― Today's we would like to introduce FUTURE LIFE FACTORY, which will exhibit in the Panasonic House @ SXSW 2018, together with Game Changer Catapult.
― First, please tell us about FUTURE LIFE FACTORY.
FUTURE LIFE FACTORY is a group that seeks to redefine and realize new forms of prosperous lifestyles. When imagining the future 10 or 20 years from now, what does a prosperous lifestyle look like? We uncover the signs of emerging future lifestyles and values, and come up with attractive ideas through thinking that is not limited by preconceptions. We want to create new cultural phenomena by giving shape to these ideas, and sharing them with the world and starting new movements.
FUTURE LIFE FACTORY, the organization, was founded in April 2017 as an experimental initiative of the Appliances Company's Design Center. Our members are mostly around 30 years old, and previously worked as product designers on various product development projects. Our management policy and activities are decided by the members who report directly to the Design Center director.
― What is the mission of FUTURE LIFE FACTORY?
Over the past few years, the environment surrounding designers has changed dramatically both in and outside the company, and the significance of having in-house designers has been questioned again. The mission of FUTURE LIFE FACTORY is to take on challenges in new areas of both business and design.
Our challenges in new business areas include the creation of concepts that span business divisions and that only FUTURE LIFE FACTORY could propose because we are not involved in product development. We also want to create new concepts that do not rely on extending the value of the existing business areas. Our challenges in new design areas include anticipating future developments from the unique perspective of the designer, before coming up with concrete forms of new value based on these developments, and sharing them with the public. The goal is to expand the design field. Although FUTURE LIFE FACTORY members are all product designers, we are currently taking on the challenge of activities beyond product design, such as UX design, interior space design, planning, and copywriting.
― How do you see Game Changer Catapult?
Since the members of FUTURE LIFE FACTORY are mainly from the Appliances Company's Design Center, Game Changer Catapult are always stimulating for us, as it is also promoted by the Appliances Company, and their activities are constantly showing society new and interesting ideas. I am often asked how we differ from them, and it seems that Game Changer Catapult has many proposals for business creation. It is also a great pleasure to have new and positive projects and organizations going on at the same time. Since we both have offices in the same building, it allows us to actively exchange information more than ever before. Rather than being rivals, we want to have a relationship with Game Changer Catapult where we inspire each other.
― Tell us more about the two product concepts you will exhibit at SXSW.
At SXSW 2018, we will exhibit WEAR SPACE and +WINDOW, which are design themes arising from our new business seed creation activities.
WEAR SPACE is a new wearable device that consists of noise-canceling headphones and a peripheral vision blocker with an adjustable viewing angle. When working in an open office space, WEAR SPACE instantly creates a visual and auditory barrier between the wearer and the surroundings, thereby providing a personal psychological space.
As a new window-mimicking device that provides enjoyable light, air circulation, and sound, +WINDOW can be freely installed in any room without a window. It offers new value for interior living spaces by alleviating any sense of space restriction or enclosure, and helps soothe the mind and body.
WEAR SPACE achieved "Best of the Best" recognition, while +WINDOW received an Honourable Mention in the Design Concept category of the 2017 Red Dot Design Awards.
― What do you hope to achieve with the SXSW exhibit?
We would like to check the public response to our two product concepts. During the exhibition, our team members will provide the explanations to visitors. It will enable us to directly obtain the actual opinions of visitors. I think this will help deepen our ideas even further and make the strengths and deficiencies clearer. We are also planning a talk session hosted by team member Tomohiro Shigeura, in order to promote an open discussion. Of course, we also expect to find some business opportunities. We would like to find partners such as distributors, so that we can get even closer to product commercialization. Since it will be the first overseas exhibition for FUTURE LIFE FACTORY, we will do our best to make everyone realize that Panasonic design is doing all kinds of interesting things!
― Next time, we would like to ask them about the activities that have led up to the showing of WEAR SPACE and +WINDOW at SXSW, and we also want to hear about the upcoming activities of FUTURE LIFE FACTORY. Don't miss it.