Our life consists of a series of contacts with the environment through the five senses. We repeatedly feel the subtle conditions and changes of what we come in contact with, and feel the passing of time in the continued experience of contacts. Here the environment includes the spatial factor which surrounds us, such as natural objects and phenomenon, or man-made buildings, and human activities.
Our senses are constantly exposed to the changing situation, such as cities becoming more massive and more information-oriented, and are forced to deal with those changes.
The amount and density of information and events which need to be processed in urban life is increasing steadily. We are now used to excessive stimuli and the opportunity for all the senses to work comprehensively is decreasing.
As a result, the environment, which is supposed to be realized as a series of experiments, is a mere congregation of separate stimuli. The dull senses of humans are sealing up the aesthetics for the environment and diverse values. The sensual crisis is a crisis of a cultural life which sustains, renews and changes the natural senses of humans. Preservation and revival of the senses are important issues when creating our own lives by accepting the environment and adding our own information and activities to the environment. In this plan we are searching for a method for creating urban space where it is possible to have active contacts such as appropriately deciding the next action to take, judging from environmental conditions, and finding joys in the environment by displaying the senses innate to humans. We detect a variety of environmental gaps hidden in the metropolis of Tokyo, and propose to structure an Urban Trans Unit across the domains of civil engineering, architecture, landscaping, and facilities for decentralized compound facilities in a new city.
Urban Fault Conversion Unit (Urban Trams Unit)
・Amphibious Sky View Bridge (Rapport unit for land and water)
A facility with equipment to create a beach and a tideland for purifying seawater (cylinder crane), equipment to promote and support photosynthesis (optical fiber buoy) by irradiating with optical fibers the sunlight collected by a condenser in the contaminated ocean, and a periscope and z telescope for observing wild birds and fish.
・Urban Water Harp Cave (Rapport unit for water, sound and light)
A rapporting place for transformed water (mist, splash, moisture) and their sound and light. The splash of water or the sound of dripping onto the water surface is transmitted to the resonance box on the ground through a resonance tube (Helmholtz resonator). The resonator, combined together with light, is used as a lighting device on the ground.
・Information Bridge on Streets (Rapport unit for speed and information)
A rapporting place for the cityscape, the sky and the now of people and objects. Modern version of Mt. Fuji Viewing Stand will be revived as a compound information facility. It is an accumulated body of urban functions, such as information terminals, communication devices, public rest rooms, and police boxes.
・Mobile Artificial Ground (Rapport unit for mixed infrastructure) It illuminates the other side of the city, and provides a temporary place for human activities over a limited time. A facility which gives attraction to urban gaps such as under the elevated streets or above rivers.
Text by Hiroshi Innami 1997/8