BASF inspires Tama Art University students to create innovative designs using plastics

Posted on October 27, 2015
TAMARA Art BikeSkateboardDesign Student
    Students of Tama Art University create design ideas for vehicles with BASF’s high performance plastics
    Public display takes place at DAIKANYAMA T-SITE in Tokyo, Japan from November 13-15, 2015


Tokyo, JapanOctober 27, 2015Plastic materials are increasingly becoming the material of choice for designers. A number of innovative product designs developed by students from Tama Art University using BASF’s high performance plastic materials will be showcased from November 13-15, 2015 at the DAIKANYAMA T-SITE in Tokyo, Japan. These product designs include a stylish bicycle, a shopping cart, and a children’s pedal car. 


For this initiative, Tama Art University partnered with BASF’s design platform in Japan, designfabrik® Tokyo. “By linking the network of industrial designers and educational institutions with customers, designfabrik® Tokyo serves as a source of inspiration for ideas and a hub for cross-disciplinary know-how exchange. The partnership with Tama Art University allows us to help designers today and tomorrow crystallize their ideas by maximizing the potential of materials and providing creative and highly-unique solutions,” said Toshifumi Tanakai, Vice Director, designfabrik Tokyo, BASF Japan. 


Under the theme of “Gyro-centric Design” (non-movable wheeled products), nine students enrolled in a product design course conducted by Professor Hideki Tanaka, developed innovative product designs using BASF’s versatile plastic materials. The BASF materials used included high performance plastics with differing properties, such as Ultramid®, Ultrason®, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), expanded thermoplastic polyurethane expanded (E-TPU), and Ultracom®. These materials are lightweight, durable, easy to process, as well as resistant to abrasion, chemicals and heat. Each of the individual design projects is based on one or several of the versatile material characteristics of BASF’s high performance plastics. In this way, the design projects demonstrated the wide array of possible applications of the materials and their ability to meet designers’ inspirations as well as challenges to respond to market demand for innovative, energy efficient and durable products. 


“By carrying out this joint project with BASF, we have learned more about high performance plastics and their many applications. The students who participated in the project are ambitious and aspire to become product designers. By acquiring knowledge of modern plastic materials, I would like them to be able to master the materials and translate their creative ideas into reality,” said Professor Hideki Tanaka of Tama Art University. 


Since 2013, BASF and Tama Art University have partnered to promote academia-industry collaboration through joint projects for the product design course in the university’s Department of Product and Textile Design. Tama Art University aims to train national and international designer talent who pursue the potential of design that maximizes the characteristics of a wide array of materials. Through designfabrik® Tokyo, BASF offers expert advice on color, material, and finishing. 


About Tama Art University 


In 1935, Tama Imperial Art School was founded in present day Kaminoge, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo. The Faculty of Art and Design moved to its current campus in Hachioji in 1971, and now, the University will celebrate its 80th anniversary.Tama Art University aims to engender students with a strong sense of culture corresponding to the international community, working to enhance and advance the content of its educational research with the purpose of training artists, designers and education researchers capable of contributing to a modern society. Product Design majors relate to the design of all the things people encounter in their lives, including automobiles, motorcycles, home appliances, audio/visual devices, mobile phones, furniture, shoes, handbags, baby products, musical instruments, games, sports equipment, cosmetics, packages and more. When designing such products, one needs to study a variety of viewpoints. This includes basics such as form and function, as well as specialized knowledge for production and manufacturing. Working through a variety of challenges over four years, each and every student will improve their ability to think and express themselves, as well as their human qualities, in ways that suit their desired profession. Our aim is to foster world-class, independent designers. 


About designfabrik® Tokyo 


designfabrik® Tokyo was established in BASF Japan's Yokohama Innovation Center in October of 2014 as a location that offers an environment where industrial designers and engineers can utilize BASF's know-how regarding materials, particularly high-performance plastics and polyurethane, and can provide support to the development of new applications. It supports the selection of materials by designers when creating products, and creates together with customers CMF (color, material, finishing) solutions for materials used in the design process. In July 2015, designfabrik® Tokyo collaborated with an industrial designer and representative of KEN OKUYAMA DESIGN, Mr. Kiyoyuki Okuyama, to create an original wine cooler using BASF's polyamide resin. 


About BASF 


At BASF, we create chemistry – and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world’s leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of over €74 billion in 2014 and around 113,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at 

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