Special Exhibition: “Protolog – Archetypes of Yamanaka Shunji’s Work”

April 21, 2022


Type Exhibition
Intended for General public / Enrolled students / Applying students / International students / Alumni / Companies / Elementary school students / Junior high school students / High school students / University students / Academic and Administrative Staff
Date(s) April 26, 2022 — July 18, 2022
Location Other campuses/off-campus
Venue Intermediatheque [GREY CUBE]
[Address] KITTE 2-3F, 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
[Access] JR lines and Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line Tokyo Station. Direct access from the Marunouchi Underground Pathway.
Nijubashimae Station (Exit 4) on the Chiyoda Line (about 2 minutes on foot).
[Opening Hours] 11:00 - 18:00 (Open until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays) .
 *Opening hours may change.
[Closed on] Mondays (or the following Tuesday if Monday is a National Holiday) and Year-end holidays. May close irregularly.

To prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please read the following guidelines before visiting the museum.
[1] Please wear a mask, cover your cough, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer when visiting IMT.
[2] Before entering the museum, we will check your body temperature. If your temperature is found to be over 37.5℃, we may refuse admission.
[3] If you have visited a country or region where the infection has continued to spread in the last 2 weeks, please refrain from visiting IMT.
[4] Please keep a safe distance of 2 meters from other visitors in the museum.
[5] Please do not speak in a loud voice in order to prevent an airborne infection.
[6] Please refrain from touching the exhibits, display cases, walls and any equipment bearing the sign “Do not use.”
[7] Entrance restrictions may apply depending on the number of visitors.
[8] Any group of 10 people or more may be refused admission.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Entrance Fee No charge
Registration Method No advance registration required
Contact +81-47-316-2772 / From Japan: 050-5541-8600 (NTT Hello Dial Service)
The special exhibition, Protolog, investigates the production processes of Yamanaka Shunji, a contemporary, cutting-edge industrial designer, from the viewpoint of natural history. Engineering, which aims to devise manmade objects, and natural history, which seeks to comprehend the natural world, appear like isolated fields, but do connections between them exist? This question arose from our recognition that Yamanaka’s products display a series of morphological similarities with scientific exhibits at museums. Moreover, prior to realizing concrete designs, this cutting-edge engineering surveys iconography, events, and phenomena similarly to how natural history categorizes, describes, analyzes, and understands objects. This shows the compatibility of the engineering research exhibit with natural history in terms of research strategies. The present exhibition thus investigates the relevant epistemological processes existing behind these similarities. According to Yamanaka himself, “This exhibition is an attempt to reconsider the semantic, principal, and morphological relationships between the museum’s collection and my work.” Protolog (or protologue) is a word usually referring to the original description of a new species, denoting Yamanaka’s description of his products in this exhibition. Simultaneously, we incorporate the nuance of creating and advocating for concepts that are new yet commonsensical and related to this term. Presenting Yamanaka Shunji’s prototypes as well as the “logbook” of his design voyage recording what happened until he finished his prototypes, this exhibition aims to illuminate the process of “archetyping” as an antecedent of “type,” much as pure scientific research is an antecedent of applied scientific research.

[Organizers] The University Museum, the University of Tokyo (UMUT) + Prototyping & Design Laboratory, the University of Tokyo
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