Principal Seiichi Saito of Rhizomatiks Co., Ltd., known for their diversity of art installations using various techniques and methods, introduced some previous projects of the company and talked about his ideas for lighting possibilities.

When Saito studied architecture in the late 1990s at the Graduate School of Columbia University in New York City, he was more interested in philosophical avant‐garde projects, rather than actually embodied public buildings. He taught at Columbia University after graduation but withdrew from his architectural career after the September 11th attacks and joined an advertising agent to begin pursuing a more artistic career.
In 2006, he established Rhizomatiks. The company now has three departments (research, design, and architecture) and ~40 workers, including many artists.

The company’s well-recognized works include stage designs for idol groups using projection mapping. The research division also works on more experimental projects. One of the well-known examples is the Sound of Honda / Ayrton Senna 1989 Project to digitally recreate (using lights and sounds) the world’s fastest lap (at the time), achieved by Ayrton Senna in Suzuka Circuit in 1989. The company designed and programmed the LED light art that extended a total of 6km in the Circuit.
Other projects that involved the city, architecture, and media include the projection mapping event at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo, 2013, featuring Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. This event was later used for a commercial of au (a Japanese mobile carrier company) and became well known.

“FULL CONTROL TOKYO” Event by au 2013

“Mountain, River, Light, and Sound in Hita ” 2018

“House of Mamba / LED basketball court by NIKE 2015

In recent years, the company has also focused on urban projects, involving negotiations with the government and developers. Through the projects, Saito desires to contribute to the development of an environment for artists to play an active role. One such attempt was Gyoen Night Art Walk in the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. To propose a new nighttime experience in a city, installations using various types of lighting (e.g., laser light, moving lights, and LED lights) were exhibited for a one and a half hour experience in the garden, which is usually closed at night.

When Saito started his career around 2000, lighting designs were simple designs of lights. Saito said that in the nearly 20 years since, along with the development of LED, CGI, IoT, and AI, lighting designs now encompass security systems, urban infrastructure, and cities themselves.
Today, people are craving for experiences. Designing experiences by using lighting, images, and cities: this is the current purpose of the activities of Saito and Rhizomatiks.

【Date & Time】15:30‒16:30, March 7, 2019
【Venue】Room 102, 1F, Conference Tower, Tokyo Big Sight
【Speaker】Seiichi Saito, Principal, Rhizomatiks Co., Ltd.
【Moderator】Tomomi Meguro, President, Tomoru Design, Meguro Inc.
【Organizers】IALD Japan, JLMA, Nikkei Inc.


Seiichi Saito

After obtaining a Master of Science degree in Advanced Architectural Design (MSAAD) from Columbia University, began working in New York in 2000. Established Rhizomatiks in 2006. Vice Chair of the 2018 Good Design Award Judging Committee. Creative Advisor for the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Tomomi Meguro

"Experienced, award-winning lighting designer of interior, architectural, and urban spaces for small and large domestic and international clients.
Became independent in 2016 from Uchihara Creative Lighting Design in Tokyo, and worked with Grenald Waldron Associates in the USA. A graduate of Tama Art University."