06 December 2018

co+labo radović  co+labo lecture series continues with Dr Heide Imai's talk on Tokyo Roji    
Since co+labo was inaugurated in 2009, Dr Heide Imai was one of the regular contributors to our laboratory and broader Keio architecture activities - as a member of research teams, research discussant, design critic and an always generous guest lecturer. She  come back to co+labo, with a lecture within the graduate Advanced Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design programme. Heide's lecture "Alleyways Between Conflict, Change and Cultural Innovation" focused at parts of her book Tokyo Roji: The Diversity and Versatility of Alleys in a City in Transition, published recently by reputable Rutledge. She asked "If the streets of Tokyo could talk, what stories would they tell us?" and now summarises how the lecture "presented the role and meaning of the roji in Tokyo and sought to go behind the façade of the contemporary urban landscape to re-contextualise these forgotten yet necessary, marginal yet present places of everyday life. Marginalised through the emergence of new forms of housing and public spaces, re-appropriated by different fields, and re-invented by the contemporary urban design discourse, the social meaning attached to the roji is being re-interpreted by individuals, subcultures and new social movements. To portray the life cycle of an urban form being rediscovered, commodified and lost as physical space, I made use of historical references, urban narratives, graphic reinterpretations and exemplary study cases, to finally disclose questions of the roji's future, its new actors and its new possibilities, closing with a critical statement: what is needed to create cultural and environmental sustainability?"
Dr. Heide Imai's  is Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Global Interdisciplinary Studies (GIS) at Hosei University and Research Associate at Keio University, Tokyo, Japan. Licensed as an architect, her research, teaching and practice focus is urban resistance, resilience and the future of vernacular landscapes in global cities. Her forthcoming book Everyday Yokohama will also be published by Rutledge (2019).

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