2015.10.18 Sunday

003 “Development” “Development Capabilities” “Development Power”

The initial meeting regarding my appointment as a judge on the selection panel took place on September 3, 2014. Two days prior to this meeting, an official from the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games had sent me an e-mail—a de facto invitation to a prospective panel member. I quote: “Please find attached a letter from Takuma Takasaki, executive creative director at Dentsu Inc. Tokyo who also serves as creative director for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.” In addition to the letter of invitation from Mr. Takasaki, I found a document titled “Guidelines regarding the selection of logo/emblem for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.” While perusing this document I came across the word “development capabilities” for the first time.

After the problem with the Olympic logo came to light, I was doing some information gathering when I learned that the words “development capabilities” and “development power” were in fact, widely used in the field of marketing. I spotted the words in advertising agencies’ reports posted on the internet. So, I understood these were marketing terms.

Actually, “development power” cropped up on numerous occasions during the Olympic logo selection process. It was there in the said guidelines; during the initial meeting, it was explained to me that “the perspective of development power is crucial in the Olympics logo selection process.” Applicants were asked to submit their entries on an individual basis. Considering the short duration of the contest, in reality, they were burdened with a massive task. I felt compelled to speak up: “Regarding the selection criteria, shouldn’t we give formative design of the emblem first priority? The aspect of specific development is purely secondary. I am sure once we have decided on the winning design a team can be formed to come up with development strategies.” I’m afraid my little speech fell flat.

The reason why I vividly remember this transaction is because the word “development capabilities” was cited as a significant element in the guideline documents when I read it through for the first time. The unfamiliar word gave me a sense of unease. Given the gravity of the mission we were tasked with, developing an emblem for the Olympic Games, the main objective should surely be to create a symbol of the highest integrity—an image that best represents our times. Yet the Organizing Committee was trying to focus on “development” which was an incidental aspect. I was feeling a hint of contrivance.

On the first morning of screening, we were given instructions as to the judging process. Mr. Takasaki, who also served as a panel member, asked us to “make sure to focus on development power when judging the entries.” The words “development,”  “development capabilities” and “development power” were used interchangeably, repeatedly, drummed into our ears, until the panel of judges shared a common awareness.

But let me raise a question here. Apparently the Organizing Committee was truly committed to the “development power”. Yet, according to the competition guidelines laid out in “2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo Logo/Emblem Contest Rules and Guidelines <General Category>” which I managed to lay my hands on after the problem with the emblem surfaced, there is no mention of “development power”. Entrants are asked to submit five items; of which, four items, including “Emblem Design” are clearly marked [required field]. However, as for “Ideas for deploying Olympic Logo” which represents the said “development” agenda, it is marked [optional] rather than [required].  Development was supposedly something that the Organizing Committee placed priority on; it was the benchmark in choosing the Olympic emblem; and served as the evaluation axis, the crux of the judgement process. Yet, according to the note it was merely [optional], something that could be submitted—or not. It was an open decision left to the discretion of the entrant. The vagueness of the wording strikes me as extremely unnatural. Entrants who read the contest rules and guidelines would not have felt that “development power” was a major issue. Unless the significance of “development power” was clearly explained in the rules and guidelines, the contestants would not have given much thought to developing “Ideas for deploying Olympic Logo”. Entrants were limited to established designers in Japan and abroad who had been recipients of two or more prizes in the past. All participants were talented, experienced designers who had cleared this requirement. If there was anything written about “development power” in the guidelines, they would certainly have picked up on the significance and responded accordingly.

In looking back on the screening process, I remember there was a huge discrepancy among the entries. There was a small cluster of submissions that showed promising “development,”  “development capabilities” and “development power”—while the majority of submissions lacked that angle. There is no denying that the fact weighed in heavily in the way the judges scored their points. Did all entrants receive equal information, both in quality and quantity? Was it a fair game? Was it a fair start? I am still struggling to shake off these feelings of mistrust.
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.

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 047 おとぎの国の物語 048 退会届
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 047 Tales from Wonderland 048 Withdrawal Notice