Last year the annual Tokyo Design Week took place in November in Tokyo. One of the exhibit caught fire, a five-year-old boy who had been playing in the structure died, and two adults (its dad and a stranger) who tried to rescue the child were injured.
The exhibit was designed and built by engineering students from Nippon Institute of Technology. The fire started by an incandescent bulb placed on the ground, inside the wood structure. The university had initially claimed that only safer LEDs were used at that site, but it has since revised that statement. Officials now believe that a student left on an incandescent bulb that had been intended for use during construction only and not during public exhibition.
Satoshi Tabuchi of the exhibition’s executive committee said – I want many people to know the enjoyment of design, I want to give children dreams. Through such things I took away the precious life, the future and the hope of the child who enjoyed playing at the design event of the students nationwide gathered to convey the possibility of design. We deeply apologise to the bereaved family and express our deepest condolences from the bottom of our hearts. We also deeply apologise for causing inconveniences to all concerned parties. We will stop the school exhibition in 2017 in view of the seriousness of this accident. (…) In the future, as school work exhibition executive committee, we will strive thoroughly that it is design based on social responsibility and safety of designing for students who are studying design. At the same time, we will strive to prevent accidents by strengthening safety measures and thorough safety supervision.