Monday, October 15, 2007

Obihiro Walking Street


The small town of Obihiro (maybe some 200.000 people) in Hokkaido contacted me and Sami and asked us to run a workshop for the city architects and urban planners. The Obihiro people had been complaining that the city is boring, that the architects and urban planners had done a poor work. When you say things like this in Japan, they take it seriously.

Obihiro instant village.

We flew to Obihiro and said that the conditions are such that you must take your children to a gym and there will be some basic materials like cardboard and paint. In the gym we told the children that now you are the architects and your mothers and fathers are just cheap labor. You tell them how to make a good house and they will do exactly how you say. The only condition for the house is that a child must fit in.

Say hello to my little friend.

The houses got done. We took the children inside the carboard houses to a walk into the city as a walking street. People liked. Sometimes the children needed to take a ret and an instant village took place. It was good to see the organizing of the urbanism based on that the grocery store has to gossip with the church or alike. The children maybe had patience to stay put for 3 minutes and then the grocery store would move to another location to talk with somebody else. All of this was documented carefully by the Japanese.

One of these day these streets are gonna get organized.

In the picturee you see a child's house. There is even smoke coming out of the chimney. The house behind him is done by his father. It is interesting to think that you can draw a line between these two houses and during this line a lot seems to happen. Something that we call education of growing up. Anyway, when you see the child's house, we seem to forget a lot. Real architecture is to forget the forgetting.

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