Kenji Ekuan

Kenji Ekuan

GK Design Group Chairman

Kenji Ekuan


1929 Born In Tokyo
1955 Graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music
1957 Graduated from the Art Center College of Design (USA)
1957 Established GK Industrial Design Associates and took office as President
1970 Elected President of JIDA *1
1973 Executive Chairman of the Organizing Committee for ICSID '73 Congress, Kyoto
1976 Elected President of ICSID *2
1982 Appointed Chairman of the Committee for Exposition Facilities for Tsukuba EXPO '85 1985 Executive Producer of the Osaka Design Festival '85
1985 Appointed Director of the Kawakawa Design School
1987 Appointed Co-General Producer of the World Design Exposition '89, Nagoya
1989 Appointed Chairman of the "Design - Up" committee for Tokyo Metropolis
1995 Appointed Chairman of the Japan Institute of Design
1998 Appointed Chairman of the Design for the World
*1 JIDA --- Japan Industrial Designer's Association
*2 ICSID --- International Council of Societies of Industrial Design


Chairman of GK Design Group
Chairman of Design for the World
Senator of ICISID
Chairman of the Japan Finland Design Association
Board Member of Japan Association of Artist Craftsmen and Architects
Board Member of the Japan Society for Future Research
Dean of Shizuoka University of Art and Culture
Chairman of the Japan Institute of Design
Trustee of the Art Center College of Design (USA)
Advisory Member of University of Industrial Arts Helsinki (FINLAND)
Committee Member of Raymond Loewy Foundation Japan


Dogu Ko (historical and philosophical analysis of the roles of "tools" in the life of man); published by Kajima Institute Publishing Co., Ltd. Tokyo 1967
Industrial Design (the world of Dogu, its origins, its future); published by Japan Broadcast Publishing Co., Ltd. (NHK Book), Tokyo 1971
The History of Kitchen Utensils; published by Shibata Shoten Publishing Co., Ltd. Tokyo 1976
Makunouchi Bento no Bigaku (the aesthetics of the Makunouchi Lunch Box); Published by Goma Shobo Co., Ltd. Tokyo 1980
The Philosophy of Tools; published by PHP publishers, Kyoto 1980
Butsudan to Jidosha (the Buddhist altar and the automobile); published by Kosei Shuppan, Tokyo 1986
Material Things and Japanese; published by Tokyo Shoseki, Tokyo 1994
Soul and Material Things; published by Holp Shuppan Publishers, Tokyo 1997
The aesthetics of Japanese Lunchbox; published by MIT PRESS, USA 1998
The Discourses of Dogu; published by Kajima Institute Publishing Co., Ltd. Tokyo 2000

[Awards and Honors]

ICSID Colin King Grand Prix (ICSID, 1979)
Honorary doctor of Science from Art Center College of Design (USA, 1981)
Honorary Membership of ORNAMO (Finnish Association of Designers, 1981)
Honorary Fellowship of IDIA (Australia, 1981)
Elected tot eh Mexican Academy of Design (Mexico, 1984)
International Design Award (IDSA, USA, 1988)
The Award for contributions to Design Promotion (Japan, 1992)
The Blue Ribbon Medal (Japan, 1992)
JIDA Grand Prix (Japan, 1993)
Sir Misha Black Medal (England, 1995)
Officier de L'Ordre des Arts et des letters (France, 1997)
Honorary Doctor from London Institute (England, 1999)
The Order of the Rising Sun (Japan, 2000)
Honorary Doctor from University of Art and Design Helsinki (Finland, 2001)
Lucky Strike Designers Award (2003)
The International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Award of The People's Republic of China (2004)
The Insignia of Commander in the Order of the Lion of Finland (Finland, 2005)

Ekuan Works

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