a-small-lab by Chris Berthelsen. Based in Tokyo & Mairangi Bay

project index

a little bit out of date as of April 2013, but getting there..

**FIXES: Investigating alterations of space/objects at the public/private boundary in suburban Tokyo.**
"Chris has an amazing eye for the creativity of Japanese people making small changes to their environment and blurring the boundary of private and public space. This blog project is simply genius."[Ref]
> A featured resource of 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: [LINK]
> Included in the syllabus for Mega-Cities: Design Anthropology and Urban Landscapes, a Tokyo University graduate seminar on mega-cities taught by Jared Braiterman. You can download the syllabus [HERE]
> Project Resource/Log: [LINK to Project Resource]
> View the project page [HERE]

**Managing For Creativity in Japan**
"Tremendous insight for those that want to define new roles and promote creative ideas within Japanese organizations." [Ref])
A series of in-depth interviews with Japan-based non-Japanese executives of companies with primarily Japanese workforces.
> A featured resource of the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business Center for Japan-U.S. Business and Economic Studies [LINK]
> View details and download documents [HERE]

**Tokyo Local Fruit Study**
A public project looking at non-commercial fruit in Tokyo private gardens and public spaces. We hope to learn about what is being grown, where, and how it is being enjoyed and shared - the simple, everyday tastes, stories and memories of fruit in Tokyo.

Do you eat, grow, or share local fruit in Tokyo? We are collecting stories about Tokyo local, or non-commercial, fruit. Please share yours.
Click here to start survey


**Keep Your City Delicious!**
Keep your city beautiful? How about keeping it delicious for a change!
Short examples from 'Keep your city delicious' (街をおいしく!)activities in Tokyo.
View the slideshow: [ON SLIDESHARE]

**Studio for Creative Revitalization Of Tanuki Urban Manifestations (S.C.R.O.T.U.M.)**
The Studio for Creative Revitalization Of Tanuki Urban Manifestations works with the Tanuki - a member of the canine family that resembles a raccoon (commonly known as raccoon dog in English). In addition to being a real animal that resides in the nooks and crannies of Tokyo alleyways and shrines it is also a pleasure-seeking and massively testicled mythical figure central to Japanese folklore and popular culture.

A collaboration with Jared Braiterman and Jess Mantell.

Work, sketches and resources are on the Studio.C.R.O.T.U.M. Page

**Hand Made**
Starting to post rough collage notes/writing on the hand made city and Tokyo. Frequently updated.
> http://a-small-lab.com/text/

**Hand Made Play**
Notes from a collaborative + open research project investigating, enjoying, and learning from the self-initiated and non-commercial play of children in Tokyo.
> http://a-small-lab.com/hand-made-play/

**Study on the City at Child Scale**
"......These safe and slow pathways are perfect for tiny feet and their larger commute-weary companions. Dense greens and colourful scented collages reside at the height and scale of little eyes and noses. Irrepressible hands thrive on the mixture of gravel, sand, grass, rocks, sticks and fallen fruit that compose Tokyo carpets. In summer developing ears drink in crickets, cicadas and neighbourhood rustlings...."

A small study on the child's perception of the street.

This document traces the everyday treasures of a rainy day walk to the local sento in suburban Tokyo. It is part of a broader and slightly wonky research and practice agenda on the hand made, everyday creativity, play, and usable environments.

Extracts, Full Download, etc [HERE]

**FIXing the Neighbourhood: Investigations in Suburban Tokyo / Sketching for Usable Cities**
A scrambled, semi-off-the-cuff presentation for the Institute for Information Design Japan workshop “Transforming Neighbourhoods - Tokyo/Berlin" organised by Jan Lindenberg.

View the presentation On Slideshare
View the presentation: On Scribd

**Human(e) Aspects of Tokyo: Creative climate, small places of anarchy, stigmergy.**
Notes and a few projects for a guest lecture at Dr. Christian Dimmer's Public/Private Seminar, Waseda University (Nov. 16, 2011)

Download/Viewing Options [HERE]

**Tokyo DIY Gardening**
An open sourcebook and resource for urban gardening on a personal level -- “hands-on gardening for a crowded city”. It includes ‘how-to’ examples/instructions, photo essays, observations, interviews, articles and more with the aim of knowledge sharing and creation around low-cost, agile gardening in dense cities (with a focus on Tokyo).

View the project website: [Tokyo DIY Gardening]

A collaboration with Harvard and Stanford anthropologist, Japan Council on Foreign Relations Hitachi Fellow, and Tokyo Green Space founder Jared Braiterman.

**Hand Made Tokyo Book Preview & Download**
Lots of preview images of the Hand Made Tokyo document of the 3331 Arts CYD Tokyo mapping workshop we did last summer.
A5, 126 pages
Take a look at the preview [HERE]

**Building for Plants and Play**
Turning an unusable and unfriendly suburban jungle/rubbish dump into a usable space for children, plants and parents.

> View progress [on Flickr]

**Kokonohanashi (ここの話)Experiment**
The kokonohanashi (「ここの話」 lit. 'talking about here') project works locally with a combination of analogue (notebooks, pens, laminated A4 posters, wire, legwork) and open low-tech digital tools (QR codes, stripped down Wordpress, email, smart-and-not-so-smart-phones) to investigate the development of a platform for discussion about, and positive action in, city space by the people who most matter - those who experience and use the place in their everyday lives.

View the project page: [Kokonohanashi Project]
Download the project introduction: [PDF file, 5.5mb]
Download a brief project report after the first iteration: [PDF file, 3mb]
Read a nice write up of the project at Tokyo Green Space [HERE]

**A Board Game about City Accessibility**
Produced in collaboration with Mammoth School and Knee High Media for the second issue of the Mammoth School free paper, "Look-A-Round" is a board game which encourages learning about city accessibility.

View video, photos, and download [HERE]

**Amidakuji - Storytelling Game**
Produced in collaboration with Mammoth School and Knee High Media for the third issue of the Mammoth School free paper, "Amidakuji" builds on a traditional Japanese game for fun and weird storytelling. Illustrated by the fantastic Hiyoko Imai.

Downloads and video [HERE]

**Dots and Nets game with MAMMOTH**
Produced in collaboration with Mammoth School and Knee High Media for the fourth issue of the Mammoth School free paper, "Dots and Nets" builds on the traditional dots and squares game to introduce creatures of the sea. Illustrated by Mika Inohara.

Details [HERE]

**Tokyo Colour-In Preview and Activities**
Tokyo colour-in. The colouring-in book of Tokyo street art (180p)
A colouring-in book of Tokyo street art created to introduce little hands and minds to the fine-grained hand made aspect of human(e) creativity on the street.

Take a look at the preview [HERE]
and check the slowly growing set of activities for use with the book [HERE]

**Patterns of Japanese Creativity**
This ongoing study reviews the Japanese business and management literature to uncover the principles, strategies and circumstances at the heart of the creative successes of Japanese companies.

NEW: Page Samples and Exercises from forthcoming book [LINK]

Project Resource[LINK to Project Resource]

**Other Creative Climate Research**
> View brief details of other creative climate research (you can always email me for more information) [HERE]

**Tokyo Street Art Research**
A 5,500 image survey of street art in selected areas of Tokyo (Shibuya, Shinjuku (Kabukicho, Hyakunincho), Kunitachi) collected as part of an investigation into the relationship of creative uses of public space and spatial configuration.

More details, links and downloads [HERE]

**Structures and Textures of Nagoya (2003-4)**
A resource, a toolkit, of rare images of the structures and textures of the gradually decaying city of Nagoya, Japan (735 images)

This image resource is available for purchase for commercial (no use restrictions) and non-commerical use - Click here for more details.

**Berlin Design Resource**
A photo resource and book was made for a major Japanese clothing design/retail company (800+ photos, book, context/translation).
Take a look at a couple of photos here [LINK]

**The Nature Prints**
The Nature Prints: A collage story for all ages and eras is an open publication.

Take a look, download, etc here [LINK]

**The Works of God**
The Works of God (edited by christ)
This book features 21 poems, short stories, drawings, conceptual pieces by 'a number' of angsty 20 year olds. May offend (probably will). Features racist, sexist, and other -ist content. All tongue in cheek but nevertheless harsh. Please don't view this if you are going to have a problem with it.

Take a look, download etc here [LINK]

**Off Cuts**
Collage, paint, scans and more...open image resources (Creative Commons) from the floor of a-small-lab

View and Download Hi-Res Images [LINK to Flickr]

coming soon

**Services for Neighbourhood and City Interaction**
Currently in discussions to launch the Japanese versions of two services that facilitate neighbourhood and city interaction for more human communities.

**Small Report: 好きな公園 (Parks I like)**
A small report on aspects of loved neighbourhood parks with the help of a group of neighbourhood kids.

**City Blocks: An as yet unannounced collaborative public art/education project with a Tokyo-based publisher**
“Become familiar & comfortable with your environment, share and discuss, develop the facility to play with, rearrange, reimagine, create spaces and places. Explore the neighbourhoods of Japan through the eyes of other children, discover what they care for and have fun with."

**FIXES: The non-intentional design of Tokyo - a card game**
Based on the images and research of the FIXES: Non-Intentional Design (NID) Research in Tokyo project, this card game/resource aims to increase awareness of NID thinking and practice and to act as an entry point to a deeper experience of Tokyo as a lived city.

**A long collage/essay on Tokyo**
Three out of seven nights, From 11pm-2am.

Crack Skeleton Photo Credit: Lin