News Ticker

Future tech | Rhizomatiks fuses maths and movement to create alternate realities

Capture d’écran 2020-02-05 à 14.47.12The rockstars at Rhizomatiks are already big in Japan – now they’re bringing their experimental collaborations to the stage at Design Indaba’s jubilee conference, from 26-28 February 2020. Known for using programming code, lasers, drones, robotics and augmented reality as the tools of their theatrical trade, these transmedia artists are past masters at interpreting what it means to be human through high-tech innovations.

Rhizomatiks was founded in Tokyo in 2006 by artist, programmer and DJ Daito Manabe, in conjunction with art director Seiichi Saito and web developer Hidenori Chiba. Manabe graduated in dynamic sensory programming (DSP) from the International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) and holds a degree in mathematics from the Tokyo University of Science. Since 2015, he has served alongside Motoi Ishibashi as a co-director of Rhizomatiks Research, the firm’s division dedicated to exploring new possibilities in the realms of technical and artistic expression, with a focus on R&D-intensive projects. Rhizomatiks Research includes other members like Satoshi Horii and Yuya Hanai.

Ishibashi is an engineer and artist, and the director of Rhizomatiks Research. He graduated from the Department of Systems and Control Engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the IAMAS and is involved in a diverse range of activities, including art performances, music videos, and installations based on the production of devices and hardware. Hotii studied design and took DSP courses at IAMAS. With his unique and coherent understanding of computer programing without using existing software tools, he has been able to create unique interactive artwork and video production in various fields across entertainment and the arts.

Yuya Hanai studied image recognition and its hardware design, presenting his research at several major international conferences. He received BS and MS degrees from Keio University in 2008 and 2010 respectively. He joined Rhizomatiks in 2014, pursuing novel visual expression and experience, and developed a seamless transition system of multiple live camera inputs for stage performance and live streaming.

Rhizomatiks draws on a range of disciplines and a wide spectrum of collaborators to produce the challenging installations and performances for which it is best known, including music, dance and data science. ELEVENPLAY + Rhizomatiks presents dancers, drones and artificial intelligence interacting in a delicate choreographed performance, and in ‘discrete figures’, computer-generated movement represents a new form of dance performance simulated by bodies.

Rhizomatiks is also known for the stage direction of Japanese J-Pop artist Perfume. Their collaboration with Perfume at music festivals such as SXSW in 2015 and Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2019 has received high praise. Rhizomatiks has been creating astonishing and intriguing works, as seen at the flag handover ceremony at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, where AR technologies were used.

Capture d’écran 2020-02-05 à 14.49.26

Dynamic and inventive, Rhizomatiks continues to push the boundaries of what technology can deliver – and how its expressive possibilities can be leveraged. Over the past decade, it has focused on a wide variety of process-driven projects, including Paris Fashion Week, EXPO Milano 2015, the Fencing World Cup, musician concert tours, high-tech installations for Nike, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, and many more. It is pulling us into the future one extraordinary experience at a time.

Follow @rhizomatiks on both Twitter and Instagram.

Watch ELEVENPLAY+Rhizomatiks here:

Watch ‘discrete figures’ here:

Tickets for the Design Indaba 2020 are available through
For more information: | Facebook – @designindaba | Twitter – @designindaba | Instagram @designindaba

Issued on behalf of:

Design Indaba (


Scout PR & Social Media

+27 21 685 0169