Resources > Door to Asia designer-in-residence programme report
16 Aug 2016

Door to Asia designer-in-residence programme report



DOOR to ASIA is a designer-in-residence program organised by the Japan Foundation in 2015 in the Tohoku region in which designers from Asian countries produce "communication design" for the local businesses of a specific region. The first programme report is now available.

The program connects the businesses and designers through design, and opens the door to a pathway leading to the future of Asia.

For the participating designers, it is the perfect opportunity to learn the role of design for community and business upon the common issue of "regional creation" and "natural disaster" in the Asian countries.


For local businesses, it not only reaffirms the companies' strengths, but it also helps them envision a new future through shared understanding with the participants.

The Japan Foundation invited eight young designers active in ASEAN countries and one Japanese designer to the Rikuzentakata area of the Sanriku region, which was damaged in the Great East Japan Earthquake. During twelve days from 1-12 December 2015, a Designers in Residence program called “Door to Asia” was held for the first time.


Eight designers from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia and one Japanese designer participated in communal life in residence for the twelve days. Anchor Coffee, Ishiwatashouten, Yagisawa Shouten and Three Peaks, companies in the Rikuzentakata area of the Sanriku region, collaborated with the designers.

The nine designers were given work experience in local companies’ stores and factories and discussed various issues that came up through communication. The designers devised and proposed communication designs such as corporate logos, websites and package designs based on their ideas of what would sell in their own countries. This succeeded in identifying the potential for designs that can contribute to the region and the role of designers backed by recovery from natural disasters, a common issue for Asian countries.


Take a look at the DOOR to ASIA website and download the programme report to see what the design collaborations generated.