28 Mar 2011

I've left Tokyo

On the day of the earthquake I was out cycling along Arakawa, at the moment of the first earthquake I was visiting the Sumida Culture Factory and saw the metall screens on roof shake very strongly. When the big aftershock came about half an hour later I could the cranes on the Tokyo Sky Tree sway strongly, the water in a canal became disturbed, the power cables swung disturbingly. As I made my way home across a city with all the trains stopped, full of traffic, full of people walking home I slowly realised as my panic calmed down that this really was the big earthquake. Outside of the south exit of Shinjuku station I saw the pictures of the tsunami rolling into the countryside.
This is a series of pictures take the day of the great Tohoku Earthquake showing small damages in Tokyo. Due to the what happened after earthquake me and my wife decieded to leave Tokyo two weeks earlier than we had planned. We didn't really have any reason to stay the two extra weeks and as the nuclear situation seemed uncertain, despite that Tokyo still was safe, we decided that it was time to leave.
For people who have their life in Tokyo it might be different but our life in Tokyo was almost over. Everything that kept us in Tokyo got cancelled (a visit and a graduation ceremony).  

7 Mar 2011

blocking chair

Inspired by a-small-lab's work with Tokyo Design Space I think that this chair is worthy of attention. Even tough this fix has an official air. Also I would like to point out that thanks to this sharing of viewpoints, our view of the city expands as we see more and more in every situation. This chair works as a temporary road block transforming shared spacewhich it must be noted is clearly dominated by walking people most of the time, into a pedestrian zone during the peak hours of shopping in Shimokitazawa. This kind of closure is usual on both small streets like this example in the suburban Kyodo (a with more normal looking sign) and in major shopping areas like Shinjuku, Akihabara or Ginza on weekends.

Material: Paper, tape, marker and plastic chair.
Location: Shimokitazawa, Setagaya, Tokyo.