Disaster prevention in Sendai

The 2015 Sasakawa Awards are part of a larger international UNISDR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) conference, which this year was held in Sendai in the north of Japan - one of the areas most affected by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011.

The brief: Create an awards event to celebrate the achievements of Sasakawa Award winners and notable applicants over the last 10 years.

Eat was responsible for creating the overall concept, creative direction, stage-set production and event management - working with a team of UNISDR representatives across a number of regions and time zones. We approached the event as a multi-disciplinary project that would bring together design, film, dance and more - to take the audience on an emotional journey and highlight the achievements of UNISDR over the last 10 years.

Our theme for the event was ‘ribbons’ - a versatile device, deep rooted within many cultures with significance all over the world. They connect and bring together people, communities and topics. Within this thematic ‘umbrella’ were a number of sub projects including:

- The creation of a short film celebrating the contribution that the Sasakawa Awards has made to Disaster Risk Reduction around the world

- A ribbon dance performance by the Shizuka Yabuuchi Dance Crew

- A series of stylised ‘tanabata’ trees made from Re-board – taking inspiration from the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who pioneered the use of cardboard as an ecological solution for building shelters for disasters relief. Attendees were invited to attach ribbons to the trees, allowing them to ‘blossom’ over the course of the event.