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 Co-founder and Representative Director
Chiaki Hayashi

New Years' Greetings from Loftwork Inc.

The members of the Shibuya Office.

The members of the Kyoto Office.

Happy New Year! We look forward to working with you in the coming year.
Here we present New Years' Greetings and Resolutions from the Management Team.

From Mitsuhiro Suwa

The birth year of Loftwork Inc. was 2000, so 17 years ago.
At that time the principle scientist of Lycos (that's a nostalgic name), Dr. Michael Witbrock, predicted that keyboards and cables would one day cease to exist. The use of cables has certainly gone down (Apple… you've gone too far… it's hard to listen to music). But I'm writing this draft using a keyboard.

A: Engineering, Technology, and Science. I'll call these three things“A”.

Engineering is like the way people carry themselves. It matures and sometimes overestimates its own abilities. When it overestimates itself, accidents happen.
Technology is a collection of human expertise. When society begins to overemphasize technology a naturalist counteraction occurs and people turn their backs on technology.
Science is both the laws by which nature is understood and a language. Scientists are continually seeking to explore further and further reaches of nature. Many scientists have gone quite far from the realm of our daily lives to a place with very loose ties to reality.

However, this“A”has always been an important“driving force”or us and it will continue to be so. Anyone who objects to this idea must either be quite the religious type or a hippie. (That's right, you're a hippie! In a good way, though.)

B:Design, Creativity, and Art. I'll call these three things“B”.

“B” is in contrast with “A”.These three words, with close ties to originality, have been with us from time immemorial, much like “A”. “A” has, for the past 160 years since the Industrial Revolution, been stressed as a power to produce value and profit. On the other hand, for the past 10 years, “B” has suddenly become an essential power for advancing innovation. They also hold similar problems.

Believing too much in design brings out arrogance in a person and leads them to forget communication and technology, leading to results not being produced.
An overemphasis on creativity leads to difficulty in taking concrete action. Many ideas that seem to be new are actually on a path we have already tread. Unlike technology, creativity is not a "collection" and that leads to its own difficulties.
Artists have a knack for finding issues to tackle. However, the solutions they present are also artistic in nature and often have no sense of time frame. They, much like scientists, sometimes find themselves far removed from our daily lives.

Engineer, Technologist and Scientist. Designer, Creator and Artist.

Suddenly, we find ourselves gathered with a quite diverse variety of people on our projects. It is becoming more and more necessary to tackle issues with a diverse set of abilities. Recently, we have researched with dancers and musicians and even seen members encounter Japanese projects in Africa.
The works ofKenpoku Art 2016, in which engineers brought the ideas of artists to life, and those of the YouFab Global Creative Awardare good examples. A biolab was created in Shibuya and came to coexist with a university research laboratory.

People often wonder when a “singularity” will occur but, in reality, little singularities are occurring all the time. Every year we think "This will be the year!" and this will likely continue to repeat itself.

I did a lot in 2016 but maybe it was a little too under wraps. In 2017 I'd like to work a little more on the surface. I'd like to encounter new people and gain new knowledge.

I look forward to interacting with you all in this new year.

Mitsuhiro Suwa, President and CEO

From Chiaki Hayashi

Metamorphosis、It's Time to Transform

"Loftwork Inc. is quite "perverted" (Japanese- "hentai") recently, isn't it?"

One of our stock holders, Hiroaki Kitano, said this upon hearing our performance results during the stockholders' meeting held at the end of 2016. "Are you calling us perverts!?," we asked, flustered. "The Japanese word "hentai" has many meanings. What I meant was "metamorphosis." Transformation and evolution!" he replied, laughing.

I see, it must be time Loftwork Inc. went through a change. Certainly, I've finally got a feel for what business is as well as something like a feeling that we've moved into the next phase. But, even if this is the case, what is it that we are transforming from and to what are we transforming?

It's been 16 whole years since our formation in 2000. Looking back on our activity as a company, we were always focused on a "Network of Creators." The creative portal "loftwork.com." The digital creator cafe, "FabCafe." With the world as our field, we have connected with creative colleagues and together performed a number of experiments to expand our creativity.

And now, FabCafe has grown to become a one of a kind creator network run by incredibly talented creative leaders. Thanks to the projects at Ishigaki island and Echigotsumari in which local assets were rediscovered and put to use, we were able to coordinate with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and receive support from more than 50 companies.

When I look at it this way, it seems that our aim has shifted from the creation of networks to the value and impact which those networks can produce. Our metamorphosis may be the emerging from the chrysalis of the creator network and transformation into value creation professionals. Sometimes I feel as if taking 16 whole years to transform may be too long but I suppose there are some caterpillars who quickly become butterflies and others who go about the process more slowly. This kind of diversity in lifestyle shows the tolerance and luxury of this world.

The world I see before me has expanded more than ever before. I feel that it is almost time to spread our wings and fly and that feeling is quite exciting.

Chiaki Hayashi, CEO

From Tomohiro Yabashi

At the end of the work year for 2016, while basking in unseasonably warm rays of sunlight, I'm going back through the New Years' greetings from the beginning of the year.

"Dealing with the changes and trying to bridge the paradigm."
In actuality, there have been changes on a global scale which I never could have predicted at the beginning of the year, such as Brexit and the United States presidential election, as well as changes on a more local scale, perhaps because of the coming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, such as the birth of new communities and the development of new areas and services.
Large companies have also began creating "places" in which free and open communication can take place.

Manufacturers, financial institutions, universities, municipalities, government authorities……
2016 was a year which began to ask the question of how all sorts of organizations would face the changes which had begun to take place.
It was a year in which Loftwork Inc., as well, kept in close contact with this activity.

Even as the world begins to talk about "The Era of the 100 Year Life Expectancy,"
Loftwork Inc. had a team member recover from a sudden, serious illness.
I also came face to face with the passing of one of my college classmates.

I'd like to take in the movements of the world with a wide perspective, from a high vantage point and over a long span,
and to reaffirm what it is that I can
and must do right now to use my time to the fullest.

To those with whom we work on projects together,
Loftwork Inc. won't just do what we're told to this year.
We will each do what we must, change what we must
and proceed as we must as we see fit as individuals.

I, along with our members, will continue to work diligently to produce projects which will bring about comments such as,
"I'm glad to have encountered Loftwork Inc."
and "I'm glad to have been able to work with Loftwork Inc."

I look forward to working for and with you all again this year.

Tomohiro Yabashi, Board Director and CMO

Extra - Writing of New Years Resolutions

Here at Loftwork Inc., we write out our New Years' Resolutions at the first big meeting of the year.
Everyone at our Shibuya and Kyoto offices, even those who just joined the company that day, wrote out their resolutions!

Author

 CEOMitsuhiro Suwa

Mitsuhiro Suwa is the Co-Founder and President of the new-style creative agency Loftwork Inc. In 2000, with the aim of making a new infrastructure for creative talents, he started up the creative network "loftwork.com." Using his own experience working as a creative director, he is developing "loftwork.com" into one of Japan's greatest creative infrastructures. In recent years, he has put a lot of energy into giving seminars and lectures, and writing materials on the topic of the effective use of Web platforms. He was born in San Diego, US, in 1971. After graduating from Keio University's Faculty of Policy Management (SFC,) he took part in the start-up of the FM radio station established by JapanTimes, "InterFM" (FM Inter-Wave Inc.) He contributed to the radio station as the first creative director. After this creative task, he went to the US in 1997, and after majoring in Digital Arts at the School of Digital Arts, worked as a designer in New York. He established Loftwork Inc. in the year 2000.

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