200 People Sowing the Seeds of Creativity

The Building Services Design Section Tries Out Poster Sessions

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On December 11, 2015, the Building Services Design Section held poster sessions within Nikken Sekkei Ltd. This section is in charge of a wide range of elements in facility design, including the air conditioning, electricity, lighting, acoustics, and plumbing in buildings. It is responsible not only for facility design but also the important work of proposing solutions for environment- and health-related issues and the like.

Instead of one genius’s idea, how about 200 people’s observations?

These poster sessions began in 2015, and it was still only the first time the event was held. Why was this even attempted?
Below, Susumu Horikawa, principal of the Building Services Design Division Section, discusses the intention behind them.

“Nikken Sekkei’s prime asset is people. There will be no future unless all employees raise their intellectual productivity. Having all of the roughly 200 people belonging to the Section think up new ideas not directly related to their current work will improve their intellectual productivity as individuals. It will also enable employees to inspire each other and notice things. Naturally, this is not just about getting employees active but also about exercising the awareness of sowing creative seeds that could develop into major business for the company.”

Mr. Horikawa also mentioned the significance of integrating the ideas that everyone has come up with.

“The approach of having someone at the top come up with ideas and pulling everyone else along might be outdated. With the approach ‘Instead of one genius’s idea, how about 200 people’s observations,’ there is a higher possibility that answers to what consumers feel are the problems will be obtained. As a result, this will lead to client satisfaction. This project attempts to demonstrate that possibility.”


Points of view on environmental consciousness are changing.

Of the 200 ideas that were generated, the ideas that were popular, based on the participants’ vote, are introduced here.

・Plumbing for women-friendly offices 
This idea incorporates theme colors and acoustic facilities in plumbing and the like to create spaces where women can clear their minds and recharge.
・Using current waveform analysis to apply electrical equipment isolation technology to commercial buildings
The title is complicated, but the idea is simple: reduce the meters that measure building power consumption and combine them into one.
・Proposal for better sleep environments and new downtime spaces
This idea involves using design technology to improve air conditioning, lighting, acoustics, humidity and the like to provide pleasant sleep environments for hospitals, hotels, etc. 

Various other ideas were proposed from different angles. What was noticeable overall was that points of view on environmental issues and consciousness are changing substantially. A decade ago, environmental consciousness was focused on global warming. Now, however, it is also focused on issues that have individual benefits, including health, sleep, and water environments.

In a few years, the day will likely come when the seeds of the ideas that emerged in these poster sessions will actually sprout, grow, flower, and bear great fruit.

  • Susumu Horikawa

    Susumu Horikawa

    Senior Director

    Susumu Horikawa joined Nikken Sekkei in 1984 after earning a master’s degree in environmental engineering at Waseda University’s Department of Architecture. He aspires for environmental and MEP design excellence by integrating architectural design into the urban environment, efforts that are reflected in projects such as Kobe Customs, Amami Hospital, the KEPCO Building, and Shogakukan Building. These have resulted in accolades from The Japan Institute of Architects (JIA), The Society of Heating, Air-Conditioning and Sanitary Engineers of Japan (SHASE), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and others. As a promoter of sustainability, he supports the green strategies of local governments and other companies, and is working to make Nikken Sekkei carbon neutral. Mr. Horikawa aims to create strategic proposals on the environment and information, a key area for future society.

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