Design to enhance citizens' knowledge of disaster prevention


Without knowledge, even lives that could be saved can be lost in response to a sudden disaster.


By increasing one's knowledge of natural disasters on a regular basis and being adequately prepared, one can protect one's own life and the lives of loved ones in times of emergency.

With the rapid increase in the number of natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, and hurricanes, disaster reduction is becoming increasingly important. We have been working on information design for disaster reduction, designing communications that can make people aware of disaster, which can solve this complex social issue.
People are generally reluctant to think about the possibility of a worst-case scenario, and disaster prevention content, which is often regarded as a government publication, is generally seen as boring and unsophisticated. In order to correct this psychological bias toward natural disasters and to encourage people to become more aware and informed about disaster prevention, it is important to design communications that view disaster prevention as a positive activity and communicate it in an enjoyable and easy-to-understand manner.
In the first 72 hours after a disaster, which is considered to be a critical period for rescue activities, communication design will be required to share widely the wisdom of survival in extreme conditions.
Thus, it is important to understand the timeline of natural disasters, in which a variety of issues will emerge over time, because the activities required in disaster response will differ depending on the phase, such as "before the disaster," "72 hours after the disaster," and "during the recovery period". In order to create a resilient society against natural disasters, it is necessary to design functional communication in various phases, and appropriate design appeals will be useful.


TOKYO BOUSAI, the world's largest disaster prevention publication project

SINCE 2015

1 years

“TOKYO BOUSAI” is a disaster prevention book distributed on September 1, 2015 (Disaster Prevention Day) to 7.5 million households and 1.36 million copies to elementary, junior high, and high schools in Tokyo.



The book is designed to provide people in Tokyo, which is recognized as the city with the highest disaster risk in the world, with important information on disaster prevention in case of emergency, by making disaster prevention thoroughly entertaining. With the yellow and black stripes, which are the warning colors used at construction sites, set as the key icon for urban disaster prevention, we incorporate with various elements such as “manga,” “characters,” “illustrations,” and “universal design,” to create an enjoyable pages on the book for all generations. “TOKYO BOUSAI,” a project which overturned the image of disaster prevention design in Japan, has developed into a nationwide movement, spreading through social networking services whenever an area in Japan is hit by a major disaster.


OLIVE, a wiki that delivers open design for survival

SINCE 2011

Launched only 40 hours after the Great East Japan Earthquake, “OLIVE” is a wiki that delivers open designs useful in times of disaster to disaster victims. The site gathered ideas from around the world on how to make what people need to survive in disaster areas without supplies, using things around them. It was estimated that its information has been successfully disseminated to over 10 million people.


OLIVE, which has been translated into many languages with the help of volunteers, continues to expand as a disaster relief database that draws on our collective knowledge. It also has developed into the OLIVE books, disaster prevention kits, and “TOKYO BOUSAI,” the disaster prevention book which was distributed to all households in Tokyo. Even today, whenever a disaster occurs in any part of the world, the information disseminated through this project is referenced. 

This initiative has successfully demonstrated the power of design in times of disaster and become a landmark project in the history of design that has made its way into high school textbooks.


PANDAID, a collaborative website to protect lives from pandemics

SINCE 2020

PANDAID was launched to protect people against the new coronavirus infections (COVID-19) and minimize the spread of it by making the most of our creativity and design wisdom. More than 300 volunteers with various specialties, including doctors and editors, participate in the co-creating of the website as volunteers. PANDAID is available in multiple languages thanks to these volunteers.


PANDAID, which aims to be a “fact-checked, fun, and interesting” website on infectious disease countermeasures, gathers a wide range of knowledge and wisdom on infectious diseases and presents them as intuitive contents that the public can easily understand. Infographics and posters were also produced as needed. The posters, which show the importance of “social distance,” were shared around the world on social networking sites, even being transmitted by the United Nations, thus creating a movement against infectious diseases that utilizes the power of design.

PANDAID showed great value as one of the most well-organized websites in Japan for information related to COVID-19.