a-small-lab by Chris Berthelsen. Focusing on research and practice in creativity. Based in Tokyo
email: chris@a-small-lab.com
twitter: @a_small_lab

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."
(Jared Braiterman, Harvard and Stanford anthropologist and Japan Council on Foreign Relations Hitachi Fellow - [link] )

A featured resource of the URBAN DESIGN Lab EkEEc@ssfUC, 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]

"Umbrellas become parachutes and stone sills become seats: the environment and its objects may be used in ways that had never occurred to their builders" (Kevin Lynch in Good City Form) - This study investigates the ways individuals alter space/objects at the public/private boundary to better meet their practical day-to-day needs.

In technologically/economically 'advanced' societies we can discern spaces where basic technologies (string, wire, brick, tape) are employed to fill in or fix the gaps left by the 'progress' of modern production/distribution/consumption cultures.

These mundane fixes can tell us a lot about society, what we value and how we think. In the face of ever increasing ease of use/conformity simple technologies can "enable a way of thinking, a way of approaching a problem with no format, no rules, that is open to unconventional processes and methods." [ref]

'Fixes' are ways of thinking and doing amongst the passivity of 'modern' living. Signals of direct, personal, human creativity, they illustrate real sustainability: repair rather than replace; make rather than buy; create/adapt rather than accept.

Project Resource: http://a-small-lab.com/fixes/