Noriko Kawakami


川上典李子    japaNese / 日本語ページ

photo: Kenichi Yamaguchi



Noriko Kawakami Joined the editorial department of AXIS, Tokyo, working on AXIS magazine. In 1994, she became an independent journalist. Her writing covers a wide range of design-related issues. 

Since 2007, Kawakami has been Associate Director of 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, involved in co-planning of exhibition alongside the museum's three Directors, Issey Miyake, Taku Satoh and Naoto Fukasawa.

Other Curating work includes 《Japanese Design Today 100》(currently on world tour),

《Japon-Japonismes. Objets inspirés, 1867-2018》(Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 2018-2019)and 《Yasuhiro Suzuki: A Journey Around the Neighbourhood Globe》(London Design Biennale, 2016).

She is Guest Professor in Department of Industrial, Interior and Craft Design,

and concurrently Lecturer in Department of Scenography, Display and Fashion Design, Musashino Art University.  Also Lecturer at Nagaoka Institute of Design, and Kuwasawa Design School. Kawakami is a member of the Board of Directors of Tama Art University. 



□ Instagram  noriko_kawakami


photo: Yasuhiro Suzuki

Curatorial Work


Kawakami is engaged in the planning of domestic and overseas design-related exhibition including all those held at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT. She appeared in panels and discussion events related to these shows, and delivers lectures on them.



photo: Masaya Yoshimura, photo courtesy of 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT
photo: Masaya Yoshimura, photo courtesy of 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT




Visionaries: Making Another Perspective


Noriko Kawakami curated the exhibition 

Visionaries: Making Another Perspective at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art, March 9 to June 4, 2023.

Exhibition Information Link

Article of design boom about this exhibition (March, 2023)

Article of Studio International  (May, 2023)

Article of Champ Magazine (June, 2023)


Related Talk Event was held at Hall of the Kyoto simbun (news paper) .

May 21, 2023, Speaker:  

Noriko Kawakami

Takahiro Iwasaki (artist) 

Nao Tamura (designer)

Yoshiyuki Miyamae / A-POC ABLE ISSEY MIYAKE

Satoshi Yoshiizumi  / TAKT PROJECT

Genta Ishizuma (artist) 

Kengo Takahashi (artist) 





A related symposium was the main accompanying event, held in the Citizens' Hall in Asahikawa city, Hokkaido, one of the UNESCO Design cities .

Keynote speech: Paola Antonelli, MoMA

Panel discussion: Toshiko Mori, architect and professor at Harvard University, Shunsuke Managi, Professor at Kyusyu University and 

Toru Iwasa, a creative director.

Noriko Kawakami served as moderator for the

panel discussion.

June 21, 2023




Japanese Design Today 100


A related Talk Event was held at the International Liaison Center, Tokyo Midtown Design Hub, organized by The Japan Foundation.

Speaker: Masafumi Fukagawa, 

Noriko Kawakami

May 24, 2023, 14:00 - 15:00




Tadanori Yokoo: The Artists 


21_21 DESIGN SIGHT Galley 3 

July 21 - October 17, 2021


The exhibition was organized by the Foundation Cartier pour l'art contemporain and curated by Hervé Chandès and Béatrice Grenier.

21_21 was involved as special cooperator.

Noriko Kawakami participated  in the production of Noriaki Okamoto's  film where she interviewed Yokoo at his atelier.  

Film Link 

Exhibition information


The Foundation Cartier commissioned a film as a part of public programme on the theme of the Japanese architect Junya Ishigami and Japanese photofrapher Rinko Kawauchi. Kawakami appears in the capacity of interviewer.






Kawakami's writing includes articles in design-related periodicals and general magazines, as well as contributions to monographs on artists and designers.  


Shiseido's HANATSUBAKI magazine, vol.828, 2021. Kawakami interviewed the architect, Kazuyo Sejima, and wrote this up in the article for the series of "Essence of Elegance".

Link to the article (HANATSUBAKI web magazine).


Ginza Six Editors,  Ginza Six, Tokyo, photo: Sohei Oya, edit: Yuka Okada(81)



Kawakami participates in numerous round tables and talks for general audience.


ISSEY MIYAKE PARFUMS artists talk at Shiseido Word Hall, Tokyo, photo: Masaya Yoshimura

Festival de l'histoire de l'art 2021

Kawakami participated in a round table titled 

De l'artisanat traditonnel au design comtemporain, 

at château de Fntainebleau and Villa Kujoyama, Kyoto. June 5, 2021. 


Talk Event Report 


Issey, National Art Center Tokyo, 2016