Toyo Ito Omishima Project: Omishima Minna-no-Winery

Architect Toyo Ito founded the Omishima Minna-no-Winery in 2015, an inspiring endeavor to convert abandoned orchards in a small, rural yet history-rich island in the Seto Naikai into vineyards, so that the relinquished assets can be transformed into new values and opportunities for the island.

Rural is the new black: Toyo Ito Omishima Project

After decades of progressive endeavors exploring new opportunities of urban living by translating the “modern” in a unique way, Toyo Ito is going rural. And there is a profound reason behind this. You will discover how he’s come to see the end of the modern system, and how he is finding a new future on the small island called Omishima in Western Japan, that still retains people’s potential embraced by a unique local environment. Going rural is the new black beyond modernism.

Toyo Ito Omishima Project: Omishima Ikoi-no-Ie

大三島 憩の家 (Omishima Ikoi-no-Ie) is one of the few visitor accommodations in beautiful Omishima Island in Seto Naikai, Western Japan. Architect Toyo Ito is heavily involved in the revitalization activities in Omishima, and Ikoi-no-Ie is one of the flagship projects that renovated old elementary school.

Big ambition from a small island: Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture, Imabari

The Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture, Imabari is located on a small, traditional island in West Japan. After decades of progressive architectural experiments based in Tokyo, Toyo Ito is pursuing the future of architecture on this heritage-rich island that has been preserved from aggressive modernization.”

Chapter 4-3: Absence in business – Nissin Cupnoodles Museum

Chapter 2-7: Activate your taste buds by subtraction – Plum Organics

“Simplify!” Steve Jobs’ relentless quest for Zen design

Steve Jobs is known to have practiced the Soto-school of Japanese Zen, and is also known to have loved the kare-sansui garden of the Saijo-ji in Kyoto, which was founded by a prominent Zen priest/garden designer in the 14th century. Find how Jobs leveraged Zen philosophy to design simple and minimal Apple products.

MUJI Passive house

Proudly inefficient: true meaning of “Right to repair”

Defend your “right to repair,” says iFixit. Apple fights back to protect their IP. Why things became this complicated? It’s economic efficiency.

So we’ve lost the game of economic efficiency. Now what?

Rural areas are distressed. Traditional, heritage-rich industry, culture and communities are disappearing. What are the options for all of us to shine?

Open House with Condensed Core: House Vision 2016

Architect Shigeru Ban has been actively involved in disaster relief projects in many parts of the world, by designing and providing temporary shelters. When he imagined a next generation house, it became tiny, flexible, mobile, temporary, agile, editable and adjustable.

MUJI x UR: MUJI beautifully fixes-up old-fashioned urban apartments

MUJI started selling houses in 2004, and the project has been evolving. They now collaborate with other parties to re-invigorate outdated building stock. Discover their philosophy and strategy on how to re-discover the value of old homes, minimize disposal of old parts and adjust them to today’s living environment.

Re-invigorate distressed economic areas without relying on economic tools

Weary of never-ending, ever-intensifying economic game to create winners and losers based on efficiency, there is an increasing momentum to re-invigorate ailing economic regions by not relying on conventional economic tools.

Zen perspectives in Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Las Vegas Project

Truth of sharing economy: what are we really sharing?

iFixit – rediscover the joy of making and repairing things

iFixit co-founder Kyle Wiens passionately claims: “take something apart that doesn’t work, understand the problem so as you can fix it, and then put back together….is the greatest feeling in the world when it turns on and you know that YOU fixed it. It’s so exciting to know that YOU can control of your own hardware.”

Zero perspectives in “Small Architecture” by Kengo Kuma

Kuma’s book, “Small Architecture,” is full of inspiration that questions the myth of modern architecture, which has become excessively big, hard and alienating. He advocates small architecture as an alternative, due to its boundless potential.

Why is MUJI’s minimalist design called Zen?

The Japanese household brand MUJI is often dubbed “commercial Zen” for its no-frills, minimalist design and approach. But exactly what kind of Zen aesthetics are seen in MUJI? Two prominent designers Kenya Hara and Naoto Fukasawa give us inspiring clues.

Another face of Brexit – Trump crisis – what if this is a global resource crisis?

What many of us didn’t realize during Brexit and the Trump campaign was the real faces of the people who were feeling the pinch and feeling neglected. Those new faces of the “disadvantaged” people reveal the fact that just living in a “developed nation” as a member of the majority group no longer secures a better economic status.

Celebrate what you already own: Patagonia

Patagonia’s Black Friday event “Celebrate what you already own” made me think about the relationship between “having (buying) more,”, “having (buying) less” and deep satisfaction. I soon came to realization that having less can actually lead to deeper satisfaction.

Penguins are not boring: Asahiyama Zoo

Read an inspiring story of a small municipal zoo that transformed into a popular zoo that attracts millions of visitors from around the world.

Nissin Cupnoodles Museum

Even though its main audience is children, Cupnoodles Museums does not rely on “more” to make them happy. Then what are the keys for their success?