Tokyo Institute of Technology Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)

Tokyo Institute of Technology Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)× Creators CMS (Creators Meet Scientists)Project(Since2017〜ongoing)


Realizing the “story” created by scientists. A collaborative project between ELSI and creators is under way.

The Earth-Life Science Institute based at the Tokyo Institute of Technology is an established independent institute that “researches the origin and evolution of planets and life.” This is a project that attempts to express stories (hypothesis) developed by scientists in alternative forms through the establishment of teams formulated from workshops between front-line-active creators such as musicians, filmmakers, architects, and product designers and ELSI’s researchers.


The Earth-Life Science Institute based at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (ELSI) is a new research institute that was established through a program called “WPI” in 2012 arranged by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology with the intent of developing new top-level research bases.

The underlining theme that has always been approached by researchers from ELSI, “the origin and evolution of planets and life” is not a theme that has been tackled exclusively by scientists, but a universal one that has attracted a wide range of crowds including those from the philosophy, religion and art fields. However, research results are typically presented via essays and conference presentations full of technical terms and numerical expressions, which sometimes can be difficult to approach and comprehend by those who are not in the field. For this reason, we have sought to establish a system in which a wide range of people would be able to comprehend and show further interest in research findings made by ELSI through a type of understanding that involves less symbolic conventions (=the language of scientists) and more relatable “presentations” taking totally different forms.


This method of approaching and passing along research results to the general crowd indirectly in alternative forms, which we have named “scientific communication,” with the help of various creators is something we have decided to pursuit at a deeper level ever since working on a project called “ALMA MUSIC BOX: Music for a dying star” with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and finding success.

“Art and science” may sound exciting to many, but the language used among these two fields are very different. We are aware of the difficulties in bridging the gaps. However, it is also true that scientists and artists have always been contemplating about similar themes such as the “origin of life” and “human-nature relationship.” We have experienced more than a few times in which an unexpected chemical reaction has occurred between the two through intimate cooperation.

We thus believe the role of a coordinator, creating a link between the two is crucial in realizing such projects. It is a role that is asked to understand languages of the various fields and to translate them when required to promote the collaboration process. For this instance, the role will be taken over by our company and the science communicator of ELSI’s Public Relations department.


For this time’s collaboration, three different methods of approach have been tried out. The first was the participation of those from the various fields while making no restrictions on creator genres. The second was to allow the participants to take control of the matching processes instead of us, the coordinators, arranging the match-up between the scientists and creators. And the third was to disclose the entire process to the crowd for the purpose of presenting a message at a grander scheme; the importance of collaboration communication itself and the hard work that is put into it. For this very purpose, we have decided to disclose information on the workshops to the media as well as presenting documented photographs and videos.

Details of the implementation

For the “kick-off workshop” event that was held on March 17, 2017, three of Japan’s leading Earth Life Scientists and nine active creators at the forefront of their various working fields including that of the music, videography, architecture, product designing, and game designing have participated as well as seventeen members from the media.

The event started off with a tour of the ELSI facility, followed by an introduction of the researchers’ work. Afterwards, further discussions were made on possible collaboration ideas at the salon for the sake of mutual understanding. It ended up being a very enthusiastic gathering full of possibilities and new ideas.

During the second workshop that was held on June 12, 2017, the creators gave presentations to the researchers in order to introduce their works and projects. Afterwards, the researchers and creators underwent a match-up process resulting in the formation of seven teams. These teams gave presentations on their projects during the third workshop which was held on November 9.


Interesting and innovative proposals on products and drawings, developing a documentary video of a researcher, creating a sound installation portraying a researcher's philosophy have been made so far. The timing and method of future presentations will vary depending on the content of output sought out by the various projects, but we are planning on providing opportunities for project results to be presented in the year 2018.


Event Summary

Event Dates
Workshop 1: March 17, 2017 (Friday)
Workshop 2: June 12, 2017 (Monday)
Workshop 3: November 9, 2017 (Thursday)
The Earth-Life Science Institute of Tokyo Institute of Technology
The Earth-Life Science Institute of Tokyo Institute of Technology

Stage presentation

Project Teams
◎Satoshi Okuda(Stage presentation 、CONDORS)× Matthieu Laneuville(Geophysics)
◎KYOTARO(Drawing artist)× Mayuko Nakagawa(Biogeochemistry)
◎Mitsunori Sakano(Videographer)× Mayuko Nakagawa(Biogeochemistry)
◎Fumihiko Sano(Architect)× Shigeru Ida(Planet formation theory )
◎Shizuka Tatsuno(Product designer)× Kosuke Fujishima(Astrobiology)
◎Tamaki ROY(Rapper,Musician)+ Masanori Hamada(Architect、Aki Hamada Architects、Team Labo)×Shigeru Ida(Planet formation theory )
◎Kosho Tsuboi(Product designer)×Kosuke Fujishima(Astrobiology)



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