Event report

September 18, 2017

“Shibuya ‘To Go’ 48-Hour Design Challenge” Report Part 1

FabCafe Global Editorial Team

“Shibuya ‘To Go’ 48-Hour Design Challenge” was a hackathon that ran for two days, from August 26th to 27th, 2017. The aim of the event was to create a souvenir of Shibuya through welfare × digital fabrication! Over the course of two days, it covered ideation all the way to prototyping.

What is Shibuya “To Go”?

Shibuya “To Go” started as part of the lead project for the Shibuya Font project where students based in Shibuya use patterns and characters drawn by people with disabilities who live and work in Shibuya to design and create public data. This year, people with disabilities who use welfare workshops in Shibuya Ward will be working together with design students at Kuwasawa Design School to create products/souvenirs unique to Shibuya. The project is taking place under the direction of graphic designer Laila Cassim and uses the digital fabrication equipment at FabCafe Tokyo.

Pre-event preparations for the hackathon

Fabrication equipment is convenient for prototyping. Both the Kuwasawa Design School students taking part in the hackathon and the staff of the welfare workshops had heard about fabrication equipment, but had never tried using it. This being the case, they all took part in the First-time Fab Class at FabCafe Tokyo and did some trial fabrication using the equipment.

While it is a bit difficult to tell from the photograph, the participants engraved the side of sticky notes.

The process takes just a few seconds. Both the students and the welfare facility staff were impressed.

Scans where also made of artworks already created in Shibuya “To Go” project. Once all the pre-event preparations were completed, the hackathon Shibuya “To Go” 48-Hour Design Challenge was ready to launch!

Day One

The “Shibuya ‘To Go’” 48-Hour Design Challenge hackathon

First up, the aims and conditions of the design challenge for the two-day hackathon were explained by graphic designer Laila Cassim, director of “SHIBUYA ‘To Go.’”

Aims of the hackathon

  • So far, we created art works over the course of two months with artists with disabilities who are also users of welfare facilities. Taking advantage of the special characteristics of these works, we will think about a lineup of new products that can be created using the equipment in FabCafe.
  • Based on the “SHIBUYA ‘to Go’” theme, we will create takeaway Shibuya souvenirs.

Conditions of the hackathon

  • Creation through the use of motifs of Shibuya and artworks that symbolize the Shibuya mood. Must respect the special characteristics of each artist’s unique art
  • To not limit the idea of souvenirs to small objects or Japanese-style objects, but to consider a product lineup based on things like daily life goods, outdoor goods, fashion, or decor items
  • To give the product lineup a name (brand name)

Output to be designed

  • Fonts that utilize characters created by artists with disabilities
  • Three types of pictures and motif patterns + patterns using characters and fonts
  • A product development lineup that uses pictures, motif patterns, and patterns based on characters
  • Product prototyping using Fab equipment (thinking about objects can be made according to the product development described above)

While a considerable quantity of work was anticipated, we were a bit nervous when we considered whether this could really be achieved in two days or not.

The group-based design challenge forged ahead with Laila as the facilitator.

Group work

Procedure for working

  1. Express through one’s work the impression one gets from seeing the pictures and fabrications
  2. Express through one’s work, one’s impression of Shibuya
  3. Decide on a theme using each of these words
  4. Decide on a persona and develop the product

“This picture is a mess.” “This clay is soft.” “Shibuya is lively.” “Shibuya is …”
The project looks for interesting things that make sense for Shibuya or connect with Shibuya and the artworks created by the users of the facilities.
The next step is to decide on a persona and develop the product.

Lalia, Isomura, and the team at FabCafe work together to expand the idea.

The great thing about FabCafe is that you can make what you want to make right away. So now, get prototyping!

Tape bearing the names of streets in Shibuya being outputted using the TAPECREATOR, a machine that makes the production of original tape easy. People with disabilities held an image of the streets in their minds while writing the characters that are eventually used on the tape.

Click here for information on equipment you can use at FabCafe Tokyo

Names of streets usually go by unnoticed.

For example, if you traveled to France and found a T-shirt with the name of a street that you had visited, you might be really pleased.

The project pushes forward with design by switching the viewpoints of creator and buyer.

The project is also mindful of taking advantage of the individuality of facility users who make the artworks. The handwriting, shape, and color are digitized before trial fabrication.

Trial and error goes on, searching for the right solution, before anyone notices that it is already dark outside.

Some teams have created several prototypes, while other teams have thought more deeply about product development. Will production be complete in time for all the teams to present their work?

This is the end of part 1.

In part 2, we will report on day 2 of the hackathon, on the presentations, award ceremony, and on upcoming activities!

-> “SHIBUYA ‘To Go’ 48-Hour Design Challenge” Report Part 2


  • FabCafe Global Editorial Team

    This articles is edited by FabCafe Global.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this article with us.
    Contact us

    This articles is edited by FabCafe Global.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this article with us.
    Contact us

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