Browse through our archives to read out about past Genius Table events and the unique venues in which they were held.


Inspiring autumn that industrial designer talked about his enthusiastic idea to young people



Camilo Potocnjak-Oxman

industrial designer

Camilo Potocnjak-Oxman is an Industrial Designer with a Masters Degree in Management who lives in Canberra, Australia.
Over the past ten years he has worked as an independent designer and innovation consultant in a number of different industries, including education, game design, food and mining. His main area of expertise is the design and delivery of innovation and entrepreneurship education programs, and for the past three has been part of the team behind Canberra's largest entrepreneurship competition, InnovationACT, and also Stir: a crowd-voted grants platform for youth and the creative industries. He is currently lecturer of Entrepreneurship at the Australian National University's Research School of Management. He has always had a deep interest in Japanese history, culture, and design, and enjoys every opportunity he has had to visit his friends in Shizuoka-shi, sing enka and drink atsukan at the local izakaya.


In November the 6th, although the weather was very cold, the participants gathered at the [annual gallery] which had been a whole sale store for more than 120 years in Kyoto. The light, the decoration and the view out of the window, all the factors work together, making the gallery very comfortable. The old songs from the gasoline trucks also added some seasoning to the atmosphere.
[A good-tasting autumn] so written on the box of our dishes. [That is so cute! It is a good tasting autumn!] so said the participants to each other. The vegie rice, orange-taste sweet potato, fried potato meat pie… Both our stomach and heart are fulfilled.
It was the best meal for the autumn before the winter.
The genius taking part in this meal calls himself KAMIRO. It was written like [God Road]. Although his Japanese was not perfect, he tried hard to illustrate his thoughts in Japanese. He works as a designer with a marketing degree in Australia. He wants to find and assist the founders from the next generation to build unicorn companies. [What does Google and Apple or other big companies have in common? They were all founded within a circle with a diameter of 10 kilometers in silicon valley.] said Kamiro. [Of course the progress of techniques makes daily life better, I still hope that the next generation founders can think more about people’s incoveniency and misery in their daily life.] That is exactly the job of designers like kamiro. He then said:” the work of designers is just like a mountain. It has two sides, one is facing the sun, the other side is covered with shadow. The shadow side is exactly where the designers work, because they have to work from zero to the end to support the bright out looking. It was like the ninjas, because they also work in the dark to fulfill their missions from the clients.”
This is also the reason why Kamiro named his company “NINNPO DESIGN”.
“What does company like Airbnb and twitter in commen?”, asked Kamiro, “They all have designers in their founding team. That is also why they can find the problem need solving in people’s daily life.”, answered himself. He also hopes that the next generation founders can do the same thing. He has made some moves to accomplish his goal. Programs about assisting founders build their own companies are held every year in Australia. The founding raise their money according the votes for their idea on the internet. “ It was hard to make a unicorn, because it needs a long progress of mixing different kinds of horses and pends many years. But I will hope that I could support the next generation founders to build one.” So said by Kamiro.
The participants seemed to understand the concepts and the enthusiasm of Kamiro. It seemed that it was not only a good-tasting autumn, but also an inspiring one.


ANEWAL Gallery

ANEWAL Gallery is kyo-machiya which was built 120 years ago and was used as brocade wholesale store in old days. Artists renovated the machiya to make good use of gallery. The gallery aims at practiced "Gallery that goes out" from among the conversation with people who live various places and there in the town without limiting the place of the activity to an own gallery.

They change traditional vegetables (Kyo-yasai) into original Kyo-yasai dishes. They make a lot of "works" , such as original dressing, soup, jam, obento, and osechi-dishes. The chef, who is a master of Kyo-yasai, makes delicious dishes.