Posts tagged with "Go Hasegawa":

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MUJI and Go Hasegawa envision a stripped-down future for urban life

The China House Vision is an architectural exhibition that images in the future of urban living for Beijing Design Week 2018. On view through November 4 at the Herzog and de Meuron–designed stadium in Beijing’s Olympic Park, the exhibit includes the work of ten internationally acclaimed designers whose work has been heavily influenced by topics concerning communication, energy consumption, artificial intelligence, and the sharing economy. Among the “dwellings of the future” is a prototypical living space for MUJI employees, the result of the collaborative work between MUJI, a Japanese retail company distinguished for its emphasis on minimalism and environmental design, and Japanese architect Go Hasegawa. MUJI gained inspiration for the project from the top floors of residential buildings in Shanghai, where 13-foot-tall spaces are taller than single-story dwellings require, yet too small for duplex apartments. MUJI sought to transform an awkward and uncooperative space in the stadium into a jungle of micro-apartments, particularly for staff members working at MUJI. The scheme, like MUJI, is both modern and minimalist with its use of fine lines, pure geometry, and colorless walls and ceilings. However, it also evokes historic sentiments through its use of a centrally positioned, three-dimensional unit reminiscent of the “canopy beds” found in traditional Chinese dwellings. The central unit, along with a series of thin wooden partitions, divides the various shared and private compartments of the home. A modest staircase leads to the private bedrooms, which are both austere and claustrophobic, each containing only built-in storage racks and a small bed. The lower level of the scheme functions as a shared space with an open and flexible floor plan. Shared household appliances such as air conditioning units, refrigerators, and washing machines are strategically and efficiently built into the walls of the compound. MUJI’s “no-frills” furniture is found throughout the scheme, adding to the dwelling’s already minimalist aesthetic. Through the scheme’s disentangled layout, colorless scenery, and placid décor, Go Hasegawa's prototypical dwelling of the future presents viewers with a glimpse of what it is like to live in an environment where hyper-functionalism and shared resources are commonplace.
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In CCA’s “Besides, History,” young firms confront the role of history in contemporary architecture

Before anything can be said about the rhetorics or ideas behind the Besides, History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen show at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), it must be noted that it is exceptionally beautiful. The entirety of the generous seven-gallery space is filled with a striking goldenrod-yellow carpet, contrasted with the mostly white work. Symmetrically laid out, each room is filled with models, installations, and/or drawings, all finely crafted specifically for the show. On these merits alone, it is a delight to walk through; and yet, as an exhibition, the concepts and projects presented also contain layered, if sometimes unsubtle, architectural conversations.

Besides, History is the fifth in a series of exhibitions produced by the CCA. In each iteration, two practices, often with disparately separate projects, are paired to work together with the CCA’s curators to produce a show. In the case of Besides, History, Tokyo-based Go Hasegawa was matched with Kersten Geers and David Van Severen of Brussels-based OFFICE. A third voice was also added to the mix in the form of the CCA’s extensive architectural archive of drawings, collages, and photographs: The CCA’s Chief Curator, Giovanna Borasi, curated the work of Hasegawa and OFFICE, while Italian photographer Stefano Graziani curated a photographic gallery entitled Through Your Eyes, which acts as an introduction to the larger exhibition. Considering this wide range of strong voices, Besides, History has a surprisingly clear vision.

Works by the Hasegawa and OFFICE are presented alongside each other and selections from the archive. In each gallery a strategic flattening of representational techniques provides a chance to compare the pieces, apples to apples. For example, in one space six projects from each practice were built as 1:100 pure-white models by Hasegawa’s office, while in another room giant curtains are printed with works by both practices in OFFICE’s distinct collaged perspective. Through this method, similarities and differences between the practices become apparent. This same technique is deployed when each firm engages with the historical pieces drawn from the archive.

One gallery presents immense 1:5-scale drawings of sections from both offices. In another, simple framed plan drawings march around the room. Both plan and section galleries are punctuated by historic pieces from the archive, with representative works from the likes of Gunnar Asplund, Aldo Rossi, Andrea Palladio, and Kazunari Sakamoto. Particularly in the plan room, the contemporary works of OFFICE and Hasegawa are presented in nearly exactly the same manner as the historic works. But while this provides a fascinating look into the congruencies and divergences of architecture over time, some may find this aspect of the show problematic.

As more and more architects and academics refocus on the role of architectural history in contemporary practice, there is no sign of consensus on if, or how, it should be used. Unlike postmodernists, today’s practitioners are only loosely referencing history as it fits the needs of their projects. This in itself may not be an issue for many people, but the way in which the works of masters are used in Besides, History is something different. For most, only when the works of OFFICE and Hasegawa are placed immediately next to historic pieces will the connection between them become clear. And even so, that connection could be read less as one of reference and more of curated correlation. Presenting one’s own work in exactly the same way as one presents iconic pieces, side by side, could definitely be interpreted as hubris. But, to be fair, it seems that this was not an intention behind the show. Rather, it would appear that the selection of historical works is driven more by admiration than by appropriation. What architect wouldn’t love to be set loose on the immense archives of the CCA to pick and choose their favorite works to display along with their own?

To this point, Besides, History, as Borasi describes it, is a manifesto. Together Hasegawa and OFFICE are presenting the state of their practices with historical footnotes, which happen to be original drawings by many of the greats. This is made most clear in the final two rooms, which are dedicated to full-scale installations of completed works by both offices. In one space, Hasegawa’s house in Kyoto is rendered in a flat gray material, while in another a portion of OFFICE’s Villa Schor takes the same neutral tone. Once again, this provides an instance to appreciate the similarities and differences between the practices. With only drawings and photographs of the built structures, these rooms offer a needed moment away from historical pieces for visitors to decide for themselves what lines of history either cross or guide the work.

The word “besides” holds the unusual distinction of having two related, but decidedly different, uses. As a preposition, it is used to denote something apart from, or in addition to, something else. As an adverb, it modifies verbs and adjectives to make something a part of something else. At least in the case of this show, Besides, History may be the best way to describe the work of Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, and David Van Severen.

Besides, History is on view through October 15 at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1920 Baile Street, Montreal.
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Airbnb’s new design studio’s first project, Yoshino House, revealed

Airbnb’s newly announced design studio, Samara, worked with Tokyo-based architect Go Hasegawa to create the Yoshino Cedar House for Japanese designer Kenya Hara’s exhibition, House Vision 2016. Hara invited Airbnb, among other companies to participate in the exhibition to re-envision the future of housing. Hasegawa and Airbnb created a rentable apartment that also serves as a community hub. A small Japanese village, Yoshino, donated land and offered resources for the project. The structure will be owned by the community so that “the community is the host,” Airbnb cofounder and CPO Joe Gebbia told AN. The entire village benefits from the proceeds of the rent, which will hopefully help revitalize the local economy. It is, in a sense, taking the shared economy structure to the next level. For the Yoshino House, Hasegawa selected local cedar wood as the main material used indoors and out. The trees were felled and treated by local woodsmen and carpenters, so Yoshino's heritage and aesthetic is woven into the entire process. The first floor will be open to the entire community, while the upper floor can be rented out to overnight guests. According to Gebbia, “the local experience benefits the visitors, while the community can feel pride in that it has to offer. Increasingly, travelers are drawn to unique experiences outside the normal tourist gamut of cities and structures. While small, Yoshino boasts a small-batch sake factory, a chopstick factory, and an incredible leaf display in the fall. The hope is for a second economy to spring up around the visitors, with locally led tours and sake tastings, and other experiences. After the exhibition is over, the Yoshino House will be moved to a riverside location and registered on Airbnb as a listing. To learn more about the benefits to the community and Gebbia’s thoughts on the future of housing and Airbnb, check out our exclusive interview with Gebbia.  
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AN Exclusive: Airbnb and Go Hasegawa imagine the future of the sharing economy and rural communities

  Airbnb has already radically altered how we travel and interact with the places that we visit. “Living” somewhere for a night has become a new model for belonging and interacting with a place, but it is not as simple as visiting somewhere and crashing on a couch. The new normal has also produced new disruptive economies that have affected rents, the design of our homes, and the identities of entire neighborhoods. This new model of economic and physical occupation of residential space is rooted in libertarian notions of the free market, where less regulation and peer-to-peer connection subverts traditional markets and opens up cheaper and more sophisticated ways of living and visiting. However, Airbnb is not stopping there. AN sat down with Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Joe Gebbia to discuss the future of housing and community, specifically their latest collaboration with Japanese architect Go Hasegawa as part of the exhibition House Vision 2016. Ten companies, including Panasonic, Toyota, and Muji were invited by renown designer Kenya Hara to participate in the exhibition opening in Tokyo this August under the theme “CO-DIVIDUAL Split but Connected, Separate but Gathered.” The curators view the home as the nexus of “energy, telecom, transportation, the possibility of aging society, the relations of city and local, the challenge of protection for village forests and rice terraces” The exhibition will feature 13 houses on display. Airbnb’s project with Hasegawa, Sugi No Ie (Yoshino Cedar House), started with a simple question, according to Gebbia, “How can a house be designed to be shared and to facilitate the relationship between the host and the visitor?” Hasegawa responded with an analysis of three trends in Japan. First, an aging population and intense urbanization is causing rural villages to shrink. Housing must be subsidized, but the population decrease is making that difficult. Secondly, in rural villages, community centers are the public gathering space for the town, and most members of the community use them. It is not a place for at-risk youth or for workshops, but the centers are literally the center of the community. The third important factor for Hasegawa is the ways in which Western visitors have the ability to affect the local economy. For small communities, the large nightly rents can have a huge impact, while the presence of tourists provides a ripple effect in the economy. For a small village such as Yoshino, in the Nara region near Osaka, the local economy has shrunk so much that 200 people have left and there are 750 empty homes. The solution: Hasegawa is building a hybrid community center-apartment on land donated by the town. It will be completed for the August exhibition. The aim is to attract visitors, but the center and Airbnb-rentable space would be owned by the community so that the benefits could be distributed as they see fit, hopefully recharging the local economy. The first floor serves as a living room and community center, where “the community is the host,” according to Gebbia. It could be considered a state-owned sharing economy, or at least a town-owned sharing economy. According to Gebbia, “the local experience benefits the visitors, while the community can feel pride in that it has to offer.” For Yoshino, this includes a small-batch sake factory, cedar production, a chopstick factory, and a busting leafer scene in the fall. The hope is for a second economy to spring up around the visitors, with locally-led tours and sake tastings, and other experiences. The house will be designed out of 28 types of wood from around the region, and the house’s plan and section are based on the ancient Japanese concept of engawa, a ledge that extends beyond the border of the house to invite in visitors to engage with the architecture. This public extension of the floor plane blurs the boundary between inside and out, as well as public and private. Airbnb plans to have the house available as a working prototype, and will be looking into this as a possible financial model for the future. Depending on the impact a project like this can have, but the ways in which these emergent technologies like Uber and Aribnb interact with the city and the existing markets is going to be an important issue for cities in the 21st century. Harnessing their power, rather than succumbing to it will be a challenge, and perhaps one that architects and planners can contribute in significant ways. House Vision 2016 Tokyo Exhibition
 July 30 ­- August 28, 2016 Rinkai Fukuroshin, J­area, 2­1 A omi, Koto, Tokyo