STARTS Prize Exhibition

Ambient Weaving

Hosoo Co., Ltd. (JP) , Yasuaki Kakehi Lab, The University of Tokyo (JP), ZOZO NEXT, Inc. (JP)

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Honorary Mention STARTS PRIZE ’22

„(…) fabrics that change in real time as if they were breathing, interwoven with their surroundings. The fabric changes gently in response to light, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, and other factors in the space, enabling people to wear a natural environment.“
Excerpt from the statement of the jury

In its pursuit of beauty for over 1,200 years, with its distinctive structures and design, HOSOO’s Nishijin textiles have a rich history of pushing innovation by incorporating technology. This research project named Ambient Weaving aims to complement this by experimenting with the use of Nishijin textile as a medium for representing characteristics taken from the surrounding ambient environment. Thus, Ambient Weaving refers to creating new ways in which environments can be expressed and experienced by interweaving information from the surrounding atmosphere into textiles.

In this joint project, artists, designers, engineers and craftsmen have developed a series of prototypes of novel textiles based on Nishijin methods together with the company. Each textile changes its appearance over different time frames, influenced by or interacting with environmental changes.


Hosoo Co., Ltd (JP) was founded in 1688 in the old city district of Nishijin in Kyoto, Japan. Since then, HOSOO has been in business both as a weaver and kimono curator. Masataka Hosoo (JP) is the President and CEO. Hiroshi Kanaya (JP), Kotaro Uchibe (JP), and Naotoku Yasuta (JP) are in charge of weaving textiles as artisans.

Yasuaki Kakehi Lab., The University of Tokyo (JP) is an interdisciplinary research group led by the artist and HCI researcher Professor Yasuaki Kakehi . The research group explores the possibilities of physical materials and computing to connect humans and the environment and creates advanced physical interfaces and media art works.

ZOZO NEXT, Inc. (JP) is a subsidiary of Japan’s largest fashion online commerce company, working primarily on projects in the field of research and development with the goal of pioneering the future of fashion. Satoshi Nakamaru (JP) works as a Material Scientist, and Kotaro Tajima(JP) leads the department.


Hosoo Co., Ltd., Yasuaki Kakehi Lab, The University of Tokyo, ZOZO NEXT, Inc.

Hosoo Co., Ltd.: Masataka Hosoo, Hiroshi Kanaya, Kotaro Uchibe, Naotoku Yasuta
Yasuaki Kakehi Lab., The University of Tokyo: Yasuaki Kakehi, Yumi Nishihara, Hitomi Kuboki, Juri Fujii
ZOZO NEXT, Inc.: Satoshi Nakamaru, Kotaro Tajima
Exhibition Design: Kumiko Idaka, Rurihiko Hara, Takayuki Suo, Yugo Minomo

The STARTS Prize has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 956603.

The Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan / Bunka-cho Art Platform Japan