Executive Director, International Association for Universal Design, Yokohama
Keiji Kawahara is an Industrial Designer and the President of KIDStudio Corporation, as well as the Executive Director of the International Association for Universal Design (IAUD) in Japan.
He also teaches as a Professor at the Graduate School of Media and Design in Nagoya University of Arts and Sciences.
He graduated from the Kyushu Institute of Design’s Department of Industrial Design (which was recently integrated into Kyushu University) in Japan and also graduated from the Royal College of Art in London’s School of Industrial Design in the UK. He received his MDes degree from the Royal College of Art in London (RCA).
He has devoted himself to studying design for handicapped people for nearly 30 years and as a professional industrial designer has tried to design all products to be human-centered. Some typical examples of his work include: Clock for the Blind, House for Wheelchair Users, Barrier-free Kitchen, ATM for the Blind, Meal Delivery Robot, Platform Safety System and Universal Design Mobile Phone www.kidstudio.co.jp
He organized the International Conference for Universal Design in Japan 2002, founded the International Association for Universal Design in November 2003 and also held the 2nd International Conference for Universal Design in Kyoto in October 2006.
The International Association for Universal Design (IAUD), a network of more than 140 Japanese corporations that includes major household names such as Toyota, Panasonic, Sony, Nissan, Hitachi, Fujitsu and Toshiba, was inaugurated in Tokyo on 28 November 2003 with Prince Tomohito, a cousin of the Japanese Emperor, as its Patron. This network represents a significant step for the advancement of universal design practice, and is likely to have a major influence worldwide as Japanese products become increasingly user-friendly www.iaud.net