Hakuhodo to launch UNIVERSITY of CREATIVITY in spring 2020

Dec. 16, 2019
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A learning platform that transcends traditional boundaries between industry/government/ academia, as well as between humanities/arts/sciences, to cultivate human creativity as the capital for creating the future

Tokyo—December 16, 2019—Hakuhodo Inc. is pleased to announce the establishment of UNIVERSITY of CREATIVITY (UoC) in spring 2020. By collaborating with academics and creators from various fields, UoC will welcome participants of all expertise to research, experiment with, and apply human creativity to sculpt future society.

For over 125 years, Hakuhodo has been dedicated to generating new value for society through creativity in advertising and marketing. Given the game-changing impact of digitalization through artificial intelligence, big data, and smartphones, we believe that it is now necessary to reconsider the meaning and potential of human creativity. Based on this belief, UoC will be established as a lifelong learning platform to understand and cultivate human creativity, and apply it to address the social issues of today.

UoC will serve as a platform with three core formats: Mandala, dialogue with diverse specialists to cut into themes of next-era creativity; Research & Play, in-depth exploration of creativity by researchers and creators from industry and academia; and Future Sculpture, collaboration between corporations, governments, and academia to fuel new cultural movements.

Importantly, UoC will be a learning platform open to participants of all backgrounds. UoC’s Akasaka campus (Hakuhodo Inc. HQ, Akasaka Biz Tower, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo) will be specifically designed to encourage serendipitous encounters among participants. UoC research programs will also run at many places in the world through social projects.

In preparation for the official opening, the UoC team is currently engaged in program design, initiation of research, recruitment of creators and researchers, and campus construction. The team is united in making UoC a vortex of creativity where all participants can share the excitement of reshaping our future.

UoC campus image

UoC website: https://uoc.world/ (English version coming soon)



What is left for humans in this computational world?
I believe the answer is Creativity.

Creativity is a complex subject that has not yet lent itself to extensive research, due to its non-verbal and multidisciplinary nature. This is precisely what we will do at UNIVERSITY of CREATIVITY: holistic experimentation, discussion, and planning, to understand the undefinable beast that is Creativity.

Around the world, there are many outstanding universities of arts and design schools, but none of these institutions seem to focus on creativity as an asset to remodel the structure of our world. To accomplish this is one of our biggest challenges.

Of course, we are not vain enough to believe that creativity can be easily understood and quantified. But when we reframe creativity as a source of value creation inherent in every individual, surely creativity has the power to inspire all businesses, governments, local communities, and schools with new ideas. Creativity is a celebration of humanity and is fundamentally connected to the joy of living.

“We are all born creative.”
This is my belief. What is impeding our creativity? Or, rather, how can we foster a more vibrant and beautiful society with creativity?

UoC will open next spring; first and foremost, I would like it to become a funky place full of people from diverse backgrounds. UoC will not be your usual university, with entrance examinations or graduation ceremonies. It will be an interesting mix of new collisions. Take a deep breath, and let’s wake up the monsters in us.

Kentaro Ichiki


Kentaro Ichiki
Senior Creative Director, Hakuhodo Inc.
Founder, “WHERE ART and SCIENCE FALL IN LOVE” Laboratory
Organizer, Fermentation Future Forum
Kentaro Ichiki is Senior Creative Director at Hakuhodo, and Founder of the design lab, “WHERE ART and SCIENCE FALL IN LOVE,” which forges new realms of creativity by converging scientists, engineers, programmers, architects, musicians, and artists.
As a creative director with expertise in growing corporate brands and government initiatives, his focus expanded to advancing social agendas with design thinking. Kentaro’s projects include “Tokyo River Story”, which redesigns the city’s riverside culture as arteries for future urbanization through collaboration among industry, academia, and government. He also leads the “Jozo (Fermentation) 2050” project, which advocates the construction of the “Silicon Valley of Japanese Cuisine” to evolve Japanese gastronomy scientifically and artistically with traditional food & sake brewers. As Editor in Chief, Kentaro crystallizes thoughts and designs in the “WHERE ART and SCIENCE FALL IN LOVE“magazine, which is known as an avant-garde medium, uniting technology and emotion, and Japanese tradition and future.
Kentaro holds a BA from Hitotsubashi University and an MFA from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. His work has been recognized by multiple awards, including Rookie and Newcomer awards from the Japan Advertising Agencies Association and Tokyo Copywriters Club, respectively. He has served as a juror for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, ADFEST, and Clio Awards. Kentaro was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2014.

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