About / Profile

Profile of Shin-ichi Takemura (anthropologist, media designer)
Professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design,
Director of Earth Literacy Program,

Prof. Shin-ichi Takemura, the inventor and director of “Tangible Earth”, is a media producer known for his numerous cutting-edge IT-driven social activities, along with propounding his incisive views on global environmental issue as an anthropologist. Prof. Takemura is engaged in the development of social information platforms, or what he calls “social-ware,” with the Earth Literacy Program, an NPO that he runs as a base for his activities.

In 1996, he produced an online virtual pavilion “Sensorium” for the very first online Internet World Expo. The concept of the website is “the visualization of living earth”, such as Breathing Earth : animation of earthquake events based on the real data compiled through the internet (http://www.sensorium.org/index.html ). This site won the Golden Nica prize, the grand prix in the Internet division, at the Arts Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria in 1997.
The concept of the site was extended and described as “Sense-ware”/”Social-ware” in the thesis presented at INET’98 conference in Geneva. http://www.isoc.org/inet98/proceedings/7g/7g_1.htm

In 2002, Prof. Takemura conceived the world’s first multimedia globe, the “Tangible Earth”, which won the Gold Prize of Good Design Award, Japan in 2005. This world’s first interactive digital globe has been exhibited at Toyako G8 Summit (2008), COP15 “Bright Green” event (2009 at Copenhagen), TED-Tokyo in 2009, COP10:Bio-diversity conference at Nagoya(2010), and permanently installed at NEMO (the national science museum in Amsterdam), Experimentarium (Copenhagen), the National Museum of Natural History (Tokyo), etc.


Since 2002, he launched projects utilizing mobile IT : the “Ubiquitous Museum” in Onomichi, Tokyo, Kyoto, etc. Since 2003, he produced the “Candle-Night for millions”, a lights off, energy conservation movement to call attention to the global environment. In 2008, Prof. Takemura won great acclaim for his presentation on global media design titled “Designing a Global Window” at INDABA design conference in South Africa.

As a conceptual director, he was engaged in “Water” exhibition (2007) and “Kome (rice)” exhibition (2014) at 21_21 design site, Roppongi Tokyo.



Since “3.11” great earthquake and tsunami event in Japan, he has been engaged in the relief/restoration project in Tohoku (north-east) area and in the scheme design for the future disaster risk reduction as a committee member of Reconstruction Design Council of the Japanese government (Prime Minister’s office). Currently Prof. Takemura and ELP serve as a communication design consultancy for UNISDR (United Nation International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction) and produce a “tablet/ smart-phone” version of Tangible Earth called “GfT”.

Share on Facebook