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    week two!

    John Tubles Oct 13 '09 12

    Week two came and went fairly quick. Last Tuesday we opened signed up for an alien registration card and health insurance… the process was fairly quick in comparison to CA DMV. Then we signed up for a bank account. This was much harder than the papers we filled-up. I found that there is a different way of writing the year I was born… I was born in 1986 but I believe I had to write down “61” which didn’t make sense to me but I will ask to find out… then English names must be written in all caps and the katakana name above it… then I must write my address in kanji because I can’t write it down in English… Then I had troubles because I have 2 first names, then my substitute tutor wrote down her address instead of mines… and then the year confusions again… then the stamp vs. signature dilemma… so basically the 15-20min process of opening a bank account became an hour ordeal between the teller and my substitute tutor and I, plus 6 bank forms with minor mistakes on it. But everything got resolved eventually… but pretty much the same thing happen when we were getting our mobile.

    The next day I met up with my tutor at his office/ house in Sakurazaka. He showed me his and his wife’s work. He is an architect and his wife is a lighting designer. We had tea and got to know each other’s background then had lunch in a Chinese restaurant. Then I explored Tenjin area, specifically ACROS Fukuoka and went to my new favorite store Muji were I got reasonably priced house hold items that are well crafted. Then I came back to their office/home and had dinner while watching the trees sway and listening to the howling winds of the typhoon that passed Kyushu.

    image
    [ACROS Fukuoka]

    Thursday, I turned in my project and signed up for another class in industrial design. This class is quite interesting because I really want to know more about the thought process that comes in designing a certain product. Plus I really liked that I am the only foreign student in the class so the experience of going to school in Japan is much more pure in a sense… and since I am the only one who speaks English, so my sensei hand wrote my syllabus… which basically said project 1: design for play. Due on November 6, and then November 7 to February 2010 design for a museum…

    Friday, is the day that we presented our proposal for our urban planning town project. I personally think I bombed the presentation because I was one of the first ones that presented and I got a little nervous and confused because I didn’t know whether I should speak in my broken Japanese or English… but anyways this is my proposal and please critique it… [ps. Its just a proposal no drawings or diagrams just brain storming ideas]
    My proposal is to design a children’s park that employs the architectural language that the town has. Since the town has a problem of people leaving the area, I thought that the program that I will add to this town should cater to the community rather than the tourism. I thought that there were a lot of places that are geared towards the tourists first then locals second. Then another observation that I had in this town is that I hear children playing, I hear them laugh, I hear them watching tv but you don’t see them… So in order to solve these issues, I thought of targeting the children with a public space that is for them because I thought that if they make a personal connection [fond memories… random stories.. a couple of scars from playing] with this town they will have less inclination to leave the place and if they do, this personal connection will draw them back in. Architecturally speaking I am going to employ the idea of these little streets/arteries in the park that I am going to design. I would like the children to feel this sense of discovery as they occupy and play in the space. So the entire park would seem like a maze which leads to different destinations within the park. By the way the site that I chose is on the other side of town where the residences are located. A kindergarten is also nearby plus this area seemed to be the loudest one in terms of children playing indoors.

    Saturday is the day I got lost… in a good way, I woke up early to run or should I say walk errands. I needed a bicycle, kitchen tools i.e. pot, pan, knife.. and grocery. So I thought instead of taking the train to where I’m going, I should just walk it… to see the neighborhood and what not.. but I ended up in these residential area with little streets that threw my sense of direction, so I just continued on walking. Two hours passed then I got to somewhere familiar, the Hakata JR Station. Then I decided to blow off the errands that I need to do and just explore the city. So I walked until something catches my attention (which is not very hard I may add). I had lunch in a local “hole in the wall” ramen shop for Y500, walked into 3 temples and the Fukuoka Museum of Asian Art. In the museum I saw students from my laboratory managing a project called the “Fukuoka Really… Really Free Market” which is basically a store that you can take anything you want for free and in return you leave something back. Unfortunately I didn’t have something to give back so I didn’t participate, but I will comeback especially when I know that it is only a couple of hours of walking (hahaha)..

    image
    [Koen = Park nearby my dormitory]

    image
    [Temple 1... near Hakata Eki = Train Station]

    image
    [Temple 2... a couple of blocks away from temple 1]

    image
    [A monk painting names/prayers on roof tiles because Temple 3's roof is under renovation]

    image
    [temple 4... its in the midst of commercial district in Hakata]

    image
    [Fukuoka Really... Really Free Market!!!]

     

     
    • 12 Comments

    • Orhan AyyüceOrhan Ayyüce
      Oct 13, 09 9:50 pm

      i am making a collection of projects look similar in that concept with green roof. do you know any other?


      glen small-turf town, los angeles 1983


      ACROS Fukoka Building Emilio Ambasz & Associates (2000?)


      big/plot-mountain dwellings, copenhagen 2006

      Nam HendersonNam Henderson
      Oct 14, 09 8:50 am

      John, I like this idea alot...

      Injury as attachment...
      a couple of scars from playing] with this town they will have less inclination to leave the place and if they do, this personal connection will draw them back in

      Appleseed
      Oct 15, 09 3:39 pm

      Your confusion about the year relates to the fact that with official dates like this, you have to write it out as 'this many' years past the start of the current ruling period. ie. 'this many' years into the Meiji period, or the Heishin period, or whatev.

      Philarch
      Oct 16, 09 1:02 pm

      Its amazing how even things like "the year" are relative. I mentioned somewhere before how Thailand goes by a different year system as well. And Korea goes by a different age system (you can be as much as two years older). I believe Japan and China used to do this as well, but Korea kept this "strange" custom as common practice.

      This is why I believe travel and being immersed in different cultures is so crucial to architectural education. You can experience at first hand how relative things that we think are so constant can be, and how influenced by circumstance everything can be (to partially quote Kahn).

      John Tubles
      Oct 17, 09 11:42 am

      ahh so desu... Fakuto (?!?) wa omoshiroi desu (translation: interesting facts) [...and trying to assimilate in japanese culture]

      mantaray
      Oct 17, 09 12:00 pm

      Orhan, Office dA's Macallen building in Boston might qualify -- it has a stepped, green roof but it isn't growing such lush vegetation, only sedum.

      treekiller
      Oct 17, 09 12:41 pm

      Orhan,
      OLIN did a roof for the Morman tabernacle in SLC that is stepped. in MPLS, The Leonard Parker Associates did two terraced green roofs back in the 80s for the U of MN, the Humphrey Institute & the laws school. I'll send you pics since the photos on the web don't show much of the plantings.

      jcbrown
      Nov 24, 09 6:06 am

      the confusion that yu had when you wrote your birth date is quite happens to new comers in japan, its like you have to mention how many years after a certain year, say for example if the year they have chosen is 1900 and your birthday is in 1980 then you will have to write "80", hope you got adjusted to such things, You have given a detailed report of what you have done and how things have been going with you, Its really a hard job and only dedicated bloggers can write like this
      Ukf8001axx

      jcbrown
      Dec 4, 09 4:51 am

      the confusion that you had when you wrote your birth date is quite happens to new comers in japan, its like you have to mention How many years after a certain year, say for example if the year they have chosen is 1900 and your birthday is in 1980 then you will have to write "80", hope you got adjusted to such things, You have given a detailed report of what you have done and how things have been going with you, Its really a hard job and only dedicated bloggers can write like this
      Atlas Travel

      john0009
      Dec 8, 09 7:21 am

      Here’s an test model for exploring "The System"... with a capital T and a capital S. Our own designs will come later in the quarter, so they say. political science school AND Online Performing Arts degree

      john0009
      Dec 8, 09 7:22 am

      First studio for the incoming undergraduates to the Department of Architecture. Previously taught by Frank Ching, yes, from all those architecture drawing books. Online social service degree AND Social Science school AND Online Psychology degree

      lance22
      Sep 24, 12 7:14 pm

      Wow! Green roofs? Thank very interesting. I'm an architect/design student, too. I'm currently working on a project which requires me to design residential plans for storage sheds.

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