Opening Greeting On the Spring Semester 2011
On March 11, 2011, Eastern Japan was overwhelmed by an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident. The city of Sendai and Tohoku University suffered extensive damage, and the Sendai School of Design (SSD) did not escape unharmed either.
Having originally set out to deal with pressing problems in the local area, we were suddenly confronted with just such a problem on a massive, complex scale.
Fortunately, however, all of our students, graduates, and staff managed to avoid grievous injury, and with the support of Tohoku University, the city of Sendai, the Japan Science and Technology Agency, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Sendai School of Design managed to make a new start three months after the disaster.
The concepts that we pledged to pursue in the first fiscal year remainunchanged. In other words, by making use of the total power of architecture,we hope to cultivate a resilient group of workers who will be able to adapt to a variety of circumstances, extract the latent potential of Sendai, and activate the local area through creativity.
The significance of such activities has perhaps taken on even greater importance in light of recent events. Please refer to the following paragraph and reacquaint yourself with the concept behind the SSD.
The power of design and community works to foster civic pride (the pride and affection citizens have in regard to their city) and to continually increase the appeal of Sendai. Changing the local area is the first step to changing the world.
- Masashige Motoe
- Chairman/ SSD Steering Committee
- SPECIAL LECTURE: Redesign for Revitalization
- A series of workshops called “Redesign for Revitalization” was held as part of a special lecture program during the spring semester of 2011. The objective of this year’s program was to generate a creative process to make consistent progress in regional revitalization by designing anew or redesigning the world. To do this, we invited specialists from a variety of fields to serve as lecturers and through a multifaceted consideration based on a design perspective, we engaged in dialogues related to a wide range of problems that emerged in the recent disaster. Through this process, we set out to cultivate human resources that will fulfill the SSD mission of contributing to regional revitalization.
- SPECIAL STUDIO: The Agile Research Project ［ARP］
- The Agile Research Project (ARP) was held as a special revitalization seminar during the spring semester in 2011.
- The course consisted of a group of projects that were intended to organize information and share knowledge in order to deal with the rapidly changing aspect of regional problems in an agile manner. Research was undertaken after first establishing a scope to appropriately deal with three themes: ARP 1: Disaster Datascape; ARP 2: S-meme 02 – “Focus on Cultural Damage”; and ARP 3: Researching Revitalization Support Activities Conducted by Architects.
- ARP 1: Disaster Datascape
- The Great East Japan Earthquake caused an unprecedented amount of damage. Various groups, including the Research Group on Disaster Prevention and Management, have amassed a variety of data, but the knowledge that we gained in this disaster overwrote our prior assumptions, and greatly altered our way of looking at the world. In this project, we focused on various “quantities” related to the disaster, including the number of people, amount of money, distance, weight, and area, in an attempt to visualize the event based on a multitude of barometers. After selecting a barometer that would serve as a way into the problem, we collected data through discussions with researchers in different fields, considered a suitable method of expression, and organized and presented our findings. It is anticipated that the researchers’ specialized knowledge will produce a wide cross-section of results.
- ARP 2: S-meme 02 – “ Focus on Cultural Damage”
- In the Great East Japan Earthquake, numerous people lost their lives, many buildings were destroyed, and a wide range of damage was suffered throughout the region. Mass media outlets such as TV stations and newspapers focused on people and politics, and architecture magazines concentrated on buildings, civil engineering, and urban planning and development, but in S-meme we decided to investigate the way in which culture had been damaged in the disaster by documenting the situation and tracing its gradual rejuvenation. We also hope to present information about how students at the SSD were affected by the earthquake.
- ARP 3: Researching Revitalization Support Activities Conducted by Architects
- Filled with the impulsive feeling that we had to do something after the events of March 11, there was an increasing interest in scientifically examining the disaster. In order to overcome various difficulties in the long term, it was essential to form organic alliances between various groups involved in revitalization and support activities in a wide range of areas. Despite this necessity, no method was established to help architects and designers become involved in such an effort. Examining revitalization and support activities in a variety of regions, we devised a methodology to evaluate them.