Monday, June 8, 2009

6.8.09 Tokyo Giants game!

Tonight, Trudy and I went to a Tokyo Giants baseball game!!! It was a lot of fun. The Giants scored 4 home runs - 2 in one inning! Japanese baseball is wayyyyy more exciting than American baseball. They have cheerleaders, and the fans go crazy! It was a lot of fun, and they won 8 to 3 :) 

Astrid Klein

Here is a nice picture of our class with Astrid Klein of Klein + Dytham. She is infinitely cool!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

6.6.09 Karaoke!

Bianca starts us off.. with John Mayer! Lol

Then we sing Poker Face by Lady Gaga DUHHH

Ok guys, karaoke in Japan is a very serious business! No kidding though. The people here took karaoke very seriously, and it works differently than in the US. Here, you rent a room with your friends and have a private karaoke machine/tv/computer and get drinks delivered to you. Its not like in the US where everybody sings together - they wouldnt stand for that! Plus, Bianca is a karaoke hog so good thing we had our own room tee hee :)
Ill spare you the pain of the videos of us singing!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

6.4.09 Yokohama

We spent the afternoon (til midnight) in Yokohama, the second largest city in Japan. It was extremely exhausting but very cool because we met with three different architects, and saw the FOA Ferry Terminal which now is definitely in my top 3 things I've seen in Japan. 

Koizumi Sensei explaining his design

FOA Ferry Terminal 

This is another odd occurance which is hard to explain because things like this don't happen in the US. This was a giant mechanical spider which runs on a steam engine and can basically take over the city. 5 or 6 people jump in it and turn it on and it does a little dance and blows steam out its butt.

The end

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Office Visits

Lately, we've been doing a lot of office visits. And by a lot I mean 9 in two weeks!! Here are some highlights, since some people (ahem Maff) have been complaining I haven't posted :) 

The Klein + Dytham exhibit at Gallery Ma, where Astrid Klein met us to talk to us about their work. Gallery Ma is the most prestigious gallery in Japan for architecture exhibits.

Inside the tearoom in the house Fujimori designed

The ceiling of the tea room - made o
ut of plaster and pieces of "yaki sugi" (burnt wood)

Fujimori Sensei sitting on the roof of his house

Fujimoto Sou's office- Interesting because they work almost entirely in physical models. Everyone in there was also under 30 so it looked like an architecture studio!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

5.27.09 Pecha Kucha Night!

Tonight we went to SuperDelux, the club which hosts the original Pecha Kucha! It was packed, about 300 people attended, and we got to see Klein + Dytham! Dytham offered to buy us drinks. 

Thats Klein + Dytham, incase you can't tell. They're relatively famous architects, especially in Tokyo. Both are fluent in Japanese!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

5.23.09 Gokayama

This was dinner! Freshly caught river fish. Some people got scared, but they were actually pretty tasty. 

We spent a night in Gokayama which is part of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. In case you don't know, UNESCO is basically a philanthropic organization which preserves historic sites/buildings/radical things in general. The village is totally secluded, we took a very expensive and sketchy bus ride to get out here. The houses have thatched roofs and most of them are either traditional Japanese Inns, or small shops. One shop had delicious fresh milk, the REAL kind. Yum! There wasn't much to do here, but we visited the next village over which had similar houses, and a small dance festival going on. This was pretty much the opposite of Tokyo, its a nice contrast to see the extremes of lifestyle/architecture that still exists in Japan.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My new ride. 5.22.09

Here I am, pimpin' in my new ride! Just kidding. Its part of a museum exhibit riding around in SANAA's 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa. I chose the bicycle which was pink and shaped like a big barbie hairbrush, duh!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fumie Sasabuchi

New obsession with Tokyo based artist Fumie Sasabuchi.. He draws over fashion spreads using ink, pen, colored pencil.. genius! Liking this style.

5.19.09 James Turrell House

Warning: this is going to be a long blog post! 
We saw so many incredible things in the past 2 days. Starting with a hot spring hotel in Echigo-yuzawa where we took a ropeway trip up to the top of a mountain just for fun. At the top there happened to be a "summer time bobsled" as they called it, which of course we rode on. It was the most rickety piece of plastic which runs on a metal slide down the side of the mountain, with a brake which works most of the time. Of course, we got ice cream at the bottom of the ride :) Its nice to do something non-intellectual once in a while! The following pictures are taken at the top of the mountain.

Cal Poly architecture summer-bobsled team! 

After this we took a train to this random town (I'm still not sure of the name) where we saw an MDRDV building which was completely ridiculous. Surrounding it was a bunch of installations placed strategically in this forrest. Japan is such a strange place, sometimes its almost comical how bizarre the things we are seeing are. Anyway, the random sculptures and such are these installations surrounding this building. 

Finally, we arrived in Tokamachi to spend the night in James Turrell's House of Light. What a special experience! Sleeping (or trying to) in a James Turrell installation was un real. We watched the light change inside of the house for an hour at sunset (6:15 pm) and an hour at sunrise (3:15 am!!! yes.. thats correct). During these times the roof retracts to open up a very Turrell-esque square in the roof completely open to the sky. As the sky color changes, the interior of the house changes, as well as the way this thing is captured in photographs. It's hard to explain this experience, since James Turrell's work is about the subtlety of light affecting space. However, at times I found the light to be extremely dramatic. Waking up at 3:15 for the sunrise  light show was definitely worth it.. This square in the photographs is the opening in the ceiling, which when photographed looks much more like a Rothko painting. Below are pictures of the house, as well as the room with the open ceiling "light show"

The exterior of the house, the roof at the very top (shorter one) slides all the way to the left, this is what reveals the open sky.
The following are all pictures of the open ceiling, the sky changes colors so the entire room changes, it is actually an open space, Im not just photographing a piece of paper (although it seems that way)