The Interfaculty Initiative of Information Studies of Tokyo University asked Studio Han Design to design a new skin for the construction fence in front of the new faculty building designed by Tadao Ando. The fence should communicate something about the university and enhance interaction between different departments. A “Thinking Forest” was created using over 700 keywords taken from the themes of the research programs developed by students.
Tokyo is an ever growing city. Not needing to confront itself with an history and its limitations, the urban scape is in a continuos evolution. Construction sites are every block and represent a usual entity of the urban environment. Can we turn these unpleseant elements into meaningful surfaces? Can we think about alternatives to advertisement?
Thinking Forest is made hundreds of keywords connnected to each other. The forest was used as a visual metaphor to underline the idea of networking, connection and collaboration.
To add interactivity with the users ,animal shaped stickers were designed.During the opening event each person could pick one and stick it close to the theme they were interested in.
“Thinking Forest” has been a successful project receiving good feedback from the university staff and attention from the press. The project is a good example on how it is possible to use public space for activities that are not only advertisement related. It is time for design to become a social catalyst.
Title: Thinking Forest
Type:Urban installation on a construction fence.
Year:2007, from March-April
Place:Tokyo, inside Tokyo University campus.
Client: the project was commissioned by the Interfaculty Initiative to Studio Han Design.
People: Studio Han Design (Ayumi Han, Daisuke Mita, Ryuichi Watanabe, Ryuichi Honda, Giacomo Butté
Photo: momoko japan
Data:90 m long, 3m high.
Status:Project installed from April to November 2007
Challenges:to design a 90m long fence with a centimeter accuracy, to use public space for cultural and social activities, to visualize abstract concept with an easy to understand metaphor