Transforming Tokyo: Co-creative towards a better city

A public experimentation space for society and forward-looking policy: the new project of Futurelab Co-Director Hideaki Ogawa.

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Hideaki Ogawa, Co-Director of the Ars Electronica Futurelab, is the new Creative Director of Civic Creative Base Tokyo (CCBT): a new creative center that combines art and digital technology, bringing together society and politics. CCBT is funded by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government – with the clear aim of infusing artistic and social ideas into policy making and transforming Tokyo into a better city with this inspiration and innovation.

To do so, a new initiative has now been unveiled, a project for creative social experimentation: “Co-Creative Transformation of Tokyo (CX): Transforming Tokyo into a Better City Through Creativity and Technology.” According to Hideaki Ogawa, this complements the digital transformation already happening across Japan with creative transformation. It addresses crucial questions such as “What is a human being?” and “What is society?” The basis for CCBT is the philosophy of “Art for Society.” Creativity should be at the service of people and show ways of solving social challenges, from quality of life and the environment to digitalization.

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CCBT is also an important project for Manabu Miyasaka, vice governor of Tokyo, who, as former CEO of Yahoo Japan, has been instrumental in the region’s digital transformation. The goal for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Miyasaka said, is to leverage citizens’ creativity and participation to inspire new policy approaches that could lead to innovations born out of Tokyo. Digital and creative transformation must converge, and the concepts of art and design must be incorporated into government administration, Miyasaka said. At the same time, more people should be able to participate in Tokyo’s growth as a city.

As an example of how art and technology can be in public hands and inspire an entire region, Hideaki Ogawa pointed to Ars Electronica, which belongs to the city of Linz, in all its facets: from the museum of the future to Prix Ars Electronica and Ars Electronica Festival to the Ars Electronica Futurelab. CCBT is conducting the largest art incubation program in Japan, with a budget of up to ten million yen (approx. 64,000 euros). In addition to open calls for artists, programs open to the public are planned to provide citizens with a new kind of education for the future in uncertain times from AI to climate change. Detailed information was provided at the symposium “Making Tokyo More Creative, Making Tokyo Better” with (from left to right) Hideaki Ogawa, Manabu Miyasaka, Maholo Uchida (Director, TAKANAWA GATEWAY CITY, Center for Cultural Innovations Project, East Japan Railway Foundation for Cultural Innovations) and artist Etsuko Ichihara:

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