21_21 Design Sight is a design-focused museum in Akasaka, Tokyo in  and just next . The museum was created by architect Tadao Ando and fashion designer Issey Miyake and opened its doors in March 2007. The rather unusual name was derived from the idea that perfect sight is described as “20/20 vision” in English, and the name hints at the fact that looking beyond the present to the future is essential to the design process.

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT. (2022, December 10). In Wikipedia. https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/21_21_DESIGN_SIGHT

The museum’s mission is to redirect visitors’ eyes to everyday things and events and create various proposals and communicate numerous discoveries from the design point of view. It is a place for researching the potentiality of design as an element that can enrich our daily lives. The museum’s directors include Issey Miyake, Taku Satoh, Naoto Fukasawa, and Noriko Kawakami, all of whom are renowned in their respective fields.

Design and Architecture

The building’s design and architecture were created by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando whose signature style of using concrete as the primary building material is evident in the design of 21_21 Design Sight.

The building is a two-story structure with one floor below ground and one above. The largest part of the volume is below ground, which is where the exhibition spaces are located. The above-ground level houses the entrance, reception, and a small cafe. The building’s exterior design is inspired by the Nissan Cube car, and it features large steel sheets that reach diagonally down to the ground.

One of the most unique features of 21_21 Design Sight is its use of natural light. The building’s design incorporates a central courtyard that allows natural light to filter into the exhibition spaces below. This natural light creates a sense of openness and warmth that is not often found in traditional museum spaces.

Inside, the exhibition spaces are designed to be flexible and adaptable. The walls are made of movable panels that allow for different configurations depending on the exhibition’s needs. The use of concrete as the primary building material gives the space a modern, industrial feel that is perfect for showcasing contemporary design and art.

Overall, the design and architecture of 21_21 Design Sight are a perfect reflection of the building’s purpose. The building was created to promote Japan’s design culture, and its unique design and architecture make it an ideal space for showcasing the best of Japanese design and art.


px DESIGN SIGHT Interior
21_21 DESIGN SIGHT. (2022, December 10). In Wikipedia. https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/21_21_DESIGN_SIGHT

As mentioned the institution was created by architect Tadao Ando, who designed the building, and fashion designer Issey Miyake. The museum aims to redirect visitors’ eyes to everyday things and events, create various proposals and communicate numerous discoveries from the design point of view.

The exhibitions are therefore varied and change regularly, so you can expect to see something new each time you visit. Some of the past exhibitions have included “Making Things,” which explored the relationship between design and manufacturing, and “The Fab Mind,” which looked at the intersection of design and technology.

One of the most popular exhibitions is “SOU FUJIMOTO: FUTURES OF THE FUTURE,” which showcases the work of architect Sou Fujimoto. The exhibition features models, sketches, and videos of Fujimoto’s projects, and explores his unique approach to architecture and design.

Another recent exhibition was “Nendo: Forms of Movement,” which focused on the work of the Japanese design studio Nendo. The exhibition featured a range of products and installations, including a series of chairs that appeared to be frozen in motion.

Overall, the exhibitions at 21_21 Design Sight offer a fascinating insight into the world of design and architecture and are a great option for anyone with an interest in these fields.

History of 21_21 Design Sight

21_21 DESIGN SIGHT. (2022, December 10). In Wikipedia. https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/21_21_DESIGN_SIGHT

The idea for the museum was born during an exhibition of Isamu Noguchi’s works in New York, where the three visionaries discussed the need for a place to promote and share Japanese design.

The building itself is a work of art, with 80% of the floor space underground to preserve the natural environment surrounding it. The museum’s design asserts itself as a design museum without disturbing the ambiance of the surrounding area. The museum’s exhibits are curated to showcase the best of Japanese design, with a focus on contemporary design and architecture.

Since its opening in 2007, 21_21 Design Sight has become a destination for design enthusiasts from all over the world. The museum has hosted numerous exhibitions featuring the works of some of the most talented designers and architects from Japan and around the world. It has also become a hub for design-related events, lectures, and workshops, attracting visitors from all walks of life.

Impact of 21_21 Design Sight on the Design Industry

Since its opening in 2007, 21_21 Design Sight has been a major influence on the design industry in Japan and beyond. As a research center for design, it gives a platform for designers, engineers, craftsmen, and the general public to come together and share ideas, opinions, and discoveries from a design point of view.

The center’s exhibitions, events, and programs are carefully curated to highlight the possibilities for future design and promote understanding and interest in design. The center’s directors, including Issey Miyake, Taku Satoh, Naoto Fukasawa, and Noriko Kawakami, are highly respected figures in the design industry and bring their expertise to the center’s activities.

It has had an impact on the design industry can be seen in the many designers and artists who have been inspired by its exhibitions and programs. The center’s focus on everyday things and events has encouraged designers to think more deeply about the role of design in everyday life and to create designs that are not only beautiful but also functional and practical.


Information Details
Name (English) 21_21 Design Sight
Name (Japanese) 21_21デザインサイト
Address 9-7-6 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan
Ticket Cost Adults: 1,400 JPY, University Students: 800 JPY, High School Students: 500 JPY, Junior High School Students and younger: Free
Times 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM (Last admission 6:30 PM), Closed on Tuesdays
Website Official Website (English)
Nearby Hotels 1. Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo (1.1 km)
2. Mid-range: Hotel New Otani Tokyo the Main (1.7 km)
3. Budget: APA Hotel Roppongi Itchome Ekimae (0.5 km)
Nearby Attractions 1. Tokyo Midtown (0.2 km)
2. The National Art Center, Tokyo (0.5 km)
3. Roppongi Hills (1.1 km)

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