We have decided to cancel the Kyoto Biennale International Exhibition of City and Design 2020, which was scheduled to be held from Friday, March 27 to 29th "KYOTO Shaping the Future – Urban Dietary Landscape". In view of the recent spread of new coronavirus infections, we have given top priority to the health and safety of the participants and related parties. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

While Kyoto is known as a historical city that inherits its rich tradition, it has also been providing visions of the future for each era throughout the 1,200 years of its history. Being surrounded by mountains on three sides, boundary of Kyoto has often been defined on various levels, and the interaction between the center and the periphery has been a fount of innovation. KYOTO Design Lab (D-lab) of Kyoto Institute of Technology is one such platform that sits on the periphery of Kyoto, overlooks the whole of the city, and makes proposals for social redesign with various collaborators. In KYOTO Shaping the Future, a project that centers around a biennale, D-lab presents a vision for a future city and proposes a logo design that symbolically shows streets extending from Kyoto to its periphery.


The theme of the very first exhibition is “Urban Dietary Landscape”. Eating is a fundamental human behavior that sustains life, and the circumstances surrounding food have played an integral role in shaping the city and environment that people live in. For this exhibition, the circulation structure surrounding Kyoto’s food has been researched from the historical point of view. Then, combining this research and cutting-edge technologies, a vision of a future city that stems from food is proposed.


While various changes in natural environment, society, and city have been observed since the Heian period, what part of these changes contributed to shape the food of Kyoto? The exhibition features a model that is approximately 15 meters in diameter and placed at the center of the venue. Then, a film is projected on the surface of this model to show the changes in urban space, as well as the relationship between food and the city. The installation bases off of the four key words, Kyo-yasai production, water, distribution, and market, and offers an experience of daily activities and changes in the city.


Food Shaping Kyoto exhibits the results of collaborative research and workshops conducted since 2015 in Kyoto. This project explores how food and its material flow have shaped the city’s culture and design, its physical fabric and architecture. “Food Shaping Kyoto” was exhibited with and at the Vitra Design Museum in June 2019. 

The exhibition introduces the design process of 100% silk clothes that has low environmental impact and accommodates various types of needs, along with the results of material experiments. The design process utilizes the cutting-edge technology that transforms silk, a material that has long been the foundation of Kyoto’s weaving technology, into a gel-like and sponge-like form. This technology, combined with digital fabrication methods, enabled the manufacture of clothes entirely made of silk.


After investigating the emerging needs of food brought about due to various changes in the environment, we envision the food culture of the near future and develop technologies and services that facilitates its realization. In this exhibition, we introduce the developed scenarios, prototypes and videos.

The act of eating involves not only the actual food intake but also the interaction with the physical environment such as architecture and garden. Through the five-year research project jointly held with the landscape program led by Professor Christophe Girot of ETH Zürich, we have conducted 3D scanning and sound recording of the gardens and urban areas of Kyoto. Then, we reconstructed the data collected in this unique manner to make films. For this exhibition, these data archives were reedited to recreate, in films, the environment that responds to the act of eating in the context of the spaces and places in Kyoto.


Related Exhibition

Waraku-an Cyber House Project

The project recreates Youkan(Western-style building) of Waraku-an into a “living architecture” using advanced technology. It includes several subprojects, such as “Alive Architecture”, which automatically generates suitable indoor music from environmental information collected from inside and outside of the building, “Takeda Goichi Generator”, which uses AI to revive Mar-Hoff style of Takeda Goichi, architect who worked on Waraku-an, “Skin of Waraku-an”, which creates interaction between the building and people by embedding conductive fiber in the inner walls, and “Higoma Restoration Project”, which repairs and restores degraded building materials using digital fabrication technology.


Venue: Miyako Messe 3rd Exhibition Hall B
Address: 9-1, Okazaki Seishojicho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto


- Tozai Line "Higashiyama station" 8min. on foot
- City Bus alight at "Okazaki Koen Bijutsukan / Heian Jingu-mae, "Higashiyama Nijo / Okazaki Koen-guchi" or "Okazaki Koen ROHM Theater Kyoto / Miyakomesse-mae"

Kyoto Biennale: International Exhibition of City and Design 2020
KYOTO Shaping the Future - Urban Dietary Landscape

Data and Time: 10:00 - 19:00, 27 - 29 March 2020 (Open at 13:00 on 27)

Venue: Miyako Messe 3rd Exhibition Hall B
Address: 9-1, Okazaki Seishojicho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Organizer: KYOTO Design Lab, Kyoto Institute of Technology

Co-organizer: Executive Committee of KYOTO STEAM - International Arts × Science Festival -

Collaborators: Shadi Rahbaran & Manuel Herz, Chair Girot (D-ARCH) ETH Zürich

Energy Technology Laboratories, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. 

Exhibition Content Design: OKADA Eizo, IWAMOTO Kaoru, MIZUNO Daijiro,               KINOSHITA Masahiro and MIYAKE Takuya [Kyoto Institute of Technology]
Exhibition Architectual Design: TAKEI Makoto and MITSUDA Eisuke [Kyoto Institute of Technology]
Art Direction: NISHIMURA Yuichi + TSUNASHIMA Takuya [Rimishuna]

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© 2019  by KYOTO Design Lab.