Design Thinking in Action

The American School in Japan began the school year with the opening of a new state-of-the-art center for art, music and design. The Creative Arts Design Center was designed by renowned architect Paul Tange, who considered the multiple needs of the school and the impact the new structure would have on the surrounding neighborhood. He noted that some of his original ideas for the project came to be modified over time as the situation and requirements evolved—mirroring the design process that students will explore in the CADC’s design labs.

The Creative Arts Design Center has bright, open spaces that include collaborative areas and tools that will nurture inquisitive students. The new three-story building includes two elementary art rooms, two elementary music rooms, a large multi-purpose room, five design technology labs, a robotics lab and a strings room. The design labs, which are equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters and fabrication tools, provide places where students’ ideas can become something real and tangible. A dedicated robotics lab expands the robotics program’s ability to innovate and develop world-class machines in preparation for the VEX Robotics tournament scheduled for November. The third floor features the Japan Center, which will strengthen ASIJ’s connections to the local community and enrich the Japanese program, a technology center and professional learning suite. Each space is designed for flexibility, allowing for movement and adaptation for a range of uses, in addition to their primary functions.