The Kid Should See This

Design Ah! (デザインあ) introduces kids to design concepts

Update 2018: The video has been blocked by NHK. See another Design Ah! video below.

In 2011, Japan’s NHK television network began broadcasting Design Ah!, a Peabody award-winning children’s educational program that explores different types of creative thinking for viewers of all ages. With an “Ah” that stands for that Ah! moment, as well as for , the first character of the Japanese alphabet, the program is full of minimal, rhythmic, well-crafted short clips that don’t shy away from sophistication.

We first heard of Design Ah! when Tinybop sang its praises in 2013. Since then, we’ve scoured the web for videos, but they are few and far between and often disappear. We’re guessing that these two clips might not be available for too long either, so be sure to watch them sooner than later.

design-ah-design-observations-pour-2
design-ah-design-observations-pour-1
Above, a beautifully hypnotic segment for Mandarin-speaking audiences: design observations of a soy sauce pourer. Some of the phrases read, “Hold, Press Down, Tilt, Pour, Stand Upright…” The video then asks about your observations, and suggests pouring at home to study how it works.

Below, a collection of short segments that observe everything from the diverse forms of chairs, to a deconstructed inventory of comic book elements, to a simple and catchy counting clip:


design-ah-intro1
design-ah-chairs-1
design-ah-shapes-sound-1
design-ah-counting-six-1
design-ah-counting-eight-2

Related watching: more Japanese television, including Pitagora Suitchi.

This award-winning video collection is reader-supported. Become a sustaining member to keep TKSST online and free for everyone, including teachers and parents who use it as a resource to spark learning and curiosity for kids.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

The Importance of Setting in a Story

Rion Nakaya

Making art with everyday objects: Christoph Niemann

Rion Nakaya

An origami-inspired model for reconfigurable materials

Rion Nakaya

Unendurable line – Design Ah!

Rion Nakaya

What’s an Engineer? + The Engineering Process – Crash Course Kids

Rion Nakaya

Geometry of Circles (1979) with Sesame Street and Philip Glass

Rion Nakaya

How playing an instrument benefits your brain

Rion Nakaya

Artist Shantell Martin: Follow the Pen

Rion Nakaya

An animated ode to curiosity, exploration, discovery, & creativity

Rion Nakaya

Get smart curated videos delivered every week.    
Subscribe