UTokyo Researchers Imagine Future See-Through Objects


Researchers from the Institute of Industrial Science(IIS), The University of Tokyo, conducts a wide range of research, including physics, chemistry and biology. In this context, DLX Design Lab carries out activities aimed at fusing science, technology, and design. One of these activities is the Treasure Hunting Project, which aims to inform the general public about the value and potential of scientific research. As part of this project, in 2022-2023, DLX Design Lab produced a video introducing future 'metamaterials' in cooperation with Tatsuma laboratory (hereinafter Tatsuma Lab) at IIS.

At the beginning of the video, we introduce the 'Future Window', which would allow people to see outside from their basements. We also show the special nanoscale particles that are necessary to achieve this conceptual product.

Next, we introduce technology for easily creating these special particles with light, through work being done in the Tatsuma Lab. In summary, the particles are grown spontaneously by light using a chemical method.

A model is used to illustrate how, if special nanoparticles are created and well aligned, they could make it possible to bend light at will.

The DLX Design Lab and Tatsuma Lab collaborated to design a roadmap for the realisation of the 'Future Window'. The first step is to create particles, which must then be arranged in planes and even three-dimensionally.

It is predicted that development of the 'Future Window' will also derive light absorbent solar panels without reflection and translucent walls and columns that allow only certain colours of light to penetrate. One day, there may be a 'Future Window' that transmits full colour and even heat. The 'Future Window' will have the same effect as looking directly at what is outside the window, rather than seeing an image as on an LCD or other display. Sunlight shines through and shadows are created. You can look in, and even bask in the sun.

While the technology behind this concept is promising, the 'Future Window' is still in the realm of science fiction. As this video shows, by drawing a concrete image of the future (even if it is still science fiction) researchers become keenly aware of what they need to do to get closer to that future.

DLX Design Lab's Treasure Hunting Project has so far given form to the various research results produced at IIS, and through exhibitions and workshops has communicated the excitement and potential of science to the general public. However, it is not always easy to give form to research that deals with objects not seen by the human eye such as nanomaterials and molecules, or research that is far from being applied or realised. Using moving images to visualise the future and express it in a multifaceted and easy-to-understand manner is considered very effective in communicating to the general public about the significance of research that is difficult to give form to immediately.

DLX Design Lab will continue to use various forms and means, including these videos, to contribute to communicating the "treasures" of humanity - the results of scientific research - to society.

What is DLX Design Lab?:
DLX Design Lab is an international design team established in 2016 within the Institute of Industrial Science at The University of Tokyo. Our mission is to "Create Value Through Design". The goal of DLX Design Lab is to develop innovative prototypes of products and services through close collaboration between designers, researchers, engineers, or other diverse disciplines. DLX Design Lab also focuses on disseminating knowledge and nurturing future talent by organizing classes, forums, exhibitions, and workshops to share design-led innovation methods with academia, industry, government agencies and the general public.


Video information:


〈Video Inquiries〉
DLX Design Lab
Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo
E-mail:office(Please add""to the end)

〈Research Inquiries〉
Tetsu Tatsuma, Professor
Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo
E-mail:tatsuma (Please add "" to the end)

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