In order to develop the local crafts and industry of Gifu Prefecture in Japan, we invite designers from around the world to join our competition.

JAN KEN PON, an ancient hand game of rock-paper-scissors, symbolizes both the spirit, theme and the categories of this competition. We are seeking designs of small objects used by the hand, made from paper, wood, ceramic and/or metal. Sponsors consist of the Gifu Government, and leading local Gifu industries, where your designs will be considered for future prototypes.

The day had arrived to finally chose the winners for the Jan Ken Pon: In Our Hands design competition. With 110 entrees from 18 countries, the competition has turned into a truly global collection of new ideas and designs.

The Jan Ken Pon “In Our Hands” competition is sponsored by the Gifu Prefecture of Japan, and IDNF. Gifu has been active in promoting design throughout the Japanese and American design community by support and work along with IDNF. For this new World Design Competition, several notable figures from the Gifu Prefecture local industries were present to witness the remarkable collection of works received.

The theme, Jan Ken Pon is a traditional Japanese hand game, signifying paper-rock-scissors. A popular game with all children throughout the world, in this competition we requested a design, functional and fitting in the the hands.

Jury at American Craft Museum, NYC
(From Left : Eric Chan, Tucker Viemeister, William Hamilton, Torsten Brohan, Susan Szenasy)

The judging process took approximately 3.5 hours, with careful studies of each entry by each judge. The selection was conducted first by the process of elimination. Each judge chose their top favorites, and after the entrees were chosen down from 109 to approximately 20 or so, the fun, lively debate per each design began. Active discussions on the designs for marketing stretegies, product trendds, branding needs, customer perceptions, cultural trends and to ecological needs of the manufacturing, use and reuse of the products.,were some of the elements discussed brfore the final selection were made.

Award Ceremony
November 6, 2000
St. Peters Church, New York City

Award Winners

Grand Prize :

Not Awarded

Second Prize $5,000 (2) :

Shino Ida “Knitting Bag” Japan

Melonie Higashi “Tactile Learning” Canada

Third Prize $2,500 (1) :
Honorable Mention $500 :
Grenier Fleur “Paperweight” England

Benz Peter “Rubber Cup“ Germany

Honorable Mention $500 : Honorable Mention $500 :
Temjen Longri “Breeze” India

Chihiro Hamamori“Feeling the Water”Japan

Manufacture Recognition Awards $500 :
Metal : Bogdan Zoltan
“Brooches Thawed Metal” Hungry

Paper : Lacchetti Giulio & Nozaki Tatsu
“Furoshiki” Italy

Wood : Ronkko Aame
“Airbase” Finland

Ceramic : Gen Ito
“Cut” Italy

The Jury

Winners were chosen by internationally renown judges.
David McFadden (Chief Curator, American Craft Museum & IDNF Chairman),
Tucker Viemeister (Executive Vice President razorfish & IDNF President),
Eric Chan
(Ecco Design & IDNF Board),
Susan Szenasy (Metropolis Magazine & IDNF Board),
William Hamilton (The New York Times, House & Home), and
Torsten Brohan (Broehan Art Inc., Design Historian).

Representing Gifu:
Koichi Koyama, Chairman, Gifu Paper Design Assoc.
Kyuue Kakohashi, Chairman, Gifu Pottery Design Council
Katsuhiko Hasegawa, Chairman, Gifu Cutlery Design Assoc.
Hitoshi Kitamura, Chairman, Gifu Woodwork Design Assoc.

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