Each lecture or studio class on the Media Axis is an editorial meeting of the students, who put their skills into the production of S-meme, a journal of cultural criticism from a Sendai perspective. Students handle all aspects of journal production from research, interviews and fieldwork to writing, editing, layout and design.
The eighth issue is a guidebook to Sendai with an architectural perspective, exploring areas such as civil engineering, public housing, and various objects that make up the urban environment.
PBL Studio 2 : Environmental Axis
“Sendai OASIS / Blue-Green Studio 7”
The Environmental Axis has been focusing on the landform and water-system potential of Sendai, carrying out primarily fieldwork- based surveys, analysis and proposal formulation from the vantage point of ecological urbanism.
This semester we focused on waste products, and discussed means and methods of constructing the “Sendai OASIS” sustainable community model encompassing water- and energy- oriented ideas we have addressed on the Environmental Axis thus far.
PBL Studio 3 : Social Axis
“Affected Municipalities Three Years After the Earthquake: The Progress of Recovery”
For this studio class we invited the spirited and enthusiastic sociologist Yasushi Sukenari, who examines various aspects of society through the lens of housing and carries out exhaustive analyses that criss- cross the borderline between sociology and spatial sciences. Together the class considered practical approaches not only to the hard (physical) aspects of post- disaster restoration, but also the progress of recovery in affected municipalities facing different circumstances, with a focus on community issues.
Through fieldwork, interviews with experts on issues facing disaster-affected municipalities, and instructor-student discussions, the class considered means
of organizing and evaluating recovery efforts in affected areas under different circumstances and conditions, and methods and specific contents of exhibitions and information dissemination related to these issues, taking into account the potential for applying these insights in future attempts to publicize the state of the affected region and the progress of restoration.
This is the third in a series that reexamines the various “Cityformats” that compose our urban environments from an information-science and visual perspective. This semester, building on the outcomes of previous semesters, we addressed the production of the Chomin Dayori (Townpeople’s News), an important interface between local government and the public on the town of Matsushima, coming up with specific ideas and proposals for its redesign.
The class interpreted publications like Chomin Dayori as one of the interfaces connecting a city or region with its inhabitants and conveying the day-to-day operations and evolution of the community, and we engaged with practical design-oriented aspects of communication with residents. By redesigning media for distribution of information in a community, we examined what goes into forming a city or region, and adopted approaches to design geared toward ordinary people with no specialized knowledge or experience
of user design, aiming for design that is both visually appealing and practical, and compiling proposals for design of the information environment (PR magazines, feedback, educational systems, etc.) of Matsushima.
Future Lab 3
“The Future of Sendai as an Energy- Smart Innovation City”
In this studio class, we interpreted cities, architecture, the environment, and various junctures of day-to-day life from a smart/ ecological standpoint, and considered the role innovative design plays in cities via new value creation and social contribution. With regard to the potential of Sendai as an energy-smart innovation city making effective use of renewable energy, we weighed both the “hard” and “soft” sides of the issue, focusing on key words relating to multi-layered topics such as energy- efficient technology, energy conservation education, the green economy, information broadcast-oriented campuses, and media.
Creator in Residence Program
“Reformulating the Sendai Literature Museum”
In the Creator-in-Residence Program, creative professionals are invited and students participate in the process of producing works and investigation of potential uses for the completed works. Students also create their own “documentation works” based on things they noticed while observing the production process.
This semester we invited the architect duo mi-ri meter who use a wide range of approaches to urban and public spaces involving architecture, fieldwork, and various projects, and addressed the task of “reformulating the Sendai Literature Museum,” working to transform the visual environment by making changesto positioning of objects in the entrance, reception desk and museum shop area and the design of signs and so forth.