SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING, AND LANDSCAPE
MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE SENIOR RESEARCH STUDIO TOKYO EXCHANGE
TEAM: SEAN DOHERTY
INSTRUCTOR: BRIAN SINCLAIR
Tokyo’s urban environment features very busy and fast-paced lifestyles, while finding opportunities to connect to nature are rare. Furthermore, Tokyo’s streetscapes have been undergoing functional transformations with the presence of new technologies, as well as shifts in personal living patterns. The need to design adaptable, and practical solutions to the changing axiomatic needs of the city, while also creating positive, healthy, and sustainable urban environments, has become increasingly important.
Based upon the Japanese trend entitled, “Shinrin-yoku,” (forest bathing), Urbin Shinrin is a project that reimagines the infrastructural space of Tokyo’s streets as a platform for dynamic urban interventions. The project offers deployable wooden structures that host planting armatures so that a street can instantly become an urban forest, offering a destination or a fleeting experience of natural elements in the middle of the dense urban grid. Comprised of a lightweight and limited number of parts, the project can be easily set up and taken down and also features a transformable structural and spatial logic that was conceived to allow for a systematic approach to design. Urbin Shinrin was imaged in Shinjuku's core business district as a single case study, though the project's flexibility allows its components to be deployed in many different areas and even in different cities.