2024 Innovative Product Design with Traditional Technologies

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Academic unit or major
Entrepreneurship courses
Matsuzaki Yuri  Murakami Rie  Ota Eri  Taoka Yuki  Watanabe Takashi  Kobayashi Equo 
Class Format
Exercise    (Face-to-face)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Intensive 5-8()  
Course number
Students who enrolled in or before AY 2023 must register using the course number marked with an asterisk (*).
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

Through lectures, group work, and hands-on blacksmithing experience, students are expected to learn the following:
1. The historical and cultural background of traditional technology (tatara iron making) and the characteristics of Japanese iron as a material.
2. Methods and process of product design
3. Making a product or service proposal creating a new value from traditional technologies.

Student learning outcomes

1. Through group work with a team of students from different countries, students will deepen mutual understanding and acquire the collaboration skills necessary for international cooperation.
2. Using the group idea generation process learned in the lecture, participants will propose new product or service ideas that create new value using traditional technology.


Traditional technology, Tatara iron making, International collaboration, Product design

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Lectures and group work will be held on Wednesday afternoons in a classroom in Ookayama, and practical training will be held on weekends in Suzukakedai.
For details, please check the schedule and location listed in the course plan.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Wednesday, July 3, 15:25 - 17:25, Ookayama campus Orientation, group formation, basics of product design, characteristics of Japanese iron, basics of product design, examples of products that make the most of the characteristics of Japanese iron A short essay on the video material
Class 2 Saturday, July 6, 10:00 - 16:00, Suzukakedai campus Blacksmithing experience Guest lecturer: Mr. Myochin Munetaka (Blacksmith) Reflection Reading assignment about the next lecture
Class 3 Wednesday, July 10, 13:30 - 17:05 Examples of new product development using Japanese iron Guest lecturer: Mr. Inoue Yuji, Tanabe Corporation Reflection Preparation for the next class
Class 4 Wednesday, July 17, 13:30 - 17:05, Ookayama campus Group work (Product idea building, prototype making) Preparation for the final presentation
Class 5 Wednesday, July 24, 13:30-17:05, Ookayama campus Group work, Final presentation Individual report



Reference books, course materials, etc.


Assessment criteria and methods

Participation in lectures: 20%
Participation in the blacksmithing practice: 20%
Contribution to group work: 20%
Filal presentation (evaluation for the group): 20%
Individual report: 20%.

Related courses

  • ENT.G351(LAW.X371*) : Traditional Technology and Intercultural Collaboration
Students who enrolled in or before AY 2023 must register using the course number marked with an asterisk (*).

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

1. Participants should have sufficient language skills for conducting group work in English
2. Participants should be interested in Japanese traditional technology (tatara iron making) and Japanese iron produced by tatara iron manufacturing.
3. (Recommended) Participants are encouraged to take ENT.G351: Traditional Technology and Intercultural Collaboration to experience Tatara iron making and Japanese sword appreciation.


Individual report:
In the individual report, summarize what you have learned throughout the course - the result of the group work, what you have learned, what you have thought about when designing products that use traditional technologies to create new value, etc.
Language should be English or Japanese.

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