Judges Spotlight October 25, 2019

Ask a Webby Judge: Qanta Shimizu, Tech Director, BASSDRUM

5 Questions with Qanta Shimizu, Tech Director at BASSDRUM, and great member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, Judging the 24th Annual Webby Awards!

The Webby Awards is excited to welcome a slate of brand new experts to the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS): the 2,000+ member body of Internet experts and luminaries who judge work entered into The Webbys each year.

Meet new Webby Judge Qanta Shimizu, Tech Director at BASSDRUM, a professional community the world’s first technical director collective, which boosts the value of technical directors while helping companies maximize their ability to use technology.

We chatted with Shimizu about why he’s excited to join IADAS, what he brings to the Academy, and how he’s changing the creative technology industry through BASSDRUMsome of his favorite things on the Internet right now.

Read our Q&A below!

The Webbys is not specific to web services, not specific to advertising, not specific to anything. The Webby Awards is diversity itself and being a part of that diversity makes us notice the importance of diversity.”
— Qanta Shimizu Tech Director, BASSDRUM

1. Why are you excited to join IADAS as a Webby Awards judge? What particular expertise or vantage point do you bring to the Academy?

The first moment I came across The Webbys was when I received the news in 2004 that a famous and beautiful Japanese website “” was the first-ever Webby honored project from Japan. That was pretty big news in my home country and it strongly motivated me with jealousy and admiration.

Since then, The Webbys has been special to me and becoming a Webby judge is a huge meaningful milestone in my career.

Now I’m primarily working as a hybrid of Tech Director and Creative Director. I contribute to judging with my experience to translate Tech into Creative and Creative into Tech. Also my cultural background as a Japanese creative who moved outside of Japan will be a good injection in the judging session.

2. Why do you think being a part of The Webby Awards community matters?

The Webbys is not specific to web services, not specific to advertising, not specific to anything. The Webby Awards is diversity itself and being a part of that diversity makes us notice the importance of diversity.

There are a lot of points of view and very pure creative spirit surrounding the community. The Webbys can be the door to an unknown world.

3. What trend or emerging technology are you most excited about in your field of work?

Transformative technology (= transtech). The Internet has created an explosion of information. After experiencing this explosion, new technologies emerge every year and make the world more complicated. Now, I think it’s time to try keeping ourselves calm and happy in this storm. Transtech can be a kind of practical scientific trick to keep people peaceful and mentally healthy. I think that is the most important matter to survive this era.

4. What projects or endeavors are you currently working on, and how will it benefit the Internet community?

I’ve continued working on some specific challenges at the intersection of tech and creative, but now the most active work for me is raising the presence of tech directors by organizing a tech director collective, named BASSDRUM, started in Japan. By gathering skillful tech directors from around the world, we can exchange information and experiences more efficiently and we can increase the number of skillful tech directors.

Right now, there aren’t enough tech directors to translate tech into creative. However, I believe expanding the tech director community will give more effectiveness to the world.

5. What’s your favorite app that other people haven’t heard of?

MEISAI” made by Kitasenju Design is a super impressive human body AR app. By using the iOS13 feature, this app can confuse our reality, and inspire us to dig into the next visual expression. It’s worth checking out.