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Dr. Keiko Honda, VAC'S Founder & Executive Director, created this 3D-model as a learning tool to introduce Ikigai, a Japanese concept denoting a reason for being or purpose of life, and to aid the integration of Ikigai into Western cultural and social practice. 


Dr. Honda, a public health researcher and scholar, holds that engagement with the arts and the practice of co-creation are critical tools for promoting public health and assisting in the formation (and reformation) of identity. Her seminal course at Simon Fraser University, Social Artistry Though Co-Creation, draws on her lived experience and research and uses this 3-D model to initiate transformative dialogues around Ikigai. 


The three axes of the 3D model are: Maslow’s growth needs, arts engagement, and co-creation, representing methodologies of Ikigai. The shape of the model follows the conchospiral shape of sea shells, a pattern called the golden spiral – derived from the Fibonacci series – which recurs frequently in nature. We use this shape to remind us how humans and nature are not separate.


The model is meant to inspire and to bridge disciplines and theories of public health and collective flourishing, while serving as a guiding principle for the community-based and educational projects of VACS, the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society.  

Apropos, below is a short fictional and graphic story inspired by Keiko's personal experiences of Ikigai, including the ongoing weaving program Weaving Our Way, which she started in 2015. Dr. Honda invites you to immerse yourself.

Artwork and design: Lilly Lin

___'s Journey

___ is 20 years old, a university student who is at a crossroads in their life and feeling anxious about their future. One day ___ visits an art gallery after hearing about the new exhibit The Collective Unconscious...