22nd Special Achievement Award

KOIKE Kazuko

Creative Director


Born 1936 in Tokyo. Graduate of Waseda University School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Was involved in the 1980 founding of MUJI (“Mujirushi Ryohin”) and has been serving on its advisory board since then. Has taken charge of the planning and direction of numerous exhibitions including Gendai ifuku no genryu-ten (“Origins of contemporary clothing,” The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, 1975), City of Girls exhibition in the Japanese Pavilion of the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2000), Tadanori Yokoo Towada Roman exhibition :Pop It All (Towada Art Center, 2017). Koike established in 1983 and presided over Japan’s first “alternative space” Sagacho Exhibit Space, and, through 2000, introduced to Japan and the world many contemporary artists including NAITO Rei, MORIMURA Yasumasa, OTAKE Shinro, and SUGIMOTO Hiroshi. She translated Eileen Gray (Misuzu Shobo, Ltd., 2017), and authored and edited Ikko Tanaka and Future/Past/East/West of Design (FOIL, 2012), and Issei-san wa dokokara kitano? Miyake Issei no hito to shigoto (“Where did Issei come from? The person and work of Issei Miyake,” HeHe, 2017), among others. Professor emeritus at Musashino Art University and Director of Towada Art Center.

Reason for Award

What is culture? How are cultures created and how do they develop? If we trace the history of “culture,” defined as a major social trend, we find that a “culture” actually originates with the activities of just a few individuals. KOIKE Kazuko is indeed a person that developed Japan’s many paradigms within the creative and design field since their genesis, including those in areas of advertising, branding, fashion, and manufacturing. She philosophized the designs of Japan during the time of rapid economic growth and put her findings in to act ion and practice. Today, we see that the roles of advertising and branding have evolved over time, and that is precisely why it is timely and fitting
now to celebrate Koike’s meritorious deeds. (SAITO Seiichi)