Across the globe key common terms/concepts such as “intensification,” “density,” “sustainable environments,” “ecology,” “transit oriented development” and “urbanism” are all rooted in diverse mix of people, activities and things in close proximity. This design research studio zooms in to analyse underlying issues and forms of mixity. Then zooms out to apply concepts to the design of projects along the Kusatsu river north of Kyoto. The program driven studio explores strategies for mixity at the scale of building(s) and/ or precincts, challenging participants to engage mixed concepts.
We will encourage exploration of mixing cultures, technologies, modes of working and architectural media. We will investigate mixing strategies, engage with mixed uses and generate new unimagined combinations from the mix. Japanese developments will play a large role in our mix, including being paired with an elective on Japanese architecture and a three-week research trip to Japan where we will work with partners at Ritsumeikan University and travel around to examine Japanese exemplars.
Japan is renown for dense urban agglomerations, compact living, and multi-functional configurations from vernacular examples such as manga cafes and zakkyo buildings to architectural exemplars such as the 21c Museum and Sendai Mediatheque to precincts such as Hillside Terrace, Odaiba and Shinonome Canal Court. We will mix fruitful Japanese examples with global discourses and practices. The studio aims to learn from Japanese phenomena and approaches, and to test ideas in Japanese contexts as a basis for identifying productive strategies broadly applicable for the stimulation of mixity and vital mixed cities.