Our Team

Ryuichi Nambu

/Art Director

Born in 1979. After graduating from ICU, obtained an MA at Goldsmiths College at the University of London. After returning to Japan, worked at Hiromura Design Office. As a graphic designer, works on a wide range of projects that include branding and signage design. After starting the independent design office in 2009, obtained an MA at the University of Tokyo Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies. While there, took part in practical programs on media literacy as a designer. Established ACTANT, Inc. in 2013 and assumed role as its president. Member of the Japan Graphic Designers Association (JAGDA). Currently engaged in design that spans various touchpoints and is rooted in media studies and anthropology.

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Masanao Takeyama

/Ph.D, Consultant

After graduating from the Keio University Faculty of Economics, began graduate research at the same faculty. In 1992, studied abroad at the University of California Santa Barbara and obtained a PhD there. In 2003, became an associate professor at the Keio University Faculty of Economics. Became a professor at the same university in 2008. Researching service design that makes use of ICT through the vectors of theory of urban media and marketing theory. Promoting a range of industry-academia projects like the creation of a joint value-creation system that situates companies and consumers together in designing business innovation based on the underlying logic of the service in question. Simultaneously working on corporate training and consulting. In 2013, established the Japanese branch of SDN, an international organization engaged in service design, and assumed the role of its joint president.

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Kahoru Tsukui

/Service Designer

After graduating from the Keio University Faculty of Economics, handled marketing of business network services for a telecommunications firm. Went on to become a researcher at Keio University, taking part in industry-academia projects to develop new open innovation methods. In 2011, obtained an MA in service design at a scholarship program at the Domus Academy in Italy. Worked on numerous industry-academia projects with Italian firms. After returning to Japan, began working as a service designer. Also works as a research at Keio University and is engaged in the design of new service design methodologies. Currently researching trends in the European service design market from a base in Paris.

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Ryo Sato

/Business Strategist

Born in 1981. After graduating from International Christian University, took part in the launch of online advertisement ROI analysis services at a startup. Went on to work at a British-backed advertising agency to develop quantitative media plans leveraging market research through multivariate analysis and statistical models. In 2010, worked in the management consulting department of Accenture to offer consulting on marketing and CRM to government agencies and firms in the electronics, Internet services, pharmaceutical, and other industries. In 2014, joined ACTANT to explore ways of fusing consulting approaches rooted in quantitative analysis with qualitative design methodologies.

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Emiko Kanayama


Born in 1993 in Yamaguchi. After graduating from Musashino Art University Department of Visual Communication Design, she worked as an office assistant in the same department. At the same time as her work in the university, she also worked as an editing assistant at a publishing company focused on design. While deepening her understanding of design through her experience, she worked on design projects as a freelance. Engaged on a broad range of projects related to the creative industry, mainly focusing on typography and editorial design. After leaving the office of the Department of Visual Communication Design, she developed an interest in a wider range of the field of design. Hence joining ACTANT, she is mainly in charge of visual communication design.


Mai Hashiba

/Office Manager & PR

Born in 1982. Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Aesthetics and Art History. Obtained an MA in Western Art History from the same university, at the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Department of Aesthetics and Art History. Gained experience in art management in an art gallery for rising artists, and through her participation in a production team for digital art events hosted by businesses. She then worked as a research assistant at Tokyo University of Arts, and later engaged in community management at a shared office. At the same time, she took part in planning, production, and support of art exhibitions and events, while also editing materials for printing and for the website. Joined ACTANT in 2017. Along with administrative tasks, she also supports various research related to our projects.


Our Partner

Daisuke Nakazawa

Communication Designer

Working on the development of home appliances and food products, service design for airlines, and experience design and community design for parks. His projects have drawn attention for fostering communication and interpersonal ties by linking products, services, and spaces. He also builds teams with clients and collaborators to pursue ongoing innovation spanning from development of an initial concept on through its refinement and implementation. Obtained an MA in Narrative Environments from the University of Arts London, Central Saint Martins.


Wakako Kitamura

/Experience Designer

After working in the financial information industry, she joined mct Inc. (Daishinsha). Worked on design consultations for both domestic and overseas projects, earning practical experience in service design in the areas of healthcare, education, tourism, finance, insurance and information technologies. Started her collaboration with ACTANT in 2016. She devotes her energy to themes directly affecting the quality of life. The themes include: “Redesigning the process of treatment for patients and healthcare workers” and “Creating a new opportunity for accessing educational resources”. While taking her inspiration from Nordic participatory design and traditional Japanese culture, she also manages training programs dedicated to bringing out the company’s creativity.



Takahito Kamihira


Born in Kagoshima. After graduating from the Graduate School of Art & Design at the University of Tsukuba with a major in MA., worked as a graphic designer and assistant at the Faculty of Art at Tokyo Polytechnic University. In 2004, assumed a teaching position at Senshu University. Began working at ACTANT in 2016. Engaged in information design education and research. In recent years, has taken an interest in social elements and complex issues between stakeholders that cannot be resolved through design alone; is working on CoDesign as a means of constructively solving challenging present-day needs. From 2015-2016, acted as a visiting researcher at the design research group of the IT University of Copenhagen, researching Nordic style Participatory Design. Certified Human Centered Design Professional.