Design for All

Sendai Mediatheque. Photo by Tomio Ohashi The building started shaking at 2:46pm. Books tumbled off shelves, magazine racks teetered and ceiling panels swayed violently back and forth like a drunk trying to reclaim his balance. This was the scene in a YouTube video recorded the seventh floor of the Sendai Mediatheque on March 11, when […]

Before Sandy

The sun was burning through morning fog as I walked down Hoyt Street to the subway, the Williamsburg Savings Bank half-shrouded like in some imaginary Gotham. By the time I reached Beach 59th Street, the sky was a deep blue. It was late October, but it felt like summer. I took off my sweater and […]

Tokyo, Two Weeks After the Earthquake

March 2011 I arrive in Tokyo on a clear, crisp afternoon. As my train makes brisk progress from Narita Airport to the city centre, I stare out the window at the country fields giving way to suburbia and then a densely crammed cityscape. The city seems calm. Kids run freely through an asphalt schoolyard. Uniformed […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Environment, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Tokyo, Two Weeks After the Earthquake , , , ,

Recovery by Design

Photo by the Swiss Red Cross The violence of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that shook Japan on March 11th was shocking enough, but what followed was almost unimaginable. Thirty minutes after the quake, a massive tsunami swept through the northeastern Tohoku region with waves up to 120 feet high. Entire towns were crushed and swept away. […]

Posted in: Architecture, Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Environment, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Recovery by Design , , , , ,

Saturday Night at Shin-Okubo Station

Saturday, March 26th at Shin-Okubo Station Last Saturday, two weeks after the Japanese earthquake, I found myself in Tokyo. I was on assignment for a Canadian magazine — more about that on a later date — and I spent much of my time wandering the city and speaking to people, trying to get a feel […]