BreakThrough Study Idea

"Four wear"to reconsiderManabu Akaike<Series 3 / complete>

Study Idea


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Learn from the business style of 100 year company.

In "Shimodouzno" example, due to the creation of new value, there were great benefits for producers as well as JR and JTB. These efforts are a typical example of "CSV." Yamaha Motor, which holds the top share in golf carts, is collaborating with Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture, and is promoting the introduction of a new transportation system in which the golf cart runs on the public road for the first time in the whole country. This golf cart can be used not only as a means of transportation for vulnerable people, such as the elderly but also as the legs of tourists. Furthermore, it will contribute to the reduction of the cost burden of Wajima city. The concept of "CSV" is also spreading in the public sector.

There are about 27,000 companies in Japan that last for more than 100 years. This number is tremendous in comparison across the world, but there is a common point that these companies are working on "CSV." As well as being a business with high public benefit, a business model that has advantages for each value chain is built. In addition to the manufacturing method, we can see the way of procuring raw materials and not changing the counterparty. Only the selling method, which responds to the times only, is changing. By not evolving counterparties, we will strengthen our ties with producers and nurture value chains. Whether such a business style of a 100-year company is a small business, there are many parts to follow even SMEs.


here is a problem with any of the "Four wears."

From here on, it will be a bit bigger story, but let's think about the future design. The design is necessary for everyone on the planet if seen in nature. Although there is a concept of "Universal Design," it is limited as those of people called socially vulnerable people such as disabled people at present. However, "Universal Design" is not a narrow concept in that range. In addition to 7 billion global citizens, we should extend it to all kinds of creatures including next generation users, children, and descendants, now deceased people, human beings. The United Nations has set 17 goals called "SDGs," but it is a good idea to see if the value provided by your company conforms to this goal.

"Universal Design" tends to limit to the socially vulnerable because it can not get out of the fixed concept. A major manufacturer has appealed that it is environmentally responsible, such as a sustainable response, but I have not seen much companies declaring to offer merchandised products and services for children and pregnant women. With this, corporate management will not do well in the future. How can we use our technology and services to create a child-raising and raising environment? If it comes to design thinking, it will be possible to create products to be received by women who want to produce pregnant women and children, and a new business model should be developed. By having a wide field of vision, products can be developed any number of times. The basic thermometer which won the Grand Prize for "Kids Design Award" in 2008 is a unique thing with built-in warming sensor. Design thinking is a crucial point here as well.

To practice design thinking, it would be better to examine the business from "Four Wares": "Hardware" "Software" "Social wear" "Senseware." Business is not going well because there is a problem with one of these. For example, in the country, we are developing a biped walking robot (Hardware), but because the software is incorrect, it has not become a business. "Socialware" is merit for all stakeholders. It is also a concept that is also essential to "the merit to the value chain" indispensable for "CSV" mentioned above. And "Sensewear" is the value that appeals to the mind and five senses. The seal robot "Paro" developed by Daiwa House Industry is intended for spiritual therapy effects. "Paro" has a kindness that infants and young children have, but it is difficult for users to explain their charm by language. There is a possibility that even such products can be sold satisfactorily. You should try planning "Four Wears" at any stage of the company. "Senseware" tends to be difficult, but if the mind is charming, it is equipped with nature. Please let me know the question "Is there a funky way of using existing products?"


< series 3 / complete >


Manabu Akaike
Universal Design Research Institute, Inc., CEO
the Research and Development Subcommittee of the Industrial Structure Council of METI, Member Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Innovative Technology, Review Board Jury
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Biomass Nippon Integrated Strategy Promotion, Committee
Musashino Art University, Department of Design Information, Lecturer
Waseda University Environmental Research Center, Visiting teacher
Kitakyushu City Environment Capital Research Center, Main Researcher
Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization Good Design, Award Jury
Kids Design Council Kids Design, Award Jury Chairperson

Born in Tokyo in 1958. In 1981 he was graduated from the University of Tsukuba biology. He operates a think tank that designs social system designs and develops products, facilities, and communities for environmental and welfare, which encourages social innovation. He advocated "life regionalism", "sustained sustainable science" and "making things to learn in nature", and participate in numerous manufacturing projects utilizing local resources, technology, and human resources. As a science and technology journalist, he is also involved in writing, criticism and lecture activities focusing on manufacturing technology and the philosophy of science, and he will also serve as a representative director of the co-creative initiative of the company since 2011. He received numerous awards in the field of industrial design, such as Good Design Prize Gold Prize, JAPAN SHOP SYSTEM AWARD First Prize, KU / KAN Award 2011 and so on.

◇Main book
"Innovation evolving from living organisms Evolution of 3.8 billion years of super technology" (NHK Publishing) July 2014
"Monozukuri Enthusiasm for Nature Studies" (supervised by PHP Institute / Akaike) January 2011 "Insects Save Humans" (Takarajimasha Shimpo) October 2007
"Insect power" (Shogakukan) July 2006
"Making Things to Learn From Nature" (Toyo Keizai Inc.) December 2005
"Nippon Technology" (Maruzen) June 2005
"New Manufacturing Industry Survival Theory" (Wedge) March 2005
"Knowing Toyota" (Nikkei Business Paperback) November 2004

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