Amsterdam

School kids in a gaming trance on a station platform. Is this a “still city”?

schoolkids_portable_gaming_nakano_station_platform

昨年末から、オランダの「Still City」という東京についての研究とアートのプロジェクトに参加しています。「Still City」の主題は成長後の都市です。中学生たちが電車のホームでDSで遊んでいる写真は、静かな都市のイメージの一つだと思います。東京は巨大なのに、公共の場所は平穏です。安全なので、包括的です。

Since late last year, I’ve been involved with a research and art project called Still City, based in Amsterdam. Over 25 Dutch urbanists, designers, and artists came to Tokyo to create a guide book exploring the idea of Tokyo as a Still City. The main meaning of “still city” is post-growth.

This image of two school kids lost in a daze of handheld gaming on a train station platform also make me think of a still city. Tokyo is a “still” mega-city that is remarkably quiet despite the crowds of people, and with few exceptions, disarmingly safe. Tokyo is also a place where public functions, from transit and streets to bathing and swimming, are clean, efficient, and open to everyone.

Farming the City includes our chapter on Tokyo local fruit

farming_the_city

来月は、CITIESというアムステルダムの雑誌が都市農園の本を出します。Chris Berthelsen とJessica Mantellと、東京ローカルフルーツについて書きました。@citiesonline をありがとうございます。

Amsterdam-based CITIES is releasing Farming the City on April 10. Chris Berthelsen, Jessica Mantell, and I contributed a chapter on Tokyo local fruit. Please check it out online or on Facebook. Great illustration!

http://citiesthemagazine.com/2011/farming-the-citypublication/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/FARMING-THE-CITY/210595722313289

Wild tulips from Hiyoko in Amsterdam

このかわいいピンクと黄色のチューリップは もともとトルコとイランから来た 原種だそうです。ヒヨコさん、アムステルダムから球根を持ってきてくれてありがとうございます。たぶん昔のトルコとイランのチューリップはこんな風に小さくてきれいだったのでしょう。

I love these species tulips that Hiyoko brought from Amsterdam last fall. They are small and simple, with a great combination of pink and yellow. This type of tulip is closer to its wild origins in Turkey and, before that, Iran. Thanks, Hiyoko, for bringing these bulbs to Tokyo!

Tanemaki project in Japan this month brings Dutch creativity to Tohoku

アムステルダムで住んでいる友だちは今月、日本で “tanemaki project”(種まきプロジェクト)をしています (@tanemaki2011) 。チューリップとパンケーキのワークショップを行います。寄付金付きを集めて、東北の仮設学校を飾ります。

My Amsterdam-based friends Hiyoko and Mark are in Japan this month developing their Tanemaki (planting) project (twitter @tanemaki2011). Hiyoko is a superb illustrator, and she’s organizing events to support decorating a temporary school in Tohoku. Last week they led a fun two-day tulip workshop at 3331 Arts Chiyoda, and this Saturday will be a pancake-making event with Mammoth School. It’s great to see them developing connections between Japan and the Netherlands, which have a special and long relation.

(Image: Hiyoko Imai).

Guest photo from Hiyoko Imai

This photo comes from Amsterdam-based illustrator and graphic designer Hiyoko Imai. I am super-lucky that she has offered to work on two small projects together- more about that soon!

I love this photo because it is so evocative of Tokyo. Some foreigners imagine Japan to be an expression of serenity, while others marvel at elegant modern architecture. Much of the daily fabric of urban life, instead, feels like this photo: a bunch of stuff bolted on to other stuff. Pipes, air-conditioners, even a flower pot on top of the sidewalk. The exuberance of the flowering creeper (lantana) adds one more natural layer on top of the built environment.

Thanks, Hiyoko!