Third round of judges / Final judging.

Creators, experts, media and critics that represent the design world of Japan serve as the judges.
Presidents of the DSA and JCD serve as the chairman and vice chairman of the award committee.

Special judges (in random order and titles omitted)

  • Keiji ASHIZAWA


    Keiji Ashizawa founded his studio Keiji Ashizawa Design in 2005.
    With an emphasis on craft, the studio designs architecture, interior to furniture through the motto of 'Honest Design'.
    His works range from domestic and international architecture and interior projects, along with designs for furniture manufacturers such as Karimoku Furniture and Audo Copenhagen. He is also the representative of Ishinomaki Laboratory, a furniture brand that was born from the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The brand now has local partners in more than ten countries who manufacture and sell the products in their local workshops around the world.

    Recent projects include TRUNK (HOTEL) YOYOGI PARK, The Conran Shop Daikanyama, Blue Bottle Coffee Qiantan Café (Shanghai) and BELLUSTAR TOKYO, A Pan Pacific Hotel.

    He has received national and international awards including the 2021 Monocle's Best Restaurant Design Award with Masu Restaurant, 2023 Dezeen Award Short List / Home Interior with Hiroo Residence. He also served as a judge for the Good Design Award in Japan and the iF Design Award overseas.

  • Astrid Klein

    Klein Dytham architecture (KDa) and co-founder

    Born in Varese, Italy, Astrid Klein is a partner at Klein Dytham architecture (KDa) and co-founder of PechaKucha with Mark Dytham. After working at Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects, Astrid and Mark established a multidisciplinary office in Tokyo in 1991, focusing on architecture, interior design, and installations. Representative works include Daikanyama T-SITE (2011), Ginza Place (2016), Hoshino Resorts Risonare Nasu, PokoPoko Clubhouse (2019), toggle hotel, suidobashi (2020), Cartier Shinsaibashi Boutique, Osaka (2021). The office has won numerous international awards, including D&AD, World Architecture Festival, Design for Asia Grand Prize, and two Dezeen Awards in 2021.

  • Ed Ng

    Co-Founder & Principal at AB Concept

    One of Hong Kong’s foremost creative designers, Ed Ng is one-half of multi-disciplinary international design studio ab concept alongside co-founder Terence Ngan. Born and raised with both Asian and Western influences in Hong Kong, Ed’s formative years shaped his design principles and aesthetic, enabling him to understand different cultures and fuse them together in his design approach.

    Over the past two decades, Ed has crafted innovative spaces for prestigious clients in luxury hospitality, wellness, and F&B sectors. Collaborations with brands like Four Seasons, Rosewood, Mandarin Oriental, Waldorf Astoria, and Ritz Carlton highlight his commitment to excellence and innovation at AB Concept.

    Inspired by the serene beauty of the Japanese Alps, Ed currently resides in the hills of Karuizawa. Ed remains deeply engaged in the global design landscape, leveraging his experiences and insights to shape the future of contemporary interior design.

  • Tetsuji KURODA

    UDS Ltd. President / CEO

    Born in Kobe in 1977 and raised in Tokyo. Graduated from the Department of Architecture at the University of Tokyo. Joined Kengo Kuma & Associates after graduation. In 2005, commenced employment at Urban Design System Ltd. (now UDS), undertaking planning and development tasks. From 2008, contributed to the development of Toranomon Hills at Mori Building Co., Ltd., focusing on revitalization and area management centered around Shin-Tora Street. Returned to UDS Ltd. in October 2015, assuming responsibility for planning domestic and international projects. Held current position since April 2020.

  • Ryu KOSAKA

    A.N.D. Nomura Co., Ltd. Chief Design Officer

    Born in Tokyo in 1960, Ryu Kosaka is a graduate of the Musashino Art University's architecture department. He joined Nomura Co., Ltd in 1985 and is currently the Chief Design Officer of Creative Division and the head of Aoyama Nomura Design.
    He has designed the award-winning "The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu," a former elementary school building transformed into a hotel; the restaurants, guest rooms and common areas of "THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL"; the JAL Sakura Lounge (Haneda International Airport); and W Guangzhou FEI (Guangzhou, China), which won a total of eight awards and nine titles, including the first Japanese winner of the "Best Bar" grand prize in the bar category of the prestigious international awards "Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2014" in the UK.
    He has designed many high-profile restaurants, hotels, and residences in Japan and abroad, and is currently expanding his activities beyond interiors to include architecture and private residences that he has designed.
    He is also a part-time lecturer at the University of Tokyo's Department of Architecture, and has given numerous lectures and served as Deputy Director of Japan Commercial Environmental Design Association since 2017.

    Selected Projects
    2023  TIAD, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION(Nagoya, japan) 
    2022  The Hall by Louis Vuitton Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li
         BLUE NOTE PLACE(Tokyo, japan)
    2021  Shinsho-an (Kyoto, Japan)
         LE CAFE V Louis Vuitton Tokyo Ginza Namikidori
         (Tokyo, Japan)
    2020  THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL (Tokyo Japan)
         LE CAFÉ V, SUGALABO V Louis Vuitton Maison Osaka
         Midosuji (Osaka)

  • Yasuhiro SUZUKI


    After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University in 2001, he created a video installation "Perspective of the Globe Jungle" (2001) using the "Globe Jungle" playground equipment in a park, and "Blinking Leaves" (2003), in which paper leaves with open and closed eyes are drawn on them, blinking and falling into the space. These works are fresh and new approaches to the memories and experiences that we all have. "Zip-Fastener Ship," in which the ship's wake opens up oceans and rivers, and "Apple Kendama," which transforms the earth's gravitational pull into "play," are examples of artworks that use familiar industrial products as a medium to connect humans and nature from new perspectives. Major solo exhibitions include "Neighborhood Globe" at Art Tower Mito in 2014, "Spontaneous Garden" at the Hakone Open-Air Museum in 2017, and his first solo exhibition at an overseas museum in 2021 at the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art in Haifa. Major international exhibitions include the Seville Biennale 2008, Setouchi International Art Festival 2010, and the 4th Moscow Biennale. He exhibited as a representative of Japan at the 1st London Design Biennale 2016. He received the Mainichi Design Award 2014. His major public artworks include "Quantum Apples" (Towada Art, Center) and "SHIBUYA HACHI COMPASS" (Shibuya City). Professor at Musashino Art University. Senior Visiting Researcher, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo. Member of The Japan Design Committee.

  • Junji TANIGAWA

    Space Composer / Branding Producer

    Born in 1965. Establishes a spatial creative company: JTQ by 2002. Handles various industry's events, commercial spaces, revitalization of local communities, branding a creative city and utilizes "the Synergestic Branding" under the belief of "Transmitting a message of media that made of the space.". Advocates his own method of space development "Space Compose" and his experienced designs that is combined an environment issues and a situations, has attracted attentions from various industries. As main projects: Kansei Japan Design Exhibition at Museum Decorative Arts in Paris, Commemoration of the 1300 Anniversary of Heian-kyo capital at Nara "Hikari Emaki", NIKE WHITEDUNK, GINZA SIX Grand opening ceremony, LEXUS Store Design Master Plan, meme nippon project "Yakushi-ji Temple Hikari Kyouya ~inori~", Digital Green City project, Smart City Maebashi Architect, and community revitalization project advisor, among others.

  • Jun NAITO

    CEO and Representative Director, PARADE Design Firm
    Creative Director & Producer

    Initially joined DENTSU INC. in 1985. After assuming the head of the Event & Space Design Department, he spearheaded the formation of DENTSU LIVE INC. in 2017 by separating the event space division from DENTSU. He held the position of Vice President and Executive Officer/Chief Creative Professional until 2022.
    In January 2023, he established PARADE.
    He boasts an extensive portfolio and network in orchestrating large-scale events, exhibitions, showrooms, facility development, and expos.
    His recent prominent projects include the planning and production of the Tohoku Rokkon Festival (2011–2016), acting as the Creative Director for the Mizkan Museum (2015), serving as the Exhibition Producer for the Japan Pavilion at the Milan International Exposition (2015), and fulfilling the role of General Producer for the Japan Pavilion at the Dubai International Exposition (2021).
    The Japan Pavilions were awarded the Gold Award (1st prize) consecutively at both the Milan and Dubai Expositions by the BIE (Bureau International des Expositions).
    With an aim towards events like the 2025 EXPO, he is dedicated to the “creation of real experiential value”, striving to advance and future-proof the event and space domain.

  • Kaname MURAKAMI

    Editor-in-Chief of WWDJAPAN

    Born in Shizuoka Prefecture, Kaname Murakami pursued a specialization in the education of children with disabilities at Tohoku University’s Faculty of Education. Upon completion, he embarked on a career with Shizuoka Shimbun, a local newspaper, serving as a crime reporter in the social affairs department. Due to personal reasons, he resigned and relocated to New York, USA, where he furthered his education in Fashion Communication at the State University’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). His career trajectory continued to ascend as he gained editorial assistant experience with two magazines before returning to Japan. Upon his return, he joined INFAS Publications, where his roles have included managing tie-ups for WWDJAPAN, overseeing the launch desk for WWDBEAUTY, and serving as the editor-in-chief of FASHION NEWS. Currently, he holds the position of editor-in-chief of WWDJAPAN, where he is responsible for orchestrating the editorial content across both the print and web media platforms.

  • Naomi YAMAMOTO

    CEO, NY4 Co., ltd. / Specially appointed professor, Tohoku University

    Since joining Shiseido in 1987, Naomi Yamamoto has consistently produced in display, spatial, product, and communication design. After serving as Creative Director for global projects in Tokyo, New York, Beijing, and Shanghai, Yamamoto was successively appointed Executive Creative Director and General Manager of the Advertising Department, Managing Director of the Creative Division, and Chief Creative Officer of Shiseido Co., ltd. In 2022, Yamamoto established Shiseido Creative Company as a subsidiary and became the CEO and the representative.
    She focuses on global branding, brand identity, corporate communications, and CI management. Now, she is involved in several projects for new brand development, business revitalization, DE&I activities, and cultural inheritance, creating new values through beauty and nurturing the next generation.

Judging Committee Chair

  • Hidehito IZUHARA

    President, Japan Design Space Association; Senior Planning Director, Tanseisha; Space Producer; Part-time Lecturer, Komazawa Women's University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Living Space Design

    Born in Tokyo in 1960. He has been involved in a wide range of business planning and concept design in the fields of large-scale commercial facilities, entertainment environments, hotels and resorts, exhibitions, and medical spaces, using his unique "scene-making" design method, in which he perceives space not as a 3D visible form, but as a scene, and programs emotional elements (sound, scent, light, conversation, transition of time, stories, etc.) of that scene. He has been involved in business planning, concept development, and design direction in a wide range of fields, including large-scale commercial facilities, entertainment environments, hotels & resorts, exhibitions, medical facilities, and spaces.
    Representative projects: Planning and comprehensive environmental direction for Tokyo Disney Resort "Ikspiari", concept development and comprehensive commercial environment direction for "Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No. 2", concept development and comprehensive commercial environment direction for the International Expo "Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No. 2", and design direction for the International Expo "Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No. 2". Expo 2005 "EXPO 2005 AICHI JAPAN" exhibition design direction and architectural lighting design, Yokohama Motomachi Shopping Street design and town rebranding, Sapporo Grand Hotel and Park Hotel rebranding and comprehensive design direction, and the rebranding and rebranding of the Sapporo Grand Hotel and Park Hotel. Rebranding and comprehensive design direction for the Sapporo Grand Hotel and Park Hotel, etc.

Judging Vice Chairman

  • Shigeru KUBOTA

    President of Degins JP Inc. / Chairman of Japan environmental Design association(JCD)

    1969 Born in Tokyo Japan
    2003 Established Kubota Architects and Associates Inc.
    2023 Change company name to Degins Jp Inc.
    Planning, design producing, and design work has covered a wide range of categories including architecture, interior, products, and so on. The famous works are The WAREHOUSE, Galaxy HARAJUKU, MERCEDES-BENZ CONNECTION, Café 1886 at Bosch, METoA Ginza (Mitsubishi Electric’s Showroom), HIYORI CHAPTER KYOTO HOTEL, etc. We won many prizes, MERCEDES-BENZ CONNECTION, Imabari Towel Minamiaoyana, UT (UNIQLO T-Shit Store) and more.

First and second round of judges.

Judges are specialists who are well-versed and experienced in spatial design.

*This year's judges will be announced on this page as soon as they are decided.

◼️ Second round of judges

Full-time Jury

Group A Jury

Group B Jury

Group C Jury

◼️ First round of judges

Group A Jury

Group B Jury

Group C Jury

※ The second jury (group jury) will also serve as the first jury.
※ Please note that the jury is subject to change. We ask for your understanding.