In collaboration with Kenjo Nisiduka, Rio Otsudo and Yin Zhiyu

Tokyo Summer Fellowship (GSD - IAUD)

Harvard University and Meiji University

Aug 2019

imagining a spacial expression between a physical and digital reality

Since the development of GIS in the early 1960s, cities have been progressively mapped out with the intention of creating geographic databases that collect and produce a comprehensive and accurate description of the built environment. Since the invention and deployment of smartphones at the turn of the XXI century, mobile devices have allowed citizens to interact with these information databases via apps in ways that have radically changed the understanding and use of the city. This workshop asks students to imagine new physical environments (from infrastructures to plazas and gardens to buildings) that respond to the interactions between these two realities: the physical reality we inevitably navigate with others and the digital reality we each carry with us in our bags and pockets.

PROBLEM

In most places, parks are typically considered unsafe at night and maybe because of this, they are rarelyexperienced during the nighttime. How can we imagine the cultural and spatial expression of a presence that resists being caught in the exact matching between the physical and the digital realities that has the potential to become a unique and genuine urban experience in Ueno Park in Tokyo?

PROCESS

By desiging an urban ghost, we instrumentalize this condition.

An urban ghost will be defined as a designed presence that exists in between the physical and the digital realities. It appears unpredictably to specific people with special abilities, and triggers a unique emotion connected to the history or future of the place. Specifically, this urban ghost exists within the confines

of Ueno Park during the night hours, between dusk and dawn.

SOLUTION

Through a fairytale, we have created a transitional space that is first experienced through augmented reality, then through a physical disconnect of reality. When people move around the park, their footsteps become visible through a colored light observable by augmented reality. When people reach the ultimate moment of disconnect (the rock), their footprints transition from a virtual light to the sound of the pebbles beneath their feet.

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