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Workshop Designer
portrait of Miyata Yoshiro Miyata
Ph.D., Professor, Chukyo University
E-mail: miyata@sccs.chukyo-u.ac.jp


From my early childhood, I seem to have had two deep sources of energy within me. Inside me, there is an artist with a deep admiration for the beauty of the world around me and the cosmos within me, which I keep discovering by playing the piano or walking in the forest.

At the same time, there is a scientist within me longing for a crisp understanding of the basic principles, which has led me to study physics and engineering in Japan and finally cognitive science in the U.S.. However, when I started to work at an university, I discovered an even deeper source of energy - my love of working with people, especially youth. What I enjoy most now is working with youth to discover the joy of unveiling the beauty of the inner world even in the most entangled emotional turmoil. I no longer wonder whether I belong to the world of art or that of science - I feel I belong to the world of living!

portrait of Yiya Miya Omori
Ed.D., Child Counselor, Developmental Psychologist
E-mail: kenmiya@ma.kcom.or.jp

Ever since I was a young girl, I was a daydreamer. This is one aspect of myself that has not changed over the years. I think it is important for anyone to be able to dream and to give new meanings and realizations to their dreams. This is probably why I became a counselor and a developmental and cultural psychologist.

Dreams can be passionate, sad, exciting or joyous. Through dreams, we can be transported to a world of thrills and excitement, of friends and family or even of past eras or the future. We can build houses, travel to faraway lands, become an insect, hold a conversation with Mozart, take a walk through a meadow of wildflowers or go on an adventure through the Amazon rain forest.

Dreaming presents a playful spirit and through the meaning-making of our dreams, evolves engagement, curiosity and discovery. Sharing dreams takes courage, but it encourages us to tell a story and to build relationships through it. Various new and old forms of "media" can help to tell these dreams and to design our everyday lifestyle around them. My own childhood took place in a bicultural environment, filled with music, wonderful mentors, lots and lots of friends, great food and countless dreams! These are some of the wonderful elements that I incorporate into the design of my living even today.

Dr. Miya Omori was born to Japanese parents in Japan, moved to the United States at the age of four and grew up in southern California. She moved to Massachusetts as an undergraduate where she attended Smith College, receiving an A.B. in developmental psychology. She stayed in the east to pursue her graduate work at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She holds a master's degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology and an Ed.D. in Human Development and Psychology. Her bicultural background has been a driving force for her interest and specialization in cultural psychology. She presently lives in Tokyo, Japan with her husband.

portrait of lehan Lehan Ramsay
Artist, Teacher at Doshisha International Jr./Sr. High School
E-mail: lehan@geisya.or.jp

To become an educator was something I did not choose, but it enveloped me with great deliberation!

In the beginning, I worked with disabled children in an institution in Australia as an artist, and tried to give them the opportunity to express themselves playfully. There was no expectation of "teaching" or "learning," and without those expectations, each child had the freedom to take from it what he or she wanted and was invited to do so.

"Learning" for me, is not a process in which we as educators impart knowledge to others, but one in which we make space for others to discover their own pleasure in understanding. The challenge is to learn how to build the space, not the child!

portrait of Nobuyuki Nobuyuki Ueda
Ed.D., Professor at Konan Women's University
E-mail: nobuyuki@neomuseum.com

I love to meet people!
I can't remember how many people I've encountered in my life. But I know how exciting and fascinating it is to talk with new people and meet new worlds.

So ten years ago, I created a small atelier on the banks of Yoshino River where people can meet, interact and express their feelings and images through designing provocative objects and workshops. Even though it's a tiny place, I call it neoMuseum because it combines the hands-on aspect of a children's museum and the exploratory aspect of an artist's studio.

I love to collaborate!
Working with someone is exciting and stimulating because a lot of surprising perspectives emerge from playful interaction.

I love workshops!
The workshop at neoMuseum is not only an activity but also a spirit. So everywhere I go, I carry this spirit of playful and engaging interaction. Every meeting becomes a sparkling workshop where we can rediscover, reinvent, and redefine ourselves and the world around us.

I love playful spirit!
Improvising ideas, dancing conversation, roasting marshmallows or even losing an e-mail - we can make anything into a playful moment.

Dr. Nobuyuki Ueda is currently a professor in the Human Relations Department at Konan Women's University in Japan where he is teaching and developing the concept of learning designs. In 1990, he founded the neoMuseum on the banks of Yoshino River, where he has conducted nearly fifty experimental workshops on learning, media, and design. When he studied at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, he was greatly stimulated by the research and design environments of Sesame Street and the Boston Children's Museum, and the Logo constructionist learning environments at MIT Media Lab.

From 1996-1997, he worked as a visiting scholar at Harvard University Graduate School of Education on such topics as "Expression and Technology," and "The Internet and the Design of Learning Environments." He is currently a member of the Concept Advancement Committee of the Kobe International Multimedia & Entertainment City (KIMEC), a project which is aiming at developing a city of the future.

His main publications include: Japanese Children's Personal Theories of Intelligence: A Developmental Study; A New Learning Environment: The neoMuseum/Children's Media Museum Prototype; Designing Learning Environments.

portrait of Hillel Hillel Weintraub
Director, Communication Center,
Teacher at Doshisha International Jr./Sr. High School
E-mail: hillelw@intnl.doshisha.ac.jp

I value discovery that moves us and changes the way we see ourselves as human beings interacting with people, knowledge and the world. Such learning brings me touches deeply, especially if I am involved in some way in the design of the spaces - both physical and emotional - which can evoke such experiences. I love to see people engaged in and challenged by what they are doing and feeling the power of their own hearts and minds through self discovery. I want to be an authentic human being - engaged in activities of importance and value to myself and to others. In this highly mediatized and materialistic world, I often get lost and confused, so I try to surround myself by warm, wise, sensitive, and playful friends with a sense of humor, irony and paradox.

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