Cooper-Hewitt: Shinichi Takemura - Tangible Earth

Event Date: 
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One of 31 video segments featured in 'Designing Media', the new book, DVD and website by Bill Moggridge.

More info on 'Designing Medi'a available at http://www.designing-media.com

On Thursday, November 18th, the Tangible Earth will be featured in Bill's Design Talks with Professor Takemura.

Professor Shinichi Takemura will demonstrate his magical Tangible Earth project, an interactive multimedia representation of our planet, presented on a glowing globe that shows our world in realtime view for daylight and weather patterns. He spins it with his hands as he explains the meaning of the images, calling up a series of events and predictions about ocean currents, tsunamis, global warming, earthquake patterns and so on. His demeanor is quiet and professorial, as he explains the richness of the scientific data that he has assimilated, making it instantly easy to understand. He succeeds in giving us a holistic vision of the state of our planet.
Takemura - sensei is a producer known for his numerous cutting-edge IT-driven social activities, along with propounding his incisive views as an anthropologist. He is a professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design, where he teaches anthropology, international relations, information society theory, etc. Prof. Takemura is engaged in the development of social information platforms, or what he calls "socialware," with the Earth Literacy Program, an NPO that runs as a base for his activities. In 2001, he conceived the Tangible Earth, in collaboration with scientists from various fields. For the first time in the U.S., participants will be able to see and experience the Tangible Earth at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

Shinichi Takemura
After a career as an anthropologist conducting field research in the Amazon, Tibet, India, and Africa, Shinichi Takemura returned to Japan to teach and work as a curator of museums of cultural anthropology. He became interested in changing the way people understand the world, rather than just observing as a researcher. He looked for new ways to communicate the reality of what's happening to the planet. This led him to embrace new technology and adopt a career as a media producer, harnessing the power of the Internet to develop social information platforms. He founded the Earth Literacy Program, a nonprofit organization that he runs as a base for his activities. He produced the Japanese virtual pavilion Sensorium for the first online Internet World Expo held in 1996, for which he won the 1997 Gold Ars Electronica Nica Award. In 2001 he started developing the Tangible Earth project, a multimedia globe that allows people to understand the condition of our planet using interactive technology, based on information provided by scientists from various fields.