Inspired by the belief that "designers have an important role to play, but (that) the development of design theories and methodologies, which are understandable and acceptable, for management also constitutes a key aspect of design work," Motoo NAKANISHI, the founder of PAOS, entered Waseda University with a view to conducting research on this topic having completed studies at the Kuwasawa Design School. NAKANISHI recruited students from all faculties and embarked on developing the activities of the "Design Research Association".
Convinced that a major university such as Waseda should set up a center for design education, NAKANISHI proposed to university administrators that they establish a Waseda University Design Faculty. Centering around the precept of "teaching future political, business, government and educational leaders to understand and make the best use of design," this innovative idea caused quite a stir and was featured in a number of magazines.
"Design Policy: Corporate Image Formation" (co-written by Ryuichi HAMAGUCHI and Motoo NAKANISHI; Bijutsu Shuppan-sha, Ltd.), Japan's first book on the subject of corporate identity was published this year. At the invitation of Mr. Ryuichi HAMAGUCHI, a leading critic of architecture and design, in the book, NAKANISHI provided factual commentary on the management policy + design combination, documenting fourteen companies who were at that time renowned for the excellence of their image designs.
This year witnessed the development of the TDK Design Manual, Japan's first handbook on controlling brands and designs. At the time, Tokyo Denkikagaku Kogyo (or TDK Electronics Co., Ltd., the predecessor to TDK Corporation) was a little-known mid-ranking company. Details of this ground-breaking manual were featured in contemporary magazines, marking the first use of the DECOMAS (Design Coordination as a Management Strategy) moniker in the field of design. TDK was the first Japanese company to use an English trade name.
NAKANISHI started up a design office with the help of Hiroyuki KOMATSU, Fumio KITA and Yoshimitsu KUROKAWA, three of his juniors at Waseda University. They christened the company "UP Design" in view of its location at the end of a long flight of stairs on the roof of a shabby five-storey building in Koenji (Tokyo). None of UP Design's founders thought that the business would be a lasting enterprise; it was simply intended to be an experiment.
UP Design's outstanding and, for the time, exceptional planning and research capabilities resulted in an unexpected development: presented with UP Design's blue tax return (the tax form for businesses), the local tax officer advised the design office to incorporate and Nakanishi's thoughts turned to the establishment of a joint stock company.