KUKAN DESIGN AWARD is the only and the largest spatial design award in Japan.
The role of design is changing with issues imposed by increasingly complex society, and is expected to create various spatial values with completely new approaches. Kukan Design Award aims to create the foundation for the whole design industry and inspire social circulation and valuable activities along with new discoveries and creation. The purpose of Kukan Design Award is to express the power of spatial design by introducing excellent design with high values from Japan to the world on a periodic basis.

Japan Design Space Association
Japan Commercial Environmental Design Association
The Nikkei


Creating new values of spatial design and building a creative society will lead to the enrichment of people's lives and society.


By finding outstanding designs and excellent designers and introducing them to the world, we will expand new possibilities of spatial design.



Graphic design is two-dimensional and spatial design is three-dimensional, however functional design of both can be regarded as ‘four-dimensional’ integrating the fourth dimension ‘time’ such as aging, customer traffic line and the spirit of the times. In case of spatial design including towns and cities, for example, impression of a place when it is busy with tourists and when it is not is different. This is because change of time in the tourist season affects the shape of spatial design, which proves that space, cities and architecture are four-dimensional after thorough investigation.
The logo of “JAPAN KUKAN DESIGN AWARD” is designed on the basis of this idea, using a Chinese character of ‘four’ in four-dimensional as a motif. Although the number ‘four’ is sometimes considered bad luck in Japan, it used to be a character representing ‘cities’ in China. The number ‘eight’ used in the character of four means emperor, and it is said to denote an emperor in the center of the city in the four cardinal points. The logo is formed by a combination of two rectangles in the golden ratio (*1) and the silver ratio (*2). The lines adapted from the Chinese character ‘eight’ in the rectangles abstract spatial design (four-dimensional design) symbolically.
The style of the logo has an extremely simple design so that the winning work of “JAPAN KUKAN DESIGN AWARD” stands out. Although it is simple, the space between the letters was elaborated to create a deep impression.

*1 Golden ratio…Ratio of rectangle discovered in the beauty of nature in ancient Greek, whose proportions are perfectly balanced.
*2 Silver ratio…Ratio as esthetic as the golden ratio, which is also called ‘Yamato-hi’ frequently used in Japanese art and buildings.

Issei Kitagawa/GRAPH

Representative director of GRAPH. Born in 1965 in Kasai city, Hyogo prefecture.
Member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale) and jury member of NY ADC and D&AD Awards. Received many awards including TDC Awards and JAGDA New Designer Awards.
He has been exploring technology to produce "printing which cannot be thrown away" and proposing "what the design should be as management resources” from the perspectives of both managers and designers, which attracted diverse clients from local small and medium-sized enterprises to international luxury brands. "Henn-na Hotel" which he took charge of its naming and branding received a certificate from Guinness World Records as "the world's first hotel run by robots" in winter 2016.

Major exhibitions

Frieze Art Fair (London)
The 281st Exhibition - Issei Kitagawa, Ginza Graphic Gallery (Tokyo)
Tokyo Graphic Passport, Centre Pompidou (Paris)
GRAPH Exhibition, Creation Gallery G8 (Tokyo)

    This is the beginning of the Kukan Design Award.

    Various awards held by DSA and JCD have merged to give birth to Japan’s most prestigious spatial design award.

    There are infinite possibilities within the obscurity of the word “space.” As time goes on, the skills and abilities a designer must have become diversified. Over time, new concepts of values are born. Design associations’ mission is to restructure the environment into a better place where such concepts can be expressed and presented. It’s also essential to promote the design’s “now” not only throughout the country but also across the border and pass it down to later generations. Now, we cross over the borders of associations to begin a new Design Award, to start a new page in the history of spatial design.

    We are looking forward to your participants.

    Shigeru Kubota、Shigechiyo Suzuki
    Shigeru Kubota、Shigechiyo Suzuki