Toshiharu Arai

2016.04.18 Updated



Product Designer
Professor Emeritus of Kanazawa College of Art: Japan

Toshiharu Arai was a professor of design department of Kanazawa College of Art. He has opened “Arai UD Workshop” in Kanazawa. He is a product designer.

He has been performing a lot of research and universal design works in collaboration with users, incorporating those results in curriculums of design education.

He has demonstrated the potentialities and creativity of collaborative design approach with sensitive users through his design works such as commodities, furniture and housing equipment, some of which won Design Award.

He has been engaging in design project of the hospital facilities in collaboration with medical doctors, nursing staffs and patients. In addition, as a chief of the committee members, he coordinated the planning of the public buildings reflecting the concept of user centered design.

He has committed himself, as a supervisor, to "the 48 hours Design Marathon" (the user participatory design workshop) of International Association for Universal Design (IAUD) , which was held in various cities in Japan since 2004.

He made many keynote speeches in academic Societies and gave lectures in the medical department of Kanazawa University, Kyoto Prefectural University, Tohoku University of Art & Design and Seoul Hangaram Design Museum.


  • 1988 – Good Design Award "Universal Dishes".
  • 1995 – Silver prize at the Nagoya International Design Competition "HUMAN TOILET".
  • 1999 – Good Design Special Prize "Cutlery for Aging Society".
  • 2002 – Good Design Award "HUMAN FURNITURE Design Project".
  • 2005 – Good Design Award "UD Scissors”

He served as the Dean of Rehabilitation Engineering Society of Japan (1995~1999), and the Japanese Society for Science of Design (1998~2001). He was on the International Jury of the Student Design Competition of Designing for the 21st Century III Rio de Janeiro (2004). He was on the Jury of the Good Design Award of Japan (2001~2003). He also has been the supervisor of the 48h Design Marathon of the International Association for Universal Design (2004~)



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