Design Researcher


September 19, 2019


Shin Tanaka, Design Researcher
Keio University Graduate school of Media Design.


“I find inspiration in people and the cities surrounding them”

ABOUT – SHIN TANAKA was just a graffiti artist. He had been looking for an interesting canvas instead of a street-wall. One day, he hit upon an idea to draw graffiti on a toy. But he didn’t have a good toy for it, then he made a toy from a paper as his new canvas. His works have two elements; ORIGAMI and STREET CULTURE.

His ORIGAMI experiences helped it when he was young. And when he is designing, mega volume HIPHOP music is playing. His inspiration is the beats and rhyming flow. Because his paper toys are based on a street culture, many artists and brands are interested in them.

Before now, over 500 artists and brands join in his paper toy project. His paper toys have been growing with involving pop art, graffiti art, street fashion and more.


PUBLICATIONS – Aug. 2005 – Paper sneakers in NIKE Design Library (Portland, Oregon, US) Oct. 2005 – Paper sneaker “BASQUIAT” (RBK/dpmih) Feb. 2006 – T-BOY SHOW (featuring adidas) in Portland, Oregon Feb. 2006 – Paper sneaker “Ventilator” (REEBOK) for NY FASHION WEEK Mar. 2006 – adicolor customize for adidas taiwan Apr. 2006 – Compound concoction in Guestroom gallery Jul. 2006 – Toy custom for SUG SHOW (UNKLBRANDS) Aug. 2006 – The WALLMAN custom show in Hawaii Sep. 2006 – PAPER TOY EXHIBITION: KAMI ZOO in Berlin Apr. 2007 – Interactive website for Onitsuka Tiger UK Mar. 2007 – INKTHIS 2 in UK Aug. 2007 – ROCK PAPER SNEAKERS -the paper art exhibition of SHIN TANAKA in association with NIKE- Feb. 2008 – PAPER TOY LIVE in KENNEDY CENTER -HYPE CULTURE JAPAN-$B!!(B (Washington D.C) Jan. 2009 – SYLVAN -hoophy and SPIKY BABY show- in Issey Miyake Paris, France Apl. 2009 – PAPERSHAPERS Scion x Giant Robot at Scion installation in Los Angels Sep. 2009 – KIMONO FUSION for Ostasiatiska museet in Sweden Mar. 2010 – NEW YORK-TOKYO & Frannk’s Chop Shop presents “SHIN TANAKA NIGHT” Apr. 2010 – The Joy of Toy in CCC JAPAN May. 2010 – UNIQLO + Disney + SHIN TANAKA “Mickey by…” in New York(US), Paris(FR), HongKong(CN), ShangHai(CN), Osaka(JP) and Tokyo(JP) Dec. 2010 – LOVE MOVEMENT in NEW PEOPLE, San Francisco, collaborated exhibition with Danke Schoen. Apr. 2011 – Colours’ Attack by Pop’Set (feat. Shin Tanaka) in UK Sep. 2011 – Collaboration with BerlinWood in Germany Oct. 2011 – Collaboration with WAR-CHILD produced by LTD-EDN Dec. 2011 – Collaboration and reception with LEON Magazine in Hong-Kong Feb. 2012 – Phantasmagoria, Forman’s Smokehouse Gallery, London, UK Feb. 2012 – Hear and Art exhibition in Shibuya, Tokyo Feb. 2012 – Custom design for MICKEY MOUSE VINYL ART FIGURE Mar. 2012 – SAVE & DESTROY -Kaiju exhibition- in Spain Mar. 2012 – Earth Movement in San Francisco May. 2012 – Paper Lady GAGA for Lady GAGA produced by Naoko Shimojo Oct. 2012 – Collaboration with “Emily the Strange” produced by MAQET Oct, 2013 PAPER TOY MANIA for Karl Lagerfeld Jul., 2015 Collaboration with FASHION WALKin Hong Kong Oct., 2015 Collaboration with UNIQLO flagship store opening in Chicago, US