Thinking about Home-for-All (Tokyo Study Abroad Studio)

This studio is not part of the option studio lottery. Enrollment is full. This is the studio associated with the Tokyo Study Abroad program.
Six months have passed since the devastating earthquake-tsunami has hit Japan on the 11th March.
Various kinds of recovery actions have begun in all the affected areas. I have been paying frequent visits to the Sendai Mediatheque and other Tohoku Districts to assist reconstruction work. The project “Home-for-All”’ is one of the supportive activities. A number of people who have lost their homes are still being forced to live in cramped temporary housings. There is no place for them to enjoy meals or have a decent chat with their neighbours. The aim of the project is to provide a small but heart-warming public living room for them. I would like to create communal places within the disaster areas, where people can gather to cook and eat, sit and talk around a wood stove, or to read a book.
This is not simply a warm and reassuring place but will become a base for them to revive their community from zero and regenerate their towns for the future. It needs not always be a newly-designed piece of architecture, but could be renovation of buildings which are partially destroyed. The “Home-for-All” project is not merely architectural design, but is about raising the fundamental question of “What is architecture?” and reconsider the existence of architecture from its very origin.
In this course, we will visit a specific town in the Tohoku District and start by having a conversation with the local people. Then the individuals or groups are asked to explain their own proposal of “Home-for-All”. The aim is for the proposals to reach a certain level of realization towards the end of the course. There will be lectures and reviews given by representative Japanese architects during the running of the course.