sensorium FAQs
[sensorium homepage]

Frequently Asked Questions / Last updated: Oct. 26 1996

Q: Why launch sensorium?
Q: Who are the creators of sensorium?
Q: What is the theme of sensorium?
Q: How do I join sensorium?
Q: What is the future of sensorium?

Scroll to find out!

Q: Why launch sensorium?
sensorium is the theme pavilion of the Japan zone in the Internet 1996 World Exposition (IWE '96). IWE '96 is a nongovernment event that various leading-edge corporations and key internet people from 46 different countries and regions around the world have joined together to create.

In Japan, the WIDE (Widely Integrated Distributed Environment) Project, a group researching operating systems and telecommunications technologies in order to develop new computer environments, approached various companies in Japan to see if they were interested in participating in IWE '96. Over 30 corporations expressed interest and the Japan IWE '96 Committee was established with Jun Murai, a representative of the WIDE Project, as its chairman.

After discussions with the various participants lasting over a year, Jun Murai proposed to the IWE '96 committee that a theme pavilion that reflected the concept of IWE '96 be created. Thus sensorium was born. sensorium is part of the central square of the Japan zone (located near the entrance) that it shares with other exhibitors. sensorium is supported in part by contributions from various corporations exhibiting in the Japan zone.

Q: Who are the creators of sensorium?
After deciding to go ahead with the theme pavilion, the IWE '96 Committee concluded that the contents of the pavilion should be properly created by professionals. IWE '96 is a part of the Net, and a pavilion is a part of the event, so development of the Internet depends on how good the contents of the various sites are. In summer 1995, the committee's secretariat contacted Shin'ichi Takemura, the head of Project Taos, a group involved in planning, production and consulting activities, and asked them to submit a plan for the pavilion. Project Taos' plan received the support of Japan IWE '96 Committee chairman Jun Murai, and committee member Naoto Okude. The plan was then discussed at a meeting of the planning and evaluation department of the committee. The plan was duly approved and the committee commissioned Project Taos to create the contents.

For staffing details, please see the Staff Page. sensorium is created and operated by Project Taos and other organizations, with production support provided by Dai Nippon Printing.

Project Taos Inc.
Project Taos is a group of various professionals led by Shin'ichi Takemura, an anthropologist and an associate professor of Tohoku University of Arts and Design. Project Taos is involved in activities ranging from urban design and product planning for large projects, design and production operations and corporate consulting. It is located in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo. Contact: taos@mail

Q: What is the theme of sensorium?
It was decided that sensorium should establish its own unique theme as a site of the IWE '96. The key thematic concept is "sense." sensorium seeks to create a Web site that allows one to sense the world in a variety of ways. Humans are currently in the process of creating a new world and society in another dimension, in the form of new networks connected via the Internet. However, what kind of world we create depends upon what we experience or feel in our daily lives.

For example, in Japan when we use the expression, "He has good sense (taste)" we often refer to an output of some kind. However, this only refers to the output from his experiencing the world. For instance, his drawings are in good taste, or his sense of fashion is excellent, or his business sense is good. As a result, the possibilities or potential of the internet are our possibilities or potential. Therefore, if the world that we produce lacks vitality, it must be because that we are not experiencing or sensing the world in an active and positive manner.

As a tool via the Net, sensorium is designed to expand the meaning of the term "sense," from various viewpoints. The true capabilities of the Net do not just lie in mundane scenarios, such as virtual shopping at home, transmitting information or as a medium for expression, but rather to help us sense such aspects of human activity as how and what we eat, the air we breathe, what are the relationships that we share with our family, other people and creatures. We hope that the Net allows the audience to see the more important things in our lives.

At the beginning, we would like to explore the possibilities of the Internet as a tool to sense the world. We will pursue this goal throughout 1996.

Q: How do I join sensorium?
You can join sensorium in addition to reading and enjoying its contents.

  • Have you checked in by typing your name and location in the area provided at the left of the frame? There, the names of people and where they are from are indicated in real time. You are now already a part of the contents of sensorium. If you have not checked in, please do so right now!
    After you check in, our Pocket Park function enables you to chat with other viewers of sensorium. The function can also be used as a bulletin board. To access Pocket Park, please click the icon in the left corner.

  • On the comments page, you can leave your opinions and impressions for the staff of sensorium to read and get back to you on.

  • You can also link your own (or any other home page) with sensorium. It does not need to be yours. If you have any favorite sites, please let us know. However, whether a site is accepted or not depends upon whether it possesses a commonality with sensorium.

  • Please try to create your own home page showing what you experience in your daily life.
    It could be going for a walk, daily evening meals, or driftwood you picked up on the beach--anything you like. If you make a home page, please let us know on the comments page, and create a link between sensorium and the site. Let's make a "sensing corridor" on the Internet. We are waiting for your participation.Or, if you have plans to do something with us, your ideas are also welcome.

Q: What is the future of sensorium?
The contents of sensorium will expand step by step. We are currently making preparations for senseware, the contents of which are not fully settled at the moment. In addition, we will provide event-related contents, which will be held in autumn. sensorium will be running for the entire year and we have hit upon a novel method for letting you know when it has been updated.

sensorium is updated every two weeks, coinciding with the new and full moons. So, the easiest way of knowing when sensorium is being updated is to view the moon. (The sensorium staff view the night sky to "sense" an approaching deadline!) We also send a brief newsletter to those who have registered their name and e-mail address on the days we update the contents. If you do not have an address, please keep up with sensorium's progress by watching the phases of the moon.

To apply for the newsletter, please fill in your e-mail address and click on "submit."
your e-mail address:

For Macintosh users, we recommend keeping up with sensorium updates by using Moon It! Moon It! is freeware that emits a dog's howl or whine when the Mac boots up to let you know what day it is on the lunar calendar. Moon It! freeware is produced in the United States, so users must account for the time difference.

We hope that this Frequently Asked Questions Page will stimulate your interest and give rise to questions and comments. What is more, we will be very happy if sensorium lets you sense the world in a different dimension, even if just a little. So, become a frequent visitor, enjoy our varied contents and sense the world in a new dimension!

Enter your opinions, comments and questions in the comments page.
To register to receive updated information about sensorium, please go to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.

[sensorium homepage]

Theme pavilion "sensorium" (sensorium home page)
INTERNET 1996 WORLD EXPOSITION (World Public Park) / JAPAN (Japan EXPO home page)