Fudo/Umwelt. Devising Transformative Environments in Japan

This studio is concerned with speculations (formal, material, social, cultural) on the future relations between architecture (design), people, and the city. 

The site of the project and the focus of investigation will be the city of Tokyo. The studio will build on the frameworks established in the seminar, “The Project and the Territory: Japan Story,” and specifically its articulation of the concepts of risk, disruption and continuity as one way of imagining the architectural and urban potentials of a specific urban area. Familiarity with Tokyo or the seminar is not a prerequisite for participation in the studio, though the capacity to imagine difference is. The diversity of disciplinary backgrounds, experiences, and interests is also welcomed. In order to facilitate ideas and knowledge of the conditions, the studio will host a series of conversations between the members of the studio and with scholars and practitioners including, Atelier Bow-Wow, Inui Kumiko, Ito Toyo, and Ota Kayoko among others.

The premise of the studio is to question the replication of standard mixed-use formulas for the production of the city. Participants will be asked to devise alternative scenarios involving people and places—physical spaces and social relations both generic and specific- for the construction of transformative environments (umwelten). What role can design play in this process? How will it impact the life of the people?

The city is the site of repetitive and ever-changing scenarios and events, the accumulation of which constitutes the everyday. But how can the architecture and the landscape of the city- its buildings, streets, parks, and public spaces—make room for change, for the unexpected, and the temporal within the sites of permanence? How can the interrelations between the physical, social, and virtual worlds affect the way we not only experience our environments but also conceive and construct them in response to our contemporary conditions? How should the architecture and landscape of Tokyo and by analogy of other cities be different?

GSD students may view additional information on option studios:
Option Studio Presentations
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