The focus of the project was on urban quality. It entered the field of debates about urban quality by challenging the very idea of measurability. An important aim of the project is to address the unsustainable schism between qualitative and quantitative, “textual” and “numerical” in the urban and to reach towards addressing the Lefebvrian oeuvre. In order to get there, at the broadest, conceptual level, Mn’M investigated the relationships between system theory (social sciences and engineering) and assemblage theory. Its cross-disciplinary theoretical frameworks relied on place theory, Lefebvrian social theories and the idea(l) of eco–urbanity. At methodological levels, the project combined standard research practices with emerging sensibilities and some resurgent critical practices, such as Situationism and psychogeography.
The books from this edition are now available directly form the publisher, Tokyo's flick Studio.
This book presents the material compiled for one of the case studies conducted within Measuring the non-Measurable – Mn’M research project. It brings together a number of maps of one particular place in Tokyo – the precinct of Jiyugaoka and, more precisely, only one of its streets, Kuhonbutsugawa Ryokudo. The focus on a small location in the largest city in the world is a message in itself. When speaking about the actual quality (of life), we need to think about a particular city, decidedly local scales, concrete experiences of environments which we regularly see, hear, touch, smell and taste – the spaces and practices which we actively live.
This book brings together a selection of research papers, which were first presented at the concluding, third Measuring the non-Measurable – Mn’M Symposium, held in Tokyo 11.2013.
Tokyo dérive: in search of urban intensity brings together 23 visual essays, the results of a number of drifts through the streets of Tokyo. These essays capture both the objects and subjects of inquiry, by layering urban situations and diverse dioptries, approaches, preferences and sensibilities applied to their observation. The idea was to create “an occasion for asking more fundamental questions. What is the researcher searching for? And if it’s the other, who is the other?” (Auge, 1998). In our case, the object of inquiry was otherness of the urban.
Tokyo, sitting at the centre of by far the largest conurbation in the world, replicates this mountain landscape. It is replete with small things, small gaps between buildings, small thoroughfares in narrow townscapes, small distances between different districts. Despite its vast size Tokyo appears strikingly small. This is why we should extend a warm welcome to this exploration of small Tokyo that Darko Radović, Davisi Boontharm and their colleagues have put together. ... it is an explication, helping us to understand how these small spaces are created, animated and enjoyed. (Paul Waley)