Playful interventionist and design researcher, Tomo Kihara develops situated playful interventions to challenge and reframe societal issues. His recent project Street Debaters aims to change the act of begging into a job to create public discourse through playful artifacts. His projects to reframe societal issues through design activism has been acclaimed internationally, with project “phonvert” – a project to raise awareness of the potential that retired smartphones have – being nominated as Design of the Year 2016 by the London Design Museum.
As a founder, he is now currently in charge of developing this project at the Waag Society in Amsterdam. Some people also refer to him as the Chief Street Debater since he is head of the Street Debaters around the globe. On sunny weekends you can meet him street debating about almost anything − from politics to the best anime − in Amsterdam Dam square. Originally from Tokyo, he is now a graduate student based at TU Delft, Design for Interaction program in the Netherland.