By Keisuke Fujita
We are thrilled to announce the 16 Winners of the YouFab Global Creative Awards 2018. This year's winners were selected from 158 works from 32 countries.
The Winning Works will be displayed at kudan house (Tokyo) from February 17th to February 24th, 2019.
The goldfish swims around the aquarium, unaware of the sensor above which is communicating its movement to the hammer outside. The fish moves and the hammer crashes down on the miniature furniture outside. This work raises questions related to the influence of humans on the ecosystem.
This piece takes the brainwave signals of the factory worker and programs the machine to create a knit that reflects her cognitive states. It is a project that reflects on the mark of the human hand in the age of mechanical production, as well as all of the anonymous human contributions involved in an economy of automation.
This device incorporates features such as sensors into "natural objects" such as stones and branches. Through these sensors, users can control output such as volume and brightness by changing the natural object’s positioning. This work explores a scenery where natural things blend seamlessly with technology in an everyday setting.
Fusion is a body surrogacy system that aims to reshape the way we communicate and collaborate. It explores a new radical way to use telepresence technology in a hybrid way by combining technology into our bodies and morphing the way of mutual collaboration.
This is an image of a wave generated by a typhoon transformed into a relief made of paper strips. The force of the wave is felt in the spikes and physicality of the paper.
The YouFab award is incredibly difficult to judge. This is because it is based around digital fabrication technology itself. What I mean by this is the judging of YouFab is not limited to the output of digital fabrication alone. YouFab encompasses handicrafts, art, and technological products.
In judging YouFab, we take into consideration the skill, uniqueness, and interesting points of the work. We also consider the works as they are based on the historicized standard of value and quality within each genre, whether it be in the genre of handicraft, art, or a product.
That being said, a scale based on value is not necessarily effective when judging the YouFab award. If you try looking at the works submitted from merely a handicraft perspective, or an art perspective, or a product perspective, it can quickly get quite confusing. You can end up unsure of what standard exactly you should be using to determine the work's merits.
Perhaps it is here that the judges must challenge themselves. What scale of value do we use, and what issues should we consider when evaluating the "craftsmanship" of a new era, unbound by the limitations of genre? A new concept requires a new standard of value.
This time, the award was looking for "works that encourage discussion" on the theme of Polémica, but if the works are only there to express social issues, surely this could be done in a thesis or essay, and one would have to wonder why these works had to take a physical form.
What comes from the judging process is that there is an inevitability in expressing it as a "thing", and it seems like there is a strength just in fulfilling this inevitability.
The unpredictable impulses of the makers are reflected profoundly in these works.
An idea is an idea. In order for this to take form, one needs the perseverance to actively give it form. You have a strong idea. If you also have the perseverance, this idea will change into a physical form.
When both of these two strengths come together, it can create that certain "something". Even the judges aren't sure what you call that "something".
Looking at the chosen works, how would you define them? The difficulty in coming up with that definition forms the polemic character at the root of this award.
Kei Wakabayashi was born in 1971 and spent his early childhood in London and New York. After graduating from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in French Studies at Waseda University, he joined Heibonsha, and became part of the editorial department for "Gekkan Taiyo." In 2000, became an independent editor. Afterward, he edited a wide range of publications, including magazines, books, and exhibition records, and became active as a music journalist. He was assigned as the Chief Editor for the Japanese edition of "WIRED" in 2012, and left the post in 2017. In 2018, he launched blkswn publishers, Inc. and authored the book, "Sayonara Mirai" (Goodbye, Future), published by Iwanami Shoten (April 2018).