Non-Intentional Design: Investigating alterations of space/objects at the public/private boundary in suburban Tokyo, Japan. A resource by Contact: Chris Berthelsen

Security or Stabilization?

A medium size potted bamboo plant is secured to a breeze block and signpost with a long length of plastic twine (one key item in the urban gardener’s arsenal).

What is the function of this construction? Is it a security device – being of just enough nuisance to discourage late-night strollers from lightheartedly taking it home (It is easy pickings for any determined thief)?. Is it a stabilizing defense against high-winds? Or, does it simply prevent the pot from falling/being bumped over in its precarious position?

(First published on Tokyo DIY Gardening)

Security or Stabilization
Security or Stabilization
Security or Stabilization
Materials: Plastic Rope/Twine, Breeze Block, Signpost
Location: Sendagaya, Tokyo

Trackside Asagao Space

Along the narrow no-man’s-land between the railway track fencing and the road there is just enough space for residents of the house that lies directly opposite to create an asagao (morning glory) garden.

Constructed of plastic/metal gardening rods, bamboo and plastic twine this simple 3m x 1.5m (approx.) construction provides the right amount of support for the plants to climb and bloom. I like that the seed packet has been left at the base of the plant to let pedestrians know what is growing (or maybe it is a reminder to the gardener).

This is a great example of the affordable, productive, and enjoyable appropriation of unused/unusable space that is characteristic of Tokyo DIY gardening.

Trackside Asagao Space
Trackside Asagao Space
Trackside Asagao Space
Trackside Asagao Space
Trackside Asagao Space
Trackside Asagao Space
Trackside Asagao Space

Materials: Plastic Stake, Bamboo, Plastic Twine
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

(Originally posted on Tokyo-DIY-Gardening)

Preparing a Green Curtain

A large scale foundation for creeping greens constructed from simple materials – netting, plastic twine, and plastic rods. Coming up to, and through, the summer the climbers should take over this frame, creating shade and privacy in the summer months (like a living sudare (簾:すだれ)).

Preparing for Climbers
Preparing for Climbers
Preparing for Climbers
Preparing for Climbers

Materials: Netting, Plastic Twine, Plastic Rods
Location: Kokubunji, Tokyo

Urban Garden Boundary in Bamboo and Plastic Twine

Sidewalk gardening space marked out in bamboo stakes and plastic twine.
Materials: Bamboo Stake, Plastic Twine
Location: Shibuya, Tokyo

Broom Storage in Twine and Wire

Brooms are hung from a construction of wire and plastic twine.

Materials: Wire, Plastic Twine
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

Entranceway Tree Training in Plastic Pole

A tree is trained over an entrance way by being tied to a plastic pole.

Materials: Plastic Twine, Plastic Pole
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

Creeper Prep and Hanging Potplants

Plastic twine zig-zagged between a plastic pole and nails over a street-front window forms a base for a creeper to climb. Potplants hung off the bottom provide extra garden space. Spare, a little dirty, but functional.

Materials: Plastic Twine, Plastic Pole
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

Tree Training

Corner tree trained/bound by plastic twine.
Materials: Plastic Twine
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

Chain Storage in Hook and Tie

Entranceway chain storage performed by plastic hook and plastic twine.
Materials: Plastic Twine, Hook
Location: Harajuku, Tokyo

Plant Training in Plastic Twine

Pot planst kept out of the way and trained up the side of a house with plastic twine tied to pipes.
Materials: Plastic Twine
Location: Nakano-Ku, Tokyo

Mega-Cities: Design Anthropology and Urban Landscapes
I'm delighted and honoured to have my FIXES work included in Jared Braiterman's Tokyo University graduate seminar on mega-cities.
You can download the syllabus [HERE]

Thanks to the URBAN DESIGN Lab 西村・北沢・窪田 都市デザイン研究室, Department of Urban Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo for making this a featured resource of their lab [LINK]

Vision Plus 2010
Thanks to the organizers of the conference for selecting this project as a featured resource, even though I was not able to attend.

Article: Small Places of Anarchy in the City: Three Investigations in Tokyo on This Big City

Article: The Non-Intentional Landscape of Tokyo - read at This Big City

Article: Framework for Neighbourhood Creative Climate - read at This Big City

Tokyo Green Space from Jared Braiterman is a great inspiration [LINK]

Urban Bricolage by @ehooge is an inspiring site on a related theme [LINK]

Treepolis by Christoph Rupprecht inspires me with investigations into informal green space, cities, and urban ecology with a focus on Australia and Japan [LINK]

Everyday Structures by @alanwiig is another fine site in the same vein [LINK]