Birdhouse Project Chronicle
A birdhouse made by Takeo Owaki (uncle of the executive producer of the Birdhouse Project, Hiroki Yoshino) started it all.
The Birdhouse Exhibition is an outcome of an in-house event by Koizumi Industries (where Mr. Yoshino works) to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The initial concept was to invite architects and industrial designers worldwide to submit their interpretations of futuristic Birdhouses for this event. The first Birdhouse Exhibition, the precursor of the Birdhouse Project was held in June 1993.
Startup of the Birdhouse Exhibition
An Event Outgrown Into A Movement
The first two Birdhouse Exhibitions were a great success. The events were highly regarded by not only the participating architects, artists and designers but also by both domestic and international mass media concerns. An extension of the event was urged by many. By the fall of 1993, Mr. Yoshino, the founder of the event, and his supporters started planning for consecutive events which would go beyond the sphere of Koizumi Industries and involve various public and corporate participants.
Startup of Birdhouse Project
A non-profit organization named the Birdhouse Project is started off in the fall of 1994, under the keywords A 21st Century Living Environment Suggested By Little Birds. XXXX Matsunaga, one of the promoters of the project and a graphic designer representing Japan, designed the project's logo mark. The project headquarters were decided to be in ATC (Asia Pacific Trade Center) Osaka.
Logo mark designed by Mr. Matsunaga
Birdhouses by Space Designers 1
The 3rd Birdhouse Exhibition, started off in the spring of 1996 was indeed the first event run under the Birdhouse Project. The birdhouses for this event were created by designers of space shuttles and extraterrestrial accommodation. Paintings and 3D works were submitted by elementary school students. Lectures sessions in elementary schools ended up in a plethora of basic questions regarding space.
Birdhouses by Aerospace Industry Designers 2
The Birdhouse Exhibition was held at ATC and 7 other locations, mostly public facilities, nationwide. Support was provided by the Environmental Agency and local governments. The Mino City event was marked by washi paper birdhouses made by local participants as well as those from NASA.
The Birdhouse Project was introduced on TV, various magazines ( e.g. Suddeutsche Zeltuno) and newspapers worldwide. It was featured on Asahi Newspaper's January 1st edition as the ideal environmentally sound activity. The motive behind the project had become accepted as socially beneficial.
Birdhouses by Airport Designers 1
Ever since the 4th Birdhouse Exhibition, held in spring 1998, new activities were added such as handing out kenaf plant seeds to visitors at event sites.
ATC (Asia Pacific Trade Center)Held in Osaka for 1 month with 3,013 visitors
Birdhouses by Airport Designers 2
The Birdhouse Exhibition held in Benesse House, Naoshima Cultural Village by the Seto Inland Sea, featured various games played by parents and children (nostalgic games and nature games).
Naoshima Cultural Village Benesse HouseHeld in Naoshima-cho Kagawa Pref. for 1 month with 3,800 visitors
For the Coming Generation
Lectures were also given at local elementary schools, high schools and universities in an effort to expose as many people as possible to the importance of environmental preservation. This outgrew into a new phase of the project, Birdhouses Created By Students.
Birdhouses by Car & Yacht Designers
In the spring of 2000 the Birdhouse Exhibition featured birdhouses made by car and yacht designers. The theme chosen for this event was "The Earth Is Our Nest". The main location of the event was Osaka Environmental Industry Promotion Center, also known as the ATC Green Echo Center. The Birdhouse Project has since this event placed priority in creating a network between environment-related corporations and researchers.
New symbol designed by Seitaro Kuroda
Kitakyushu Expo2001, where the Birdhouse pavilion opened under the theme "The Earth is our Nest", focused on the environment. During the event, the birdhouse design competition for students mainly from Asian countries was held at the environment museum. Through the event, we met many friends from neighboring countries who support the Birdhouse Project. They have set up the BHP secretariat in their own country and started their activities. By connecting the many circles of activities, we are shaping out Earths future environment. The Birdhouse Project networking is happening as we speak.
In 2002, a newly organized Birdhouse Project is reintroduced as a non-profit organization (NPO). As commemoration, we held a Birdhouse exhibition and symposium at Nakanoshima Central Public Hall in Osaka. Among the invitees were Mr. Tadao Ando, Mr. Shinya Izumi, Mr. Shohei Fukui, and Mr. Scott Howe.
Birdhouses by Artificial Intelligence Designers
In 2004, we held exhibitions for birdhouses created by artificial intelligence designers at Plaza21 Kansai( Ebie, Osaka) and Plaza21 (Koishikawa, Tokyo).
LOHAS Design Week 2006
The Birdhouse Project took part at the LOHAS Design Week 2006 where we were also nominated for and won the Special Award. We exhibited newly designed birdhouses created by museum designers along with other works. The event was held at Tokyo Marubiru (1F lobby) and the Japan Television building.
2008 Hampyeong Butterfly Insects World Expo
For 45 days starting from April 18th 2008 in Hampyaong, South Korea, the 2008 Hampyeong Butterfly Insects World Expo was held. It was a great success with 1.3 million visitors. The Birdhouse Project exhibited all birdhouses from the past including the newest series designed by space designers in our vast pavilion. This exhibition was operated and managed by our volunteer staff in Japan and South Korea. During the holidays visitors waited in a long line just to enter the pavilion for the Expo.
Italian Creative Works "Dwelling of Life" Exhibition
In a joint venture with the Italian Cultural Institute in Tokyo, we held an exhibition for creative works by Italian designers with the theme "Dwelling of Life." We also inaugurated our first Birdhouse Café, similar to the Science Café for scientists, where the general public can discuss with creators and experts about the future of the Earths environment. Our first forum was themed "our living space, the earth as a birdhouse", and was followed by a workshop on how to make our visions a reality.
2008 Birdhouse in Shanghai: Birdhouse Created by Students Exhibition
With the concept "Agility on Harmony," the Shanghai World Expo focused on the harmony of "Man and Nature," "History and Future," and "Mankind." This became a platform for interactions and exhibitions for an urban architecture that coexists with the most advanced environment on earth. On the scene, the Birdhouse Project aimed to pursue collective activities with the host country China and ultimately with people around the world. As a first step towards our pursuit, from November 29th to December 13th 2008, we held our first exhibition of "Birdhouse Project in Shanghai" at the Mori building, Shanghai World Financial Center, so called "Vertical Synthetic City" and "Universal Environment City."