a-wa-i | in-between

Dissertation | 2021

Persons with disabilities and their families have acted for their independent and vivid life in the postwar era in Japan. Although their effort improved their situation, many people cannot still change their mindsets that persons with disabilities are ‘unfamiliar’ and ‘unhappy’. A civic organisation in Japan, Tanpopo-No-Ye has led Able Art Movement, encouraged people with disabilities to live vividly by using art expression, and created inclusive cultures in their ways. This paper aims at how designers can intervene in the current situation and help to create inclusive cultures in Japan, with examining such activities, other stakeholders' situations and design trends.

  • Disabilities
  • Inclusive Cultures
  • Everyone Is a Designer
  • In Between
  • Design Attitude

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Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Historical Perspectives to persons with disablities in Japan
  • Around ‘Able Art Movement’
    • Art Brut and Outsider Art; emerging ‘marginal’ art genres
    • Tanpopo-No-Ye and Able Art Movement
    • Spreading Able Art Movement
  • The cases of other stakeholders
    • Thae case of goverments
    • The case of for-profit companies
    • The case of ‘Able-bodied’ persons
    • Summary
  • Design approaches towards more serious and complicated challenges
  • How can design experts intervene with the current situation?
    • Design attitude?
    • For civic organisations
    • For governments
    • For companies
    • For individuals
    • Towards inclusive cultures in Japan
  • Conclusion