Welcome to #SPAN16, Google Design’s annual conference exploring the connections between, and conversations around design and technology. This year, we livestreamed our events in both Tokyo and Los Angeles, so that people everywhere could enjoy the day. In celebration of the Tokyo event on October 6, we put together a handy cheat sheet—three things you might like to know about each of our speakers plus all the talks from the day.

スパン(#SPAN16)へようこそ。スパンとは年に 1 回、デザインとテクノロジーの関係を探り、対話を重ねる Google Design 主催のカンファレンスです。今年は、世界中の皆様にもお楽しみいただけるよう、東京ロサンゼルスの両都市で行われたスパンの模様をライブ配信でお届けいたしました。また、10月6日の東京での開催を記念し、講演内容とともに各登壇者について三点、ポイントを分かり易くまとめました。


SPAN Tokyo Schedule
You can now watch each of our speaker's talks by clicking "play video" below.

Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham | play video
Klein Dytham Architecture

PechaKucha | play video
Throughout the day, we hosted short-form talks in the classic 20x20 PechaKucha style (see Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham above).

Eiko Nagase | play video
AQ Design

Toru Kase | play video
Art Director

James Riney | play video
500 Startups

Ryoichi Tsunekawa play video
Type Designer

Bin Sugawara play video

  • Debuted his poetry in 2011 with a collection titled Naked on a Veranda, the Rabbit and his Minx, published by PRE/POST books.
  • Sugawara writes a regular poetry series for the publication Brutus.
  • Sugawara hosted “Public Readings to Make You Go to Sleep” at the Zojoji Temple in Tokyo, a grand Buddhist temple built in 1393.

Sato Shintaro | play video

  • Shintaro’s “Tokyo Twilight Zone” series captures a unique view of the city at night, with long exposures shot from fire escapes.
  • He started out as a staff photographer for Kyodo News.
  • “I’m fascinated with the colors and light at night,” says Shintaro. “I think in these pictures we can see everything—whereas in daytime maybe we cannot.” Read more in this interview with Japan Exposures.

Motohiro Inaba | play video
Traditional Japanese Confectioner


Kotaro Watanabe | play video
Takram Director and Context Designer

  • A creative agency based in London and Tokyo, Takram specializes in everything from hardware and software development, to architecture and digital art, as well as organizational communication and education.
  • Takram is the branding director for Morioka Shoten, a tiny bookstore which sells only one book at a time.
  • Shenu: Hydrolemic System is a prospective gadget Takram designed to help humans survive in a post-apocalyptic world where water is scarce.

Material Design Panel play video
Designers from Google talk about what’s next for Material Design. Get to know a little bit about each of the panelists by checking out some of their writing and speaking engagements:

Mike Tyka play video
Engineer, Artist

  • Tyka joined Google in 2013 to study neural networks, both artificial and natural. He explores the possibilities of artificial neural networks for creating art.
  • Inspired by the human nervous system, artificial neural networks are computer programs composed of units that receive and send information. In contrast to conventionally programmed computers, these networks are trained to infer what to do on their own, a process known as machine learning.
  • In 2009, Tyka and a team of artists created Groovik’s Cube, a functional, 35-foot-tall multi-player Rubik's cube.

Naohisa Inoue | play video

Keiichi Tanaami play video

  • Keiichi Tanaami was born in Tokyo in 1936 and graduated from Musashino Art University.
  • In the 1960s he started making psychedelic animation, silkscreen, cartoon-like illustration, collage, experimental film, painting, and sculpture.
  • Tanaami’s work is deeply influenced by the nightly hallucinations he experienced both after the World War II firebombing of Tokyo, and during a four-month hospital stay when he was recovering from pleurisy in 1981.

Panel on Publication Design | play video

  • Lucas Badtke-Berkow, creative director of Paper SkyPaper Sky is a lifestyle and travel magazine. In addition to the publication, Paper Sky has an active club culture as part of its brand including five groups—mountain, bicycle, food, book, and Japan—which meet several times a year in various locations throughout Japan to highlight the country’s rural communities. Paper Sky also started an online travel shop.
  • Joanna Kawecki, editor-in-chief of ChampChamp is a biannual magazine based in Tokyo and London, focusing on “curiosity and investigations into creativity and cultural insight,” and features art, language, architecture, fashion, poetry and prose.
  • Kiyonori Muroga, editor-in-chief of IdeaIdea magazine is a quarterly publication based in Tokyo, focusing on graphic design and typography.

Craig Mod
Note: Video of this talk is not available.

Yo Shimada | play video

  • Yo Shimada founded Tato Architects in 1997.
  • The kanji character for Tato, 外 (pronounced “soto”), means outside or outsider, referencing Shimada’s perceived status as an “outsider” architect.
  • Shimada makes star-shaped structures out of Post-it notes, that can be stacked and layered in a number of ways.

Yuri Suzuki | play video
Sound Designer

Masamichi Udagawa | play video

  • Masamichi Udagawa co-founded Antenna Design in 1997, with Sigi Moeslinger.
  • Antenna has worked on a variety of transit designs—including subway cars—for New York City’s MTA and Washington DC’s Metro.
  • Prior to founding his studio, Udagawa worked as a product designer for companies like Yamaha Product Design Laboratory, Apple and Apple's Advanced Technology Group, as well as Ideo.

Deyan Sudjic play video
Curator, Writer


The best way for guests to channel all the inspiration from SPAN was to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. Workshops weren’t filmed, but you can still get to know what our workshop leaders are all about.

  • Pop-Up Portraiture with illustrator Mariya Suzuki
    Mariya Suzuki is perhaps best known for her site-specific drawings, which are often rendered on discarded paper coffee cups.
  • The Art of Correspondence with Mail Artist Ryosuke Cohen
    Ryosuke Cohen started his mail art project Brain Cell in 1985.
  • Fabrication Design with Akiko Moriguchi of FabCafe Hida
    FabCafe, referring to both fabrication and fabulous, is a place where people can come together, get inspired, and use digital fabrication tools such as laser cutters, and 3D / UV printers. There are branches all over the world including Tokyo, Barcelona, Toulouse, and Singapore.
  • Game Design with art director Masahiro Kakinokihara
    Kakinokihara, an art director at 10inc., co-created the hexagonal card game Rocca Spiele with Trulie Okamocek.

After Party
Hip Tanaka
Composer, Sound Designer
Note: Video of this event is not available.

  • Hirokazu “Hip” (or sometimes “Chip”) Tanaka is a prolific composer and sound designer who created the musical scores for various Nintendo games including: Super Mario LandDr. MarioMetroidKid Icarus, and Tetris among others.
  • Tanaka has been president of Creatures, a video game development company (and part owner of Pokémon), since 2001.
  • He has been in a number of rock bands, including the Shampoos. Check him out on Soundcloud.
Thought Leadership SPAN