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

Swallow Dropping Guards

Swallows build nests to raise their young in the nooks and crannies of structures all over Tokyo. Instead of destroying the nests in retaliation for copious droppings that result, accommodating caretakers of residential and commercial buildings lay out mats of cardboard (when close to the ground) or build ‘dropping catchers’ by fixing wooden boards to steel H-beams with vices (for larger commercial structures). I’m impressed with these gentle constructions and savour the human/non-human relationships that slowly grow as we experience the process from egg, to chick, to flight.

Materials: Wood, Cardboard, Vice
Location: All over Tokyo

Cardboard Box Recycling Tower

Cardboard box recycling tower constructed from salvaged metal rack and wood block for stabilization. Stool for reaching upper levels.

Cardboard Box Recycling Tower
Cardboard Box Recycling Tower

Materials: Metal Rack, Wood Block
Location: Setagaya, Tokyo.

This example is a note for a pamphlet on “Hand Made Aspects of Mass Produced Housing”. Subscribe to my somewhat-frequent letter HERE if you want to keep in touch easily.

Coffee Shop Signage in Painted Wood

Painted wood scraps form signage for a coffee house in central Nagoya.

Coffee Shop Signage in Painted Wood
Coffee Shop Signage in Painted Wood

Materials: Paint, Wood Scraps
Location: Nagoya

Storage/Security in Wood Planks

Storage/Barrier constructed from wood planks on sloping street (courtesy of Tokyo-based designer Edith Prakoso)

Storage/Security in Wood Planks

Materials: Wood
Location: Nogizaka, Tokyo

Garden in Planks, Pots and Breeze Blocks

Garden built on parking area – constructed of planks and breeze blocks. Notice that the garden is actually an aggregation of pot plants, which look like a cohesive whole due to rotting autumn leaves. Superb.
Materials: Planks, Pots, Breeze Blocks
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

Tree Trained Away From Power Pole

Tree trained to grow away from power pole with a steel rod and scrap wood. Rod affixed to tree with wire.
Materials: Wood, Steel Rod, Wire
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

Under-Stair Storage in Wood Scraps

Dead space under apartment block stairs tidied up and utilized as secure(?) storage. Constructed in wood scraps.
Materials: Wood
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

Pot Plant Space and BBQ seat

The boundary of a driveway modified as a pot plant display area and seat for outdoor BBQs.

Materials: Wood
Location: Akshima, Tokyo

Ramp in Wooden Plank

Easy access for wheeled objects (shopping trolleys, bicycles, etc) created by placing a length of wood up the apartment complex steps. A piece of wood fixed to the lower end prevents slipping.

Ramp in Wooden Plank
Ramp in Wooden Plank

Materials: Wood
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

Planter in Wood

Constructed out of reclaimed wood this planter shell sits snugly around the oblong brown plastic planter which is ubiquitous in Tokyo and makes the curbside garden almost invisble to the casual glance.

Planter in Yanaka
Planter in Yanaka
Planter in Yanaka
Planter in Yanaka

Materials: Wood
Location: Yanaka, Tokyo

(Originally posted on Tokyo-DIY-Gardening)

Park Bench in Railway Sleeper

A railway sleeper positioned on top of two smaller pieces of wood forms an elegant and function bench in a Sendagaya park.

Park Bench

Materials: Railway Sleeper, Wood
Location: Sendagaya, Tokyo

Park Bench in Railway Sleeper and Staple

A railway sleeper attached to two circular pieces of wood by a large building staple creates a simple, elegant and functional bench in a Sendagaya park.
Park Bench
Park Bench

Materials: Railway Sleeper, Wood, Building Staple
Location: Sendagaya, Tokyo

Curbside Planter Support in Bricks and Wood

Planters supported by wood, bricks and curb.
Materials: Wood, Bricks
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

Potplant Shelf on Wall

A stable shelf for potplants created by placing a plank on top of a breeze block residential wall. Notice the way that it is converted into a more stable/practical construction by threading wire through the plank twisting it around protrusions (nails) in the wall.

Materials: Wood, Wire
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

Curbside Planters

Scarce curbside space is increased just enough to accomodate pot plants along a residential wall.

Materials: Wood
Location: Akishima, Tokyo.

Rubbish Day Hook in Wire

Hanging wire hook for putting out the rubbish for collection. Attached to the wall with bent wire hooked over the top of the wall (see another example here), threat of swinging constrained by threading the wire through a fastener made of a small wood block glued to the wall. Hook for holding the rubbish bag made of bent wire.
Materials: Wire, Wood
Location: Akishima, Tokyo

Cigarette Butt Disposal Unit

Cigarette butt disposal unit constructed from used oil can, wire, wood, tape, and PET bottle. An open-bottomed (to prevent rainwater collecting in the bottom) receptacle is fashioned from a used oil can nailed/screwed to a wooden stake and painted red. The receptacle is attached to the signpost with duct tape or wire. A PET bottle filled with water is placed inside the receptacle for safe and semi-odorless cigarette butt disposal. To empty the disposal units (3 in the immediate vicinity) one has only to walk around, pick up the PET bottles, and pour the contents into the rubbish (or down the drain, or wherever…). Signage is made of laminated computer print-out.
Materials: Oil Can, Wire, Wood, Tape, PET bottle
Location: Nakano-Ku, Tokyo

Bike Stand in Off-Cuts

Motorcycle propped up on uneven surface with wood off-cuts.
Materials: Wood
Location: Nakano-Ku, Tokyo

Shrine Collage

A personal shrine in the backyard of a Nakano residence constructed in a collage of breeze blocks, wood, polystyrene and more.
Materials: Breeze Blocks, Wood, Polystyrene
Location: Nakano-Ku, Tokyo

Tiered Garden in Breeze Blocks and Board

Breeze blocks and board comprise a simple tiered pot plant garden on a street in the back of Harajuku.
Materials: Breeze Blocks, Wooden Board
Location: Harajuku, 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]