2015.10.29 Thursday

007 How and why I refused to accept the modified design - vol.1

On August 28, 2015, Mr. Toshiro Muto and Hidetoshi Maki of the Tokyo Games Organizing Committee, and Mr. Kazumasa Nagai, representative of the 8-member selection panel for the emblems of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games held a press conference. Belgian designer Olivier Debie had accused the official 2020 Tokyo Olympic emblem of plagiarism, immediately following the unveiling on July 24. That was only the beginning of what rapidly grew into a raging problem. I think the three officials held the press conference with the intention of bringing things under control. At the conference they explained the reasons for deciding on the screening method, the actual selection process, and how the final design was selected. The more I heard the more widely suspicious I became. Of my many doubts I would like to give thought on how and why I refused to accept the modified emblem design. Let me start by looking at official records of the press conference, and record excerpts regarding what was said about my refusal to accept the modified design plan, at the Organizing Committee press conference.

“(…) fortunately, it appeared that there were no registered trademarks that were similar to this design. So we got the final approval from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and we began the application process for registration—at the same time we took the final design plan to every member on the selection panel including Mr. Nagai, individually, to propose our intent. One of the panel members, Ms. Keiko Hirano, said that the design she chose upon serious consideration was the initial, original design, and that the present version had not undergone the same process. Thus we were unable to receive her approval. But as for the other seven members of the judging panel, we received their approval. The design was officially finalized by the Organization Committee; and as I said in the beginning, on Friday, July 24, on the evening that would mark five years to the Tokyo Olympic Games, we were able to unveil the emblems of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.” (Hidetoshi Maki/head of marketing at the Organizing Committee)
“Thank you very much. So that is the process by which the Olympic emblem came to be.” (Toshiro Muto/director-general of the Organizing Committee)
Excerpt from: bunbuntokuhoh 

Furthermore, during the Q&A segment, there was an important question posed by “Suzuki” from Tokyo FM: “I have a question for Mr. Maki. I think you commented that ‘we proposed the final design plan to each panel member, but were unable to receive approval from Ms. Hirano only.’ Since you couldn’t get Ms. Hirano’s approval, ultimately, it was not a unanimous decision. So how did the Organizing Committee reconcile the fact that one member did not give her approval, and go on from there to announce the winning design? Could you go over the details once more?” The response given was: “As I explained before, Ms. Hirano said that the design she chose after lengthy deliberation was the initial logo, while (the modified version) came out afterwards without much time for deliberation; thus, we could not receive her approval. That was reported to the Organization Committee. However, we did receive approval from the other seven members, including Mr. Nagai, so the Organization Committee deemed it was sufficient as an approval. And that is how we moved forward.” (Hidetoshi Maki) 
Excerpt from: bunbuntokuhoh

There is something that strikes me as extremely odd here. Something that I have no recollection of ever saying was disclosed as a statement, attributed to myself, in a “public” forum such as a press conference. The two explanations: “Ms. Keiko Hirano said that the design she chose upon serious consideration was the initial, original design, and that the present version had not undergone the same process. Thus we were unable to receive her approval” and “(Ms. Hirano said that) the design she chose after lengthy deliberation was the initial logo, while (the modified version) came out afterwards without much time for deliberation” are definitely not my words, nor are they words I passed on to anyone. Finally, it is not even the reason why I refused to give my approval to the modified design. As I don’t remember giving such statements, I must conclude that it was composed by the Organization Committee.

Let me go back a little further. I was listening to the press conference that was held on August 5, 2015, when I got the distinct feeling that the fact that I had refused to give my approval to the modified design had not been transmitted to the senior officials of the Organization Committee. I sent multiple emails to inform the committee that I had not approved of the design. Then on August 26, I received an email from a committee official, informing me that there was going to be a press conference on August 28. Though there was a note, ostensibly telling me that “the intent is to inform you of the upcoming press conference,” the real intention behind the transmission was clearly obvious. A press conference was being called and the clock was ticking. There remained the fact that one member among the panel of judges had refused to approve the modified design plan, which had to be dealt with. I was notified of the Organization Committee’s intentions: “In order to protect Ms. Hirano from the barrage of questions from inquisitive reporters, we have been using the expression: we asked all panel members to ‘confirm’ the modified version. We would like to use the same expression, that we asked for ‘confirmation’, at the press conference to be held on August 28.”

I responded immediately: “I never gave my approval (…) And there is no way I could agree to such a request. Please go ahead and name me as the panel member who continues to object.” (Excerpt from my email) In another email: “Regarding the wording, ‘we have been using the expression: we asked all panel members to ‘confirm’ the modified version’—this gives the impression as if all members gave their affirmation, which was not the case. I have been insisting throughout that ‘This is a disgrace to design. It is utterly unacceptable.’ I ask you to please disclose the truth.” (Excerpt from my email) I sent off these two emails. Then came the press conference, during which the fact I refused to give approval was disclosed.

This is what took place up to the point when my refusal to give approval to the modified logo design was revealed at the press conference given by the Organization Committee. Now, based on records of meetings that took place between myself and the Organization Committee, as one of the actual parties involved, I will give an account of what led me to refuse the modified design, and state my reasons for making that decision. The contents that follow are excerpts from my notes “Records of Meetings” that I put down directly after the two meetings I had with the Organization Committee, in order to keep my recollections from getting blurred.

This chapter on “How and why I refused to accept the modified design” could not be contained within the word count I have set for a single blog posting. I will be posting the chapter in two segments: 007 (vol. 1) and 008 (vol. 2)
 
Keiko Hirano
 
Keiko Hirano: 
Designer/Visioner, Executive Director of Communication Design Laboratory
Hirano served on the panel that chose the official emblem for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which was ultimately withdrawn.

五輪エンブレム問題の
事実と考察
001 責任がとれる方法で 002 公募期間の短さ 003 『展開』『展開性』『展開力』 004 知らされなかった招待作家 005 ブログを読んで下さっているみなさまへ 006 利害優先の土壌 007 修正案承諾拒否の経緯と理由 - vol.1 008 修正案承諾拒否の経緯と理由 - vol.2 009 『公』の仕事 010 専門家の盾 011 秘密保持誓約書という密室 012 いまこそ、私心なき専門性を問う 013 判断の論拠 014 最終の審議 015 金銭感覚と敬意の相対性 016 表現におけるモラリティと表現者のモラル 017 言葉のちから 018 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.1 019 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.2 020 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.3 021 何のための調査なのか、調査の目的は何なのか - vol.4 022 願い 023 摩訶不思議な調査報告書 024 負の遺産とならないように 025 出口なき迷路 026 届かぬ思い 027「社会に位置づくデザイン」という観点 028 無責任主義の村 029 審査委員として知り得た情報のすべて 030 新聞寄稿文への異論 - vol.1 031 新聞寄稿文への異論 - vol.2 032 1対3の構図 - 「A案」VS「BCD案」 033 今を生きる 034 負の連鎖……を断つために 035 欲望の公害 精神の断絶 036 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.1 037 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.2 038 イカサマ文書 by JAGDA - vol.3 039 事実はひとつ 040 新世界へ 041 JAGDA文書への意見と要望 ― 法律の専門家による分析 042 JAGDAの回答 JAGDAへの要望書 043 「要望書へのJAGDAの回答」に対する更なる質問 044 「意見書へのJAGDAの回答」に対する質問と提案 045 ブラック・デザイン 046 弁護士から届いた封書
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Logo Controversy--Facts and Observations 001 My way of taking responsibility 002 Duration of contest was way short 003 “Development” “Development Capabilities” “Development Power” 004 Guest artists I wasn’t told about 005 To My Readers 006 A culture where special interests take priority 007 How and why I refused to accept the modified design - vol.1 008 How and why I refused to accept the modified design - vol.2 009 Strictly “public” work 010 Specialists as shields 011 Behind closed doors-secrecy surrounding a non-disclosure agreement 012 Time to put selfless expertise to the test 013 Rationale behind my decision 014 The final review session 015 Is the money mindset relative to paying respect? 016 Morality of expression and the morals of its creator 017 The power of words 018 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.1 019 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.2 020 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.3 021 An investigation for what? What is the purpose of the investigation - vol.4 022 My wish 023 Mystifying investigation report is out 024 In order to prevent a negative legacy 025 Stuck in a maze with no exit 026 A voice unheard 027 A viewpoint that calls for “design with a place in society” 028 A village with a policy of irresponsibility 029 Every piece of information that I garnered as a judge on the selection committee 030 Objections to a newspaper contribution - vol.1 031 Objections to a newspaper contribution - vol.2 032 The underlying picture of one against three - “Plan A” versus “Plans BCD” 033 Living in the moment 034 Putting a stop……to a negative chain of events 035 Pollution by greed and discontinuity of the spirit 036 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.1 037 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.2 038 Bogus document by JAGDA - vol.3 039 Every fact has only one version 040 Toward a whole new world 041 Opinion and request regarding JAGDA document―An analysis by a legal specialist 042 Reply from JAGDA Request letter to JAGDA 043 More questions re: "Reply from JAGDA regarding Request Letter" 044 Questions and proposal re: "Reply from JAGDA regarding Request Letter" 045 Rogue design 046 Letter from the lawyers