Without doubt, the times are moving in the direction long-advocated by PAOS.
More than forty years have elapsed since this paradigm came into being, which may seem a considerable length of time, but, throughout, PAOS has adhered faithfully to our belief in design's potential, and the countless achievements and successes that we have accumulated through our practice now constitute a singular reserve of experience, resources and know-how even, perhaps, in global terms.
PAOS is a company that evolved from a gathering of Waseda University's Design Research Association volunteers who sought to continue the research they had begun in their student days. We are often referred to as a prototype student venture, and yet we haven't pictured a big success in the venture business. Looking back over the past forty years or so, however, it is possible to assert that PAOS has remained true to a "theory that design is indispensable" – our founding belief – across all our research and practice.
This is because design has the potential to shape corporate management and, moreover, should be destined to become a vital element in sustaining and improving the aesthetic consciousness and social infrastructure of people, in creating cultural, social and environmental values.
Our desire to verify this belief through our practice has carried us forward to the present day.
PAOS does not adhere to the creation of individual designs for individual projects, a tenet based on the doctrine of authoring original works. Our long-term ambition remains to demonstrate the collective strength of "visible and invisible design" – its research, planning, production, management, operation and development, in other words, the coordinated and systematic contribution to corporate management that can be made through design ideas and methodologies.
As a result, PAOS has submitted a wide array of proposals to its clients, proposals that have encompassed everything from the creation of corporate creeds to brand strategy systems, basic and developmental design to business strategy proposals, and promotion of contribution measures for culture and social welfare, and our practical achievements have demonstrated, beyond question, the manifold possibilities of design.
PAOS Group Representative
photo by Hideki SHIOZAWA
In the days when productism and the concept of bottom-line theory held sway, PAOS' ideas on design were held by many to be eccentric, but times have changed, and the pendulum is swinging on an inevitable trajectory towards "aesthetic management", i.e. beautiful designs and intellectual property rights.
Both companies and government agencies are being asked to devote themselves to their roles as cultural organizations and to be good public citizens and advanced players in the service and hospitality sector at the same time. It is such value-based considerations that have taken us into the age of advanced management.
We hope that this website will provide insights on the history of this unique design consultancy, in short, the ideas and successes that make PAOS what it is today.