Roppongi Hills – 洋風 or 和風?

Have you ever heard somebody confuse the words “modern” and “western”?  It’s a very unsettling experience.  Perhaps because it seems to come not from any maliciousness or intentionality  per se, but from a deeply subconscious assumption that anything cutting edge must be western in origin. Deconstructing the Discourse of Westernization Superficially, the steel and glass structure of Mori Tower contrasts with the wooden construction techniques of traditional … Continue reading Roppongi Hills – 洋風 or 和風?

In Tokyo, the Pedestrian is King

[Lessons on Japanese Urbanism from French Slow TV] At 0:27  Note the very well marked scramble crossing (c.f. the arrogance of space). Lesson 1: zebra stripes can never be too wide. From 1:00 to 1:59  Note the total absence of vehicular traffic.  The numerous parked cars and bikes make clear that this is not a depopulated area. Lesson 2: its possible to build an urban street … Continue reading In Tokyo, the Pedestrian is King