of the Best” from the RDDA this year. Please read the article to know more!


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Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.