Transforming Omishima

Omishima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan, has forested mountains and orange orchards covering much of its land and 13 hamlets scattered along its coast. The well-known Oyamazumi Shrine sits in the center of the island, guarding this beautiful scenery. Dedicated to the God of Mountains, the shrine provided a popular stopping point for samurai, and was traditionally accessed by a ceremonious pedestrian path called the Sando.

Once an active zone of agriculture, pilgrimage, and community, Omishima’s aging population and decreasing birth rate has contributed to the diminishing of activity on the island, resulting in shrunken orange orchards and an increasingly desolate Sando.

Transforming Omishima documents work produced in a design studio led by Toyo Ito in Tokyo during the 2017 fall semester. Student projects highlighted in this report pursued ways to revitalize Omishima through design interventions at various sites on the island, including a vacant house, a former primary school, and the now-deserted Sando.

Transforming Omishima is a Studio Report from the Fall 2017 semester at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Published by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Spring 2019.

Instructed by Toyo Ito and Jun Yanagisawa

Series design by Zak Jensen & Laura Grey; report design by Beining Chen

140 pages, softcover, 17 x 24.5 cm
ISBN 978-1-934510-70-4

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