Academic Field of Architecture + Design

At the foundation of our academic field of Architecture and Design is the primary focus of Kyoto Institute of Technology at its establishment: the study of industrial arts. In the 2014 academic year, the Architecture Program and the Design Program in this academic field were reconfigured, to enable our graduates to lead innovations in space use, sensibility, and outcomes in a forward-looking manner. In these programs, students are encouraged to think globally and develop abilities only obtainable in Kyoto. The educational concept of these programs is called [Kyoto Design]. [Kyoto Design] develops student abilities to:

  1. implement design to change lifestyles building on lifestyle traditions and innovative thinking (Hybridization);
  2. revive and create value in a forward-looking manner in Kyoto, a city marked by its sustainability (Regeneration); and
  3. establish new businesses in a borderless manner characteristic of Kyoto, a city continually generating and developing knowledge of global significance (Catalysis).

Based on this design concept, we foster human resources who can approach the environment from both spatial and temporal perspectives and from that, envision and create a better future.

Today, there is a need for a shift from a flow-oriented society characterized by mass production and mass consumption to a stock-oriented one which makes wiser use of resources. To this end, we look to architecture students to learn not only the techniques of building new structures but also to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to think about the kinds of structures they should create or revive if they are to contribute to the creation of a sustainable society.

Drawing upon examples of architectural education provided by graduate schools in Europe and the United States, where cities are rapidly becoming stock-oriented, our new programs emphasize design in addition to the engineering technique instruction conventionally taught at KIT. Furthermore, to keep up with the rapid globalization of the construction industry, we provide instruction in architecture that focuses on the development of global human resources who can work in a variety of international settings. To that end, the Architecture program offer two sub-programs. One is the Architecture and Design Sub-program, whose main emphasis is on the globalization of business activities. The other is the first program of its kind of in Japan to instruct students in Urban and Architectural Reconstruction and Revival, a sub-program which specializes in reviving and revitalizing existing buildings and cities.

Meanwhile, with information technology innovation and economic globalization, come increasingly complex social networks and constant change in what constitutes value in our lives. Such 20th-century design paradigms as “object-centeredness” and “shifting from objects to events” have become obsolete. What we design today are the “experiences” of ordinary people and the “sharing” of those experiences. In response to these changes, it has been necessary to reorganize our design education curricula in a way that transcends the conventional disciplinary borders in a forward-looking manner, to meet the needs of the 21st century.

In applying manufacturing and engineering to design, the Design Program now offers two pathways; the Design Sub-program, which develops human resources capable of creating future value through new methods and the Value Creation Sub-program, which trains specialists, in the past and present value of works of design, art, and architecture from historical and theoretical perspectives. These specialists learn to present the process of new value creation through exhibitions. While these sub-programs form a striking contrast with each other, they are mutually complementary in the chronological continuity they share from past to present, from their perspectives of theory and practice, and of creation and sharing. These two approaches are enabling us to construct a new design education framework.

Academic Programs