Studio630 is the research blog of Kyle Rogler. This blog posts articles of work in architecture, urban design, technology, culture, and programming that currently influence me. Currently stationed at BNIM Architects.
Born in Tokyo in 1948, painter Morimura Ray graduated from Tokyo Gakugei University and began his career as a painter using abstract, geometric forms, later turning to woodblock printmaking.
According to his profile description in Wikipedia France, his early career as a non-figurative artist has a deep influence on his successive work, since the forms of trees, agricultural fields, houses and other elements are still created through an optimal disposition of triangles, squares and other geometric elements.
His drawings are based on “unnatural”, “flat” perspectives: often depicted from an high vantage point, they never aim to distinguish the figure from the background. Realism is not an issue, textures and hues are given great importance, and every element appears to have the same weight in the composition.
Unless something happens to boost Japan’s birth rate, its population will shrink by a third between now and 2060. One reason for the lack of babies is the emergence of a new breed of Japanese men - the otaku, who love manga, anime and computers more than sex.
Tokyo is the world’s largest metropolis and home to more than 35 million people, so on the face of it, it is hard to believe there is any kind of population problem at all. But Akihabara, an area of the city dedicated to the manga and anime subculture provides one clue to the country’s problems. Akihabara is heaven for otaku. They are a generation of geeks who have grown up through 20 years of economic stagnation and have chosen to tune out and immerse themselves in their own fantasy worlds. (via BBC News - The Japanese men who prefer virtual girls to sex)
Power Jacket MK3 leaps from comic book pages into reality
In recent years Japan has erected life-sized statues of giant robots like Tetsujin-28 go (Gigantor) and a Gundam mobile suit, but statues can’t defend the island nation from kaiju attack. Perhaps that is why Sagawa Electronics is bridging the gap between fantasy and reality with a working robotic exoskeleton it calls the Power Jacket MK3 that mimics your every move. And it says it will produce up to five of them for about US$123,000 apiece. (via Power Jacket MK3 leaps from comic book pages into reality)
Tanbo Art is made by using various types and colors of rice to create giant pictures in the rice fields. It started back in 1993 as a way to revitalize the rice village of Inakadate, in the area of Aomori. For the first nine years, the farmers created a simple picture of Mount Iwaki but the art has now evolved into more complex designs featuring popular characters that appeal to both kids and adults.
Every April, the villagers meet and decide what to plant for the year. They first sketch out the designs on computers and then sow seeds of the varying rice plants. This year, the huge images have crossed the island’s limits and feature a host of awesome designs, including the famous “Ushiwaka and his subordinate Benkei” and Mazinger Z.
House H: Turning The Bones Of A Home Into Showpieces
Tokyo-basedHiroyuki Shinozaki Architects designed House H especially for a young couple and their small child looking to set down roots in Chiba, a residential prefecture on the outskirts of Japan’s capital city. “We put a lot of importance on the structure of architecture,” the firm’s Sota Matsuura tells Co.Design. “We hope the family has a relationship with the structure of the house in their daily lives.”
Experimental Japanese Winter Cabin Blends Traditional Methods with Modern Materials
The conventional modern way of building for northern climates often involves synthetic insulation and some kind of mechanical heating — an energy-intensive and inefficient way to live out the winter. For the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, the traditional way of winter-proofed building is called “chise,” referring to a home that is built with earth, clad with bamboo and sedge grasses, with radiantly heated floors and interiors kept warm by a central hearth that is never allowed to go out.
In an experimental project for the Meme Meadows environmental research facility on Japan’s Hokkaido island, Japanese architectKengo Kumahas constructed a dwelling that uses these indigenous principles and combined them with modern materials to create a translucent house that operates in rhythm with natural patterns of light and heating.
Shoshinis a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind”. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.
In 2003 an abandoned basket ball stadium in Osaka Japan, was repurposed into the Namba Parks complex. Consisting of a high rise office, 120 tenant shopping mall and this lush publicly accessible green roof.
As the Atlantic Cities best describes, “Leave it toJapanto turn one of the dirtiest and noisiest processes of the urban lifecycle – thedemolitionof highrises – into a neat, quiet and almost cute affair.”
Japanese construction company Taisei Corporation has discovered a new, more efficient way to disassemble, rather than demolish, a tall building over 100 meters. The process, known as Taisei’s Ecological Reproduction System or Tecorep, begins by transforming the structure’s top floors into an enclosed “cap”, which is then supported by temporary columns and powerful jacks. As demolition workers begin to disassemble the building from within, they use interior cranes to lower materials. After dismantling an entire floor, the jacks quietly lower the “cap” and the process is repeated.
“It’s kind of like having a disassembly factory on top of the building and putting a big hat there, and then the building shrinks,” says one Taisei engineer, according to this report in the Japan Times.