Toppan Launches GEMINI Lab Co-Creation Project to Merge Real and Virtual Worlds

Advance a “mirror world” in collaboration with several creators to develop a database for applying wood, stone and other materials as well as spatial and architectural designs to virtual spaces

Tokyo – Toppan, a global leader in communication, security, packaging, decorative materials and electronic solutions, has launched GEMINI Laboratory, a co-creation project to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders to develop services linked to the construction of a “mirror world” which faithfully recreates the real world in virtual spaces.

Toppan provides decorative materials with sophisticated designs that accurately reproduce textures such as wood grain and stone. This expertise is leveraged to create a database for applying the textures to virtual spaces such as a “mirror world” and the metaverse. As part of these activities, Toppan has launched GEMINI Laboratory, a project in which it will collaborate with various actors, including artists, architects, researchers and users, to discuss and test ideas for virtual spaces and advance their practical application in society.

The launch of the project will be accompanied by GEMINI Laboratory Media, a proprietary media showcasing GEMINI Lab activities and trends related to virtual spaces, and the GEMINI Lab Launch Event, featuring a project overview and discussion on virtual spaces by a diverse panel of experts. In addition, the exhibition of the GEMINI laboratory will present experimental works carried out with creators on the basis of the concept of the project.

Context of the launch of the GEMINI Laboratory

The time people spend in digital spaces is increasing due to factors such as the widespread use of social media due to the ubiquity of smartphones. It is anticipated that further overlap of the physical and digital realms will lead to a world in which we will see borderless interaction between the real and the virtual. In the GEMINI lab project, this is defined as a “mirror world”. The GEMINI Lab was launched to shape a world in which the digital and the real are connected and synchronized by forming a community of diverse actors collaborating in research and dialogue on a “mirror world”, the metaverse and other spaces virtual.

Toppan is advancing the development of a database to apply its data on wood grain, stone and other textures as well as spatial and architectural designs to virtual spaces. Through the various activities of the co-creation project, Toppan also aims to provide spaces in which virtual and real spaces play off each other, thereby bringing virtual worlds more into people’s daily lives.

GEMINI Lab Launch Event

The GEMINI Lab kick-off event will explain the full scope of the GEMINI Lab project and feature a discussion by a wide range of experts on virtual spaces. In addition to Kevin Kelly, a leading thinker in technology, attendees will include leading players from a variety of fields, including technology, art, and academia. Experts will discuss the possibilities of a “mirror world” allowing borderless interaction between the real and virtual worlds without being limited to visual perception alone. This dialogue will function as a launch pad for future co-creation activities.


-Date and time: October 6, 2022 2:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
– Offline location: SHIBUYA QWS
Shibuya Scramble Square (East Building) 15th Floor
Shibuya 2-24-12, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
*By invitation only

– Online site: YouTube LIVE (free)
-Details and information on how to apply, etc. :


Kevin Kelly, Mitsuhiro Takemura, Keisuke Toyoda, Tomoya Mori (Chini), Yasushi Sakai, SUNAKI, exonemo, Kazuki Takakura, Masahiro Yamaguchi, Ou Sugiyama, Natsuyo Chinsho, Keiichiro Hirano, Kyoko Tominaga, Arina Tsukada, Mariko Nishimura and others ( in no specific order)

GEMINI Laboratory Exhibition

The GEMINI Lab exhibition will feature works produced and curated by a variety of artists based on the concept of the GEMINI Lab and the theme of psychological and physical sensations resulting from the practical application of a “mirror world”. It will also showcase functional material prototypes produced using the latest CAD and 3D printing technologies from Toppan’s computer research departments. The GEMINI laboratory and the members of TOPPAN DIGITAL SANDBOX®, a prototyping and experimentation center aimed at developing digital transformation activities, will present architectural models where virtual and real spaces come together.

Contributing creators

exonemo is an art unit that uses anger, laughter, and text editors when approaching their work with a sense of hacking various media. exonemo was formed on the Internet in 1996 by SEMBO Kensuke and AKAIWA Yae. Since 2000, they have extended their activities to real spaces, flexibly traversing networked and real environments, and using humorous and novel perspectives in numerous experimental projects.

Yasushi Sakai
After working at the Nikken Sekkei Digital Design Lab, Yasushi Sakai is currently a research assistant and doctoral student at the MIT Media Lab. Exploring the relationship between people and technology, his research focuses on “machines called cities”.

SUNAKI is a collective led by architect Toshikatsu Kiuchi and designer/programmer Taichi Sunayama. It engages in planning, design and production centered on architecture and art. SUNAKI’s unique approach is themed around the intersection between the digital and the physical from the point of view of information and matter. SUNAKI manages a full range of projects from installation production to architectural design, exhibition planning and venue composition, as well as online space design to database building. .

Sputniko! earned a BA in Mathematics and Computer Science from Imperial College London and an MA in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art (RCA). Since her time at RCA, she has created multimedia installations reflecting how humans and society are changing under the influence of technologies. The major recent exhibitions in which Sputniko! notably participated in Broken Nature (MoMA, New York) in 2020 and Future and The Arts (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo) and the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial (Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York) in 2019.

Ayumi Kanno
Ayumi Kanno was born in Tokyo in 1994 and is currently completing a doctorate at the graduate school of Tokyo University of the Arts. She creates installations based on videos and drawings created by bringing together fragmented and seemingly unrelated memories of the same place, and also speculating on why people have woven sight-specific folklore and ghost stories there. .

misato is a visual artist who studied graphic design and art in London and started producing and considering 3D art as a form of artistic expression. misato explores the possibilities of the intersection of technologically updated expression and metaphorical and emotional expression.

Kenshō Tambara
Born in Tokyo in 1992, Kensho Tambara is a writer and curator who graduated from Harvard University with a major in art history. After working as a writer in Boston, his work focusing on performance related to rites of passage and rituals in modern communities, he returned to Japan in 2017 to work as a writer and curator. With his work, he aims to bring about a change in the eyes of the viewer, centered on the creation of site-specific works and exhibitions.
-Location: ANB Tokyo
Roppongi 5-2-4, Minato-ku, Tokyo
-Dates: October 14 to 25, 2022
-Opening hours: 12:00 p.m.—8:00 p.m.
-Free admission
-Additional Information: The exhibition will be held in accordance with guidelines issued by relevant government authorities and Toppan guidelines on preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection.
October 14 6:00 p.m.—8:00 p.m. by invitation only

GEMINI lab media?
It is a proprietary medium for researching and disseminating information about the activities of the GEMINI Laboratory and the possibilities of a “mirror world” and other virtual spaces.

Future plans

Through the activities of the GEMINI Lab, Toppan will advance a “mirror world” enabling borderless interaction between real and virtual spaces and link it to its various metaverse solutions. Toppan will also create various technologies and products through co-creation with a variety of active players in multiple fields to drive the development of a database that applies its wood grain, stone and other textures in virtual spaces. The communities and networks generated by the GEMINI Laboratory will be leveraged to contribute to a society in which virtual spaces are a more common part of everyday life.