AKIBA Square in Akihabara
January 28 - February 18, 2007
Along with the four international sites of investigation in the USA, Britain, Russia, and Germany, Japan is the fifth geographic emphasis of the project. Here the consequences of demographic change are especially visible. For several years, Japan’s total population has been shrinking; in the coming decades, this process will increase dramatically. Already today, outside the great urban agglomerations, there are numerous shrinking cities. Since the exhibition, a debate on shrinking has developed in Japan, as well. On the initiative of the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of Tokyo (Prof. Hidetoshi Ohno), the project Shrinking Cities was invited to take part in a joint exhibition in Tokyo in Spring 2007. Part of the exhibition was the project Fiber City by Ohno Laboratory, which presents a vision for a shrinking Tokyo. Shrinking Cities not only translated its results into Japanese for the Tokyo presentation, it also analyzed the urban region of Hakodate as a Japanese case study and published a Japanese exhibition newspaper.
To stage the exhibition, the University of Tokyo and the project Shrinking Cities collaborated with additional highly-reputed institutions (including the AkiDeCo Museum, TN-Probe, Tokyo Gaz, Tostem Foundation). The site of the exhibition was AKIBA Square in Tokyo’s central district of Akihabara.
In the exhibition in Tokyo, models, films, animations, plans, diagrams, photographs, and texts were shown. But the project was not limited to a presentation of exhibits; rather, a site for discussions was created at the same time. “Talk ins” were carried out in the exhibition; there, architects and urban builders, students and representatives from administration, companies, and communities could bring their own ideas and present them to a broad audience.
More than 3,600 visitors attended the exhibition and the accompanying program.
Chief Curators: Hidetoshi Ohno and Philipp Oswalt, Assitent Curator: Füsun Türetken.