Kengo Kuma: Our cities need to “ferment”

Kengo Kuma leads the world of architecture by focusing on offering new ways to connect our delicate body to nature. What is his view on attractive cities?

Kintsugi: Repair beyond repair

Kintsugi” is a traditional Japanese technique to repair broken ceramics, but it’s something that will change your definition of “repair.” Using glue and gold or silver powder, Kintsugi “heals” injured ceramics and give them new life, embracing the wound. It is fascinating.

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.

Where would millennials live when they go minimal?

Millennials are not interested in owning extravagant properties but instead are interested in investing in experiences. Their “ideal” house should look very different from older generation whose dream was to own a big house. What Sou Fujimoto imagined at House Vision may be the answer.

Yoshino-sugi Cedar House : Go Hasegawa x Airbnb

Airbnb & Go Hasegawa designed Yoshino Cedar House to re-brand traditional values denied by modern economy. Airbnb helps locals share such values globally.

Truth of sharing economy: what are we really sharing?

What is Zero?

title-what-is-zero


Zero is a device available to all of us in order to thrive and live a fulfilling life in an increasingly over-populated, resource-constrained and drastically changing world.
Zero is next generation sustainability and resilience.

Zero is an answer for mindful satisfaction.
 

How does it work, and why now?
There is a critical disconnect between what’s going on at a planetary (macro-economic), micro-economic and personal level.  Earth is now holding 7 billion people.  At a planetary level, the environment is stressed and resources are becoming scarcer.  Many experts believe that the current system is not sustainable. However at a micro-economic, we keep trying to expand our economic activities.  Businesses compete fiercely to provide more for less, fueled by ever-intensifying consumer demand.  We seek to access more products and services for less to feel satisfied and happy.  This disconnect may keep growing until we end up depleting all the resources, unless we proactively embrace another perspective on how we pursue satisfaction and happiness.


If you felt “what about technology? Technology will eventually solve all the problems,” stay tuned. Zero and technology will be discussed in the near future.  Please sign up for updates from the sidebar.


triangle-dilenma



subtitle-macroeconomic


  • The Earth’s resources are finite.
  • Population keeps growing at an exponential rate.
  • Production capacity also keeps growing, but no one knows for sure to what extent it can keep growing.
  • Many commodities, notably food-related products and metals/minerals have been showing significant price increases over the last two decades.
    • Cheap resources underpinned economic growth for much of the 20th century. The 21st will be different.(Mckinsey Quarterly, 2011)
  • Climate change and environmental degradation is already directly damaging our existing assets (e.g. through extreme weather), or indirectly affecting our productivity (e.g. drought or deforestation)


subtitle-microeconomic


  • Global competition intensifies and business environment keeps changing at a fast pace.
  • Customer demands for “more for less” intensify even though input prices keep increasing.
  • Middle class is disappearing.


subtitle-personal


  • Care about the environment, but don’t want to give up the happiness and comfort delivered by plethora of affordable products and services.
  • Life security depends on job security and income, which depends on economic growth.


What’s happening at a micro-economic and personal level simply don’t go hand-in-hand with the reality that the Earth faces. You cannot keep increasing your output in a closed system with decreasing input, and our planet is a closed system.
So we have been talking about sustainability for quite some time now.  It is critical to figure out how we can maintain our output in a closed system.  However, sustainability is no longer just about resource sustainability or environmental sustainability.
In the 21st century, the sustainability of our own satisfaction and happiness is at stake because it depends on the sustainability of our economy, which depends on resource/environmental sustainability.  And we are already starting to see the impact.


This is where Zero comes into play.

triangle-zero


Next generation sustainability is not 4.0 or 5.0, it’s 0.0.
By zeroing on our own potential, rather than focusing on the amount of products/services we can get, or on how much efficiency external systems can deliver to us, we can feel mindful satisfaction and live a fulfilling like without relying on “more.”  You can think of this as sustainability Zen.


If you would like to know more about Zero, please start from Zero Intro.  There are also various contents on how to find/leverage Zero in our daily lives and in business.


“Great Transformation of Architecture”: Toyo Ito and Sustainable Architecture

Ito questions modern architecture, especially public infrastructure, which heavily relies on placing something big, hard and sturdy in-between nature and humans. Modern architecture and infrastructure attempts to draw explicit/irreversible boundaries between nature and humans, and that’s how they block the threats of nature from invading humans’ world.

Tanada Terrace Office: MUJI x Atelier Bow-Wow House Vision 2016

MUJI’s Tanada Terrace Office was developed as an extended office installed in a rural area in order to explore a flexible and organic relationship between urban workers and rural farmers. MUJI employees would work at Tanada Office installed in the outskirt of Tokyo when local farmers need extra hands. Thanks to the technology, we only need a PC and wi-fi connection to perform work.

Grand Third Living: Kengo Kuma x Toyota House Vision 2016

At House Vision, Toyota and architect Kengo Kuma focuses on the mobility of cars. Toyota’s plug-in hybrid Prius is equipped with solar panels and has quite a substantial battery storage. It’s a mobile energy generator.