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Peter Benz




International University Collaboration in the Context of the Expo 2005 (September 2005)

From 25 March to 25 September 2005 Aichi Prefecture on the Eastern hills of Nagoya was the site of the Expo 2005. One of the main events to be held during the Expo was the World Karakuri Contest, advertised by the Aichi Prefectural Government in October 2004.

An international group of art schools – Bauhaus-University Weimar, Nagoya Zokei University, Carnegie Mellon University from Pittsburgh, Academia Minerva from Groningen, and Concordia University Montreal – collaborated to participate in the contest while in parallel establishing its own Expo-related Karakuri-Art exhibition at the renown Yada-Gallery in Nagoya.

During the spring term 2005, all participating schools offered studio-courses on the ‘karakuri’-theme. In addition to the traditional studio-teaching environment, a blog provided a platform for discussion and communication between all participants of all schools, thus enhancing the exchange of ideas, information and solutions.

Finally, students and teachers from all universities met from 12 to 25 September 2005 in Nagoya to finish off the exhibition. In a dense workshop-like situation complemented by an extensive cultural programme the participants got to know each other and their different approaches, work-styles, cultures and of course also the people behind the pieces.

Some impressions from the trip: