Year End Party 2023: AWRD Exhibition Report featuring Award-Winning Artists

TUE, APR 16, 2024


On December 8, 2023, Loftwork Inc. hosted the "Year End Party 2023 (YEP)" in Shibuya. This year's theme, "GATE", aimed to act as a catalyst for new stories, fostering encounters and interactions with people from beyond the gate. Loftwork members from various teams curated exhibitions and attended to visitors.

At the Year-End Party, AWRD presented the AWRD Exhibition, offering visitors the chance to enjoy a tangible exhibition amid the daily online scene. Our theme for the exhibition was "Experience with AWRD", showcasing projects held throughout 2023. Here is a report on the AWRD exhibition.

Projects from a Variety of Genres Gather in One Exhibition Space: Overview of the AWRD Exhibition Booth

AWRD 展示ブースの全景

In the exhibition space, creative ideas that won awards in projects from diverse fields, such as "crQlr Awards 2023", "Creative Discovery Challenge powered by NISSAN", and "QUICK Data Design Challenge 2023", came together in a single area.

The exhibits showcased the originality of each project, featuring interactive and digitally enhanced works, highlighting the social impact of the projects through technological innovations, sustainable design, and cutting-edge technologies.

crQlr Awards 2023

Circular design, which is indispensable for making a truly sustainable economy a reality, requires not only practical know-how in the existing industries, but also broadening one’s horizons through exposure to local and global projects, as well as harnessing the creativity of entrepreneurs, artists, and experts in a wide range of fields. As a means to accomplish this goal, Loftwork Inc. presents the crQlr Awards.

At the AWRD exhibition booth , three out of the 53 projects awarded in 2022 were showcased. Additionally, all 140 projects gathered during 2023 were introduced through giant posters wrapped around the pillar in the venue.

Bulk Recycling Prize
Japan’s first craft beer made from disaster stockpiles

The crQlr Awards receive many entries of services and products that are implemented in our world. In order to naturally introduce visitors to initiatives for a circular economy through the YEP, we offered ”Craft beer made from disaster stockpiles” as one of the drinks served at the venue, FabCafe Tokyo.

「量とサイクルへの視点」賞 【日本初】災害備蓄品から生まれたクラフトビール

Description : Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, more and more people have been preparing for disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, torrential rains, and heavy snowfalls, and in recent years, long-life food and disaster stockpiles have become increasingly common on the streets.
While households as well as local governments and businesses stockpile disaster supplies, many of these stockpiles have to be renewed after a certain period of time, and in many cases are forced to be discarded. Some municipalities and companies distribute these stockpiles to their staff and employees to prevent them from being discarded, but municipalities and large companies that have stockpiled large quantities of disaster supplies end up with a surplus even after distributing them to their staff and employees.
This time, we attempted to upcycle the nearly discarded disaster stockpiles into craft beer (happoshu, due to the malt ratio).
Project information :

Comments from Judges : I was taken aback by the idea that disaster stockpiles nearing their end of life could be conceived of as a resource, rather than as something to be disposed of as waste. It was fascinating to learn that stockpiled food such as dry bread and quick-cooking rice can be used as ingredients to brew beers with unique flavors. Even if I don’t know the background to how it’s made, the label makes me want to pick up a bottle and have a taste. I love that simple yet powerful appeal. We want it simply because we want it, which is so important for sustainable distribution.
- Kousuke Kinoshita (FabCafe Kyoto & MTRL Brand manager)

New Type Natural Capital Prize
True Circulation; death connects birth.

This is an impactful project with the theme of "Death and Circularity," which is an eventuality that involves both humans and plants. It was exhibited as one of the suitable projects for YEP, which serves as an opportunity to look back on the year.

New Type Natural Capital Prize

Description : In an age when such funerals have become commonplace, could the way we view death change? This work proposes a new burial method based on the theme of “death and circulation,” in which the body of the deceased is returned to the soil, decomposed by microorganisms, and incorporated into a larger ecological cycle.
Project information:

Comments from Judges : The unique point of view expressed here is that we have the option of becoming a natural resource ourselves as members of a free society. This addresses social issues in Japan such as the allocation of land for cemeteries and the long-term management of graves. There will likely be some legal issues around burial laws, but I hope these can be resolved so that this unique idea becomes widely circulated.
- Noriko Ishizaka (President of Ishizaka Inc.)

Creative Discovery Challenge powered by NISSAN

The open call is organized by NISSAN Inc. and was held as part of the “DRIVE MYSELF PROJECT” , a project that co-creating with the young generation for future mobility experiences and manufacturing ideas. Under the theme of "Bricolage," the project called for ideas for enriching people's lives using everyday objects. Three of the 13 winning projects and ideas were exhibited at the event.

General Award : Natural non-disposable toothbrush made in Japan with natural materials
By ナエス - Nhes. 自然にかえる歯ブラシ.

We're surrounded by a plethora of disposable products, and toothbrushes are no exception. Nhes offers non-disposable toothbrushes made from natural wood and bristles. Each toothbrush in this collection boasts a unique texture, gradually becoming a cherished item once you begin using it. Products like these, whose value increases with each use, have the potential to enrich our lives. We showcased this product, which embodies the theme of the award, 'bricolage,' exceptionally well.

総合賞:使い捨てない天然素材の歯ブラシ 日本製 受賞者:ナエス - Nhes.

Description : Nhes.'s non-disposable toothbrush, Turalist, is an environmentally conscious option, completely avoiding the use of plastic in its construction. We've chosen wood and bristles as the materials for our toothbrushes. The wood we utilize is sourced from the offcuts of beech wood, which are inevitably generated during chair manufacturing. As for the bristles, they are primarily obtained as byproducts from the valuable lives of horses and pigs raised mainly for meat consumption.
Project information:

Curator's comments : The theme of this year's challenge was bricolage. The significance of bricolage is that it lets people appraoch things from a different perspective than you usually would in technology and engineering, and it allows people to challenge themselves to create a sustainable future on a more personal level. In this sense, I thought it was an excellent idea to design a service that encourages people to continue using small, seemingly disposable items such as toothbrushes. In the end, I believe that collective efforts that are built upon small but ingenius ideas that can influence our daily lives is the most effective form of sustainability. I would like to try to apply this approach to even cars, which are large and heavy.
- Tetsuro Ueda (Expert Leader in the Mobility & AI Laboratory at the Nissan Research Center.)

General Award : Bottle Cap Capsule Toy Machine
by Fablab Hiroshima Akitakada - Yoichiro Watanabe

The Bottle Cap Capsule Toy Machine provides open-source design blueprints, enabling anyone to access the data and create it using a laser cutter. The Capsule toy machine showcased at the event was assembled using FabCafe's laser cutter. This particular machine, which can be operated using bottle caps, brought joy to many attendees at the venue, fostering an experience that spurred people to try it out on the spot.

総合賞:ボトルキャップ循環ガチャ 受賞者:ファブラボ広島安芸高田・渡辺 洋一郎

Description : Many people have long seen environmental conservation and SDGs as distant concepts, lacking a personal connection. The motivation behind developing the Bottle Cap Capsule Toy Machine is to create experiences that naturally engage people, cultivating an ecosystem where environmental conservation and SDGs are integrated into everyday life from childhood.
Project information:

Curator's comments : A successful educational experience motivates the participants to want to know more about the subject matter on their own terms. With capsule machines taking over the center stage of pop culture internationally, this open source project is a profound example of introducing recycling to our younger generation in the best playful way possible. I also love the idea that designing the content of capsules is another opportunity that could take the learning experience to another level. This is an open source project, all of us are able to curate our own version of playful learning and recycling through it, that remix of old and new, playful and educational, is the ultimate bricolage to me.
- Kyle Li( Program Director of MFA Design & Technology at Parsons School of Design)

Next Generation Award : Strawless Turtle Pak
by Malika Chopra

By enhancing existing features, the creator has crafted a piece brimming with fresh ideas, prompting the thought, "Ah, why didn't I think of that!" without the need to integrate new materials. We'd like to showcase this new interpretation of familiar paper packs.

次世代賞:The Strawless Turtle Pak 受賞者:Malika Chopra

Description :The Strawless Turtle Pak is a beverage packaging designed for on-the-go consumption. Its foil-backed cardboard packaging is shaped like a turtle, symbolizing the fight against the impact of plastic pollution on marine life.Designed using origami, this standard-size drink pack has triangular folds, colored in shades of ocean greens and blues, to mimic a turtle shell.Created for a hypothetical brand called 'TurtlePak,' the packaging caters to an environmentally-aware audience. It is designed to encourage people to rethink their drinking habits by eliminating the need for on-the-go drinking straws.
Project information:

Curator's comments : As an editor for a media outlet that promotes ideas that benefit society every day, I have consistently featured various alternative materials for straws—such as paper straws, grass straws, and bamboo straws—as replacements for plastic. However, "The Strawless Turtle Pak" challenged my conventional thinking by suggesting that by creatively redesigning paper packaging containers, the need for straws might be eliminated entirely. This project skillfully incorporated the well-known Japanese art form of origami to create something with minimal resources. Given its intended purpose is to be used on the go, it would be fantastic if they could design it in a way that doesn't necessitate immediate disposal after a single use.
- Kimika Tonuma(Editor in Chief of IDEAS FOR GOOD)

QUICK Data Design Challenge 2023

The QUICK Data Design Challenge 2023 is organized by QUICK Inc., a company specializing in visualizing society through data. Entries were sought in various creative formats such as infographics, data visualization, videos, photos, and websites, all derived from the information obtained from data. At the YEP venue, two out of the five award-winning pieces, which expanded the possibilities of new data, were exhibited.

Grand Prix : Strawberry sample book
by Asuka Kawa

Data visualization wasn't just about "seeing"; you could also "interact" with it! At the YEP venue, we set up an experiential booth for participants to explore firsthand, and we hoped everyone took the opportunity to experience it.

グランプリ:いちご見本帳 受賞者:川明日香

Description: This website simplifies the shape of strawberries and enables you to explore various aspects such as variety, place of production, year of cultivation, and crossbreeding in an integrated manner. Feel free to delve into the fascinating world of strawberry information by moving your mouse and clicking around.
Project information:

Comments from Judges: Strawberries are a common sight in supermarkets. I always find myself unsure of which origin or brand to choose. The creator, intrigued by such ordinary scenes of daily life, brought curiosity and interest to the table. Further adding research and visualization, they crafted an impressive tool. In the "Strawberry Sample Book," three aspects – the relationship of time, space, and elements – are succinctly expressed using fundamental data visualization techniques. While there is room for improvement in the originality of visualization and the quality of graphic design, exploring this tool gives me a better understanding of strawberries. It feels like my consumption behavior might change from tomorrow. I highly appreciate the potential of data visualization as a starting point for cognitive and behavioral changes driven by facts.
- Kinya Tagawa ( Takram Japan CEO / Design Engineer)

Semi-Grand Prix : Ocean Pandæmonium -The Noisy Plasticscape
by Ayaka Sakakibara

Many people might be surprised to see data visualization take shape in this manner. Through this project, the audience could have experienced how interpreting data not only through design but also from an artistic perspective can give rise to such expressions.

準グランプリ:Ocean Pandæmonium -The Noisy Plasticscape- 受賞者:榊原礼彩
準グランプリ:Ocean Pandæmonium -The Noisy Plasticscape- 受賞者:榊原礼彩

Description: Although I may not have the ability to dwell at the ocean's depths, I might be able to puncture the water's membrane and eavesdrop on its inhabitants. This piece of art is a sound installation delving into humanity's role in the Anthropocene era and its impact on marine ecosystems. Today, the detrimental effects of plastic in our oceans are under scrutiny. Despite the serene and picturesque view of the sea from land, it gives no hint of the troubles lurking beneath its surface. Below the tranquil facade lies a crisis unfolding for marine life. We, as humans, are unable to reside in the sea nor cross its boundaries. Thus, by crafting a virtual ocean and examining its circumstances and history through the auditory lens, we strive to comprehend.
Project information:

Comments from Judges: Amidst the prevalence of two-dimensional representations, the high level of craftsmanship in creating three-dimensional expressions that appeal to all five senses was praised. During the judging deliberations, there was discussion regarding the approach to evaluating data visualization awards. It was noted that rather than launching expressions from the data, the emphasis seemed to be more on having a story to tell first, and then utilizing data to support it. This aspect raised questions about the evaluation criteria for data visualization awards. Taking these considerations into account, it can be said that this newly established award will serve as a litmus test for fostering a unique presence as a receptacle for diverse expressions in the future.
- exonemo(Artist)

AWRD Editor's note

The event was filled with excitement as many people, including project organizers and award recipients, gathered at the venue. The AWRD Exhibition provided a unique opportunity to connect with creators who may not have previously intersected, which was particularly enticing. This event facilitated new encounters that went beyond the confines of individual projects. As a platform dedicated to tackling various challenges in 2024, we remain committed to nurturing, expanding, and fostering new connections through our projects. A sincere thank you to all the award winners who contributed to the exhibition.

I'm genuinely thrilled to have had the chance to present the projects and award recipients for this year. As demonstrated by the three projects showcased in this exhibit, the future aspirations pursued by each project vary in terms of themes and subject matter. This resonates with the vision embraced by AWRD - it's not merely about crowning a winner but also about uncovering the signs of a new future and the nuances of themes through AWRD. Looking ahead to next year, we'll persist in our efforts to introduce a diverse array of projects while holding onto this sentiment!(Sekii)

I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed to the exhibition. Despite the distance, visitors from far away places like Hiroshima and Osaka made their way to Tokyo, making it a vibrant exhibition for just one day. We introduced the winning projects of the three awards, and visitors showed great interest as they had the opportunity to experience the works firsthand, touch and try out the actual products, and even taste samples. We hope to increase opportunities to showcase projects and works submitted to AWRD in real-life settings.(Matsuda)

I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed and participated in this exhibition. Thanks to the winners, the AWRD team had the opportunity to showcase three outstanding award-winning works at this lively Year-End Party, featuring projects from 2023. At the venue, participants had the chance to experience the winning projects firsthand and directly interact with the winners and judges, which brought great joy. As a member of the AWRD team, I feel honored to be part of such opportunities. We hope that next year, through AWRD, we can bring together many creators and once again introduce a variety of projects to a wide audience. (Ming)

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