Reconstituting Town through Communication
We at Fumitoshi Kato Laboratory (fklab) are reevaluating the concept of “place” from the stand point of “communication.” How are creative and vibrant “good places” created and nurtured in local communities? We start with walking on our own feet. We value the methodology of carefully observing town using our five senses and “collecting” phenomena which touch upon our senses in a special way. In other words, we are trying to understand our relationship with other people as well as with ourselves. Various mobile media including smart-phones are assembly of sensors; therefore, we are encouraged to take them with us as “gears” with which we record our experience on the field.
In addition to being a physical environment, “places” hold a function for people to interact with each other. In other words, as mentioned earlier, we need to approach “places” as consolidation of space-time where communication is held. Furthermore, how people comprehend “situations” are not just their personal matter but also a product of social and environmental relationship. The nature of “places” will change depending on the number of people who’re involved. There are “places” which are created spontaneously but disappear in a short lifetime. On the other hand, there are “places” which are regularly and continuously reshaped and stay valid for a long time.
Our center of activities lie in testing the validity and the meaning of places by designing the “method” (ideas, tools, and practices regarding surveys, studies, and presentations) of how to understand people’s lifestyle and executing the method on the field.
Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University