June 22nd, 2011
It was an unconscious thing really, but we essentially decided to refrain from commenting here for the last while. Unsurprisingly, we have been very busy in the period since the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear disaster struck not so far north of here, but that is not the reason for staying away.
Mostly it is simply that we didn’t feel we could say anything about how we were affected by events from our perspective in Tokyo. Though it was not a minor thing by most standards all it took was a look to the events unfolding to the north to realize that by comparison what we were going through was in fact rather petty. Stopped train lines, a single night trapped in the city, power rationing, a bit of food shortage, that has been the sum of our hardship. Well, that plus the constant background worry about radiation, which is nothing to sneeze at I admit. But it is not really something we felt qualified to talk about.
By and large it feels like we are finally beginning to see the scope of what we are facing, and how things might change, and so instead of writing about life in a disaster area we decided to look to the future and devote this space to what might be coming and how we can be involved in re-building.
All of us at the office are involved in some small ways with Architecture For Humanity, and the studio I teach at Keio University this year is devoted to thinking about how architects can be involved in kick-starting the country after the massive disaster. Most recently our resident planning expert, Christian Dimmer has begun a two part article discussing some of the issues, which you can check out by clicking on the image below. This should be the start of more interesting things to come.