M. ARCH I
Megaregions, Japan, hikikomori, Aokigahara forest, architecture
Metropolitan cities to grow at unfathomable rates, forming a new scale of geography know as Megaregions. And as these settlements continue to develop with the principal focus on the consequences of economy and environment, the psychological, mental health of the inhabitants becomes neglected. Japan, the archetypal example of a highly developed country, despite its economic and technological advantages, has been plagued by social isolation, suicides, and mental health issues among its people. With 541,000 young Japanese labeled as hikikomori, a term describing young people who isolate themselves in their rooms for months or years at a time, their memories of the city begs stimulation and their stories needs attention. The Post-modern Hermits is the project that seeks to redefine the relationship between people, architecture and time within the context of Japan. Using openness as a conceptual design strategy to form a memorial park which rejects the absolute completion. I intend to develop my project to share similar characteristics and features of Hejduk’s work adapted through the chosen site of Aokigahara forest. Within the Aokigahara forest, follies will take shape according to the existing morphologies. With hybrid as the principal design formula, proposed follies seek to combine basic tectonics of found urban fabrics, collective memory fragments of Tokyo and the stories of Hikikomori to present facts as a way to call attention to the stories of the victims and to rethink how such social issues are dealt with.
Li, Xuechen, "The PostModer Hermits" (2019). Architecture Senior Theses. 455.
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