2020 has seen us reinvent cross-cultural experiences through remote programs. While it has been difficult to connect physically, embracing connectivity through online platforms has increased possibilities and expanded opportunities.

We have been fortunate to host a 20 day virtual screen and design industry project program in collaboration with a number of highly respected creative partners from Japan. This year’s investigative theme is “Memory & Materiality”.

The ease of being able to connect virtually has meant we have been able to run a rich and rewarding program for selected students, connecting with a range of highly inspiring guest speakers and experienced professional workshop leaders that have guided our students through the project process.


We were very privileged to engage four highly experienced and talented Japan-based professionals to lead our students through their projects.

While we were still in lockdown in Melbourne and unable to meet physically, our workshop leaders in Japan were facing a rise in COVID-19 cases as well and had become used to collaborating online. They held workshops with our students every second day on Zoom throughout the program, guiding them through concept and prototype development, alongside providing in-depth feedback through online critique sessions.

Design students were guided by Miho Tanaka and Alvaro Arregui, while Film, TV and animation students were guided by Sumito Sakakibara and Yusuke Horaguchi.

Guest Speakers

Maria to insert some amazing text about the incredible guest speakers here

Hiroyuki Murase (Suzusan)
The Murase family has been hand-adorning fabrics using traditional and complex techniques for over 100 years. Hiroyuki Murase, the oldest son, has combined his design education with his family’s craft to create ‘Suzusan‘ haute couture lighting and accessories.

Kota Abe
Kota Abe specialises in Design and Cultural Anthropology. Heworked at Hiromura Design Office from 2009 to 2018 and then developed projects in São Paulo focusing on the street cultures in Brazil. Abe has since returned to Tokyo to start his own studio.

Miyo Sato
Miyo Sato is a freelance animator and illustrator with an interest in children’s literature. Her specialist area is paint-on-glass, a technique that allows the materiality of paint to produce rich organic effects.

Hidekazu Hirai (Peace Graphics)
Hidekazu Hirai is the Art Director and lead designer for Peace Graphics based in Nagoya, Japan. Peace Graphics are a multi-award winning design studio that have received global recognition for their work exploring materiality and tradition through contemporary graphic interpretation.

Yuri Suzuki (Pentagram London)
Suzuki’s practice explores the realms of sound through designed pieces that examine the relationship between people and their environments, questioning how both music and sound evolve
to create personal experiences.

Silas Hickey
Silas Hickey is Senior Director, Animation Original Production & Development, Asia Pacific for Cartoon Network, based in Tokyo. Suzuno Koichi (Torafu Architects)
Torafu Architects employ a working approach based on architectural thinking. Projects include a diverse range of products, from architec-tural design to interior design for shops, exhibition space design, product design, spatial installations and film making.

Shukou Tsuchiya,
Shukou Tsuchiya, an award-winning Master of Nanboku Suiboku ink painting and stain artist, explores beyond traditional Suiboku ink painting. He collaborates with luxury brands to perform live painting. Dr Stevie Suan
Stevie Suan holds a doctorate from the Graduate School of Manga Studies at Kyoto Seika University and a masters in Asian Studies from University of Hawai‛i at Mānoa. His main area of expertise is in anime aesthetics through which he explores various modes of existence.

Sumito Sakakibara
Simito extends his ideas about repetitive motion as a means of reaching a state of “flow”, akin to rhyming in rap. It could be seen as a perpetual “pre-state of being” drawn from a single painting, as keyframes are animated over a few seconds frame by frame.

Project Outcomes

Maria to include some amazing text about the incredible project outcomes here… Link to edited YouTube video of the students work will be included on the left (or maybe large underneath).