Nov '10 - May '11
Hello again everyone. Today was our last day in conversation with Toshiko and we spent the day talking about her think tank VisionArc, which is tackling global issues and considering design blind spots.
It was interesting to be introduced a bit more to the research portion of her practice that seems to infuse much of her teaching as well. She advocated for the expansion of the scope of architectural materials beyond just the built environment, towards energy, education, health, and government among other things.
She presented a lot of research and some student work. One example had to do with a comprehensive study of water and it's unblanced distribution around the world. According to Toshiko we have messed up the natural water cycle and created an "inedible spaghetti loop" that is unsustainable.
I was particularly interested in her views on the multiple scales involved in her global initiative, especially as they relate to the studio I am in now, where we are working at all scales to design a new transportation corridor for Ohio. Her view was that if you really pay attention to and design the small scale it will have a ripple effect globally because the same problems exist around the world.
Ultimately, I think I am curious to see how these investigations into large scale problems that we as designers can impact, will affect her work in the future. So far it seems to be a lot of really great research and student work that is somewhat detached from her practice, although clearly the environment and sustainability are considered in every project.