Have you ever gotten take out food and after eating it looked down at the single use plastic packaging only to have the feeling of satisfaction be tarred by a tinge of guilt?
If you’re anything like the crowd that met at Imperial College on Saturday February 9th, the answer is a resounding yes (often preceded by a groan). The first plastics hackathon was unlike any hackathon I had participated in before. Read More
Last week a subset of the GID cohort visited Fukuoka for a Design for Disaster Relief workshop. On our second day there, a typhoon made it rain and we stayed indoors, exploring the underground malls of Fukuoka in Japan’s southern island of Kyushu. Read More
You might never have heard of Sabae, a city of 69,000 people in Western Japan, but you may well have unknowingly worn one of their exports. Sabae is known for its production of eyeglasses, which have been manufactured in the city for over a century and account for 95% of Japanese frames sold in Japan and abroad. It is also home to a variety of traditional crafts, from pottery to lacquerware, paper, and knife making. But as young people move towards more urban areas and loose interest in pursuing careers as traditional craftspeople, Sabae is looking at its future challenges and thinking about how to face them. Luckily for us, one if their plans of attack is to bring international designers (like us!) to Sabae and with them co-create a gameplan for the city’s future. Read More
I‘ve been in this country a month, which feels both shorter and longer than reality. In this month I have become accustomed to my not-exactly-soft bed, grown to love eating rice & beans for dessert, and found a sense of rhythm here in Hiyoshi. I have a favourite grocery store, which only takes cash, is reasonably priced, and is run by a friendly bunch of septuagenarians. In it, I have finally succeeded in interpreting the evening sushi sale stickers (win!), and now know which udon noodles are real and which are tofu undercover (whoops). Read More
On Sunday I went hiking. Hiking in Japan is not too different than hiking in other parts of the world. The main difference as far as I can see is the wonderful accessibility to nature. Hiyoshi is right between Tokyo and the coast in Kamakura, which means that a mere 45 minute train ride takes you to an area that is not only home to nature hikes, but is also on the coast. Incidentally, Kamakura is in Kanagawa (not confusing at all), which is the location of that beautiful big wave you think about when you think about Japanese art. Read More
I have promised to write more, and though I’ve had fun filling up the pages of my notebook since arriving in Tokyo, I realise those are a little hard to share with everyone who has asked about Japan, what life here is like, and what I’m learning from studying design in this country. So here we go! Read More