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