Laboratory for New Media 10th Exhibition
“Design a Letter Yourself, with Algorithmic Thinking!”

Laboratory for New Media Permanent Exhibition periodically updates contents of exhibitions to introduce the various possibilities of expression provided by information science and technology. The 10th exhibition witnesses a collaboration between FURUKATA Masahiko, whose research focuses on the relationship between computers and design, and the Dainippon Type Organization, the graphic design unit known for its unique typography. This exhibition will make us reconsider the letters and words that we use in our everyday lives to convey information to one another.
By dismantling, rotating, expanding, and combining the elements that we understand as comprising a letter or by actually making our own through a variety of algorithms (calculations), we will experience the information contained in it. This will allow us to see letters for what they are: Combinations bound by prescribed rules. We will discover new facets to this everyday tool of the written word by thinking about the construction of letters, the personality or individuality of letters and characters, and the unique nature of handwritten words compared with those produced by a computer.
Laboratory for New Media 10th Exhibition “Design a Letter Yourself, with Algorithmic Thinking!”


  1. Look at what characters are displayed on the screen.
  2. Assemble the pieces “P,” “L,” “a,” and “y” along the grid to make the word displayed.
  3. Push the button to enter them into the computer.
Even the same letter will react differently depending on the person who created it. Attune your senses to the different information and individuality each letter possesses.


  1. Look at what characters are displayed on the screen.
  2. Draw the characters that appear on the screen. The pen, however, will prove difficult to write with . the top and bottom and left and right side of the screen are inverted.
  3. When you have finished, push the button.
In addition to gaining a renewed sense of the shape of the letters we write in the course of our every-day lives, we will also reaffirm the act of writing letters.


  1. Look at what characters are displayed on the screen.
  2. Turn the ends of the cube sitting on the desk; the white and black areas can be switched.
  3. Look at it from multiple angles to find the same perspective as the original character formed from the white sections.
  4. Once you find the same angle as the displayed characters, stepped the switch.
Forgetting about its three-dimensional nature and focusing on only the color and shape, a letter comes into view. While often considered to be “flat,” written characters can also be visually teased from three-dimensional surfaces or open spaces.
Cooperation: Masuki Co.,LTD / toumei


  1. Look at what characters are displayed on the screen.
  2. Look for what letters can be used to construct them.
  3. When you have found them, move, rotate, and expand them to make the displayed character.
  4. Up to five letters can be combined.
  5. Once you decide the position and size of all the letters, push the button.
In the case of Chinese characters, informing someone of the correct character over the phone can be difficult; we often break a character into digestible pieces for ease of understanding. This process of breaking down characters or letters into smaller parts and indicating their placement or role is actually similar to programming.
Cooperation: Morisawa Inc.


  1. Read the text that appears on the screen.
  2. Look for the letters you made!
Notice how we are given a slightly different impression from the sentences we are accustomed to. Presented with both characters we can read and those we cannot, we are often able to decipher those characters we do not know from the context. Also two versions of the same letter can give different impressions based on their construction. Let's take a look at the unique characteristics of letters.

Term February 1 (Wed.), 2012 – June 25 (Mon.), 2012
Exhibitors Dainippon Type Organization ∩ FURUKATA Masahiko

  • FURUKATA Masahiko

    FURUKATA Masahiko is associate professor at the Musashino Art University's Department of Visual Communication Design. His research focuses on incorporating the algorithms necessary in operating a computer into the design field. He was certified as a “Genius Programmer/Super Creator” in the latter half of 2004 by the Exploratory Software Project of the Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan (IPA).
    Masahiko FURUKATA Web Page (Japanese Only)

  • Dainippon Type Organization

    The Dainippon Type Organization was formed by Hidechika and TSUKADA Tetsuya in 1993. An experimental typography group, it has set out to understand the information contained within letters of the Western alphabet or characters used widely in East Asia by dismantling, assembling, and reconstructing them. The organization has held solo exhibitions in London, Barcelona and Tokyo, as well as released a portfolio, “TYPE CARD PLAY BOOK.”
    Dainippon Type Organization (Japanese Only)