Exhibition Introduces “Regenerative Urbanism” Concept – Alternative Urban Design That Embraces Inevitable Disasters and Creates Disaster-Resilient Environments
LOS ANGELES – January 5, 2023 – JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, a Japanese cultural destination in the heart of Hollywood, “Designing with Disaster: Stories from Seven Regenerative Cities” on display from January 27 – April 2, 2023. The exhibition introduces the concept of “Regenerative Urbanism” – anticipatory urban design that explores the optimistic possibility of symbioses between humans and the natural and constructed worlds, embracing inevitable disasters and creating disaster-resilient environments. The exhibition also features illuminated Regenerative City Wells (“Wells”) with an immersive physical, video, and audio experience envisioning seven hypothetical regenerative cities.
Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction was held in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, the closest major city to the earthquake’s epicenter in the Tohoku region. As a result, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 outlined targets and priorities to prevent new disasters, while reducing existing disaster risks worldwide. Inspired by this framework, UCLA xLAB (University of California, Los Angeles) and Tohoku University’s IRIDeS (International Research Institute of Disaster Science) collaborated with 11 Pacific Rim universities on a new initiative named ArcDR3 (Architecture and Urban Design for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience). Design studios linked to research at each university have been exploring ways to respond to disasters and build new disaster-resilient environments around the world. The Designing with Disaster exhibition presents exciting proposals for Seven Regenerative Cities inspired by that exploration.
“We’re pleased to share this forward-thinking collection of urban design strategies in partnership with an international coalition of scholars, architects, and designers,” said Yuko Kaifu, president, JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. “These efforts, inspired by the resiliency of the Tohoku people, highlight positive ideas that can evolve from the aftermath of a natural disaster. We hope this work becomes a valuable guide for the global community and helps mitigate the unique disaster potential that exist wherever our visitors reside.”
By looking into the Wells in the gallery space, visitors will be able to experience the seven Regenerative Cities through plans, animations, and interviews discussing the concepts. The experience will traverse imagery, data, and urban proposals to explore possible scenarios of living with disasters, while examining a global perspective on the future of urban environments.
In addition to the illuminated Wells, Designing with Disaster contains three other main components: An Introductory Wall, the Pillars, and the Cloud (projection). The Introductory Wall describes the ArcDR3 Initiative, highlighting the concept of Regenerative Urbanism, and responding to the question: What can we do to nurture a culture of living with disasters and build a city that is resilient and regenerative? The Pillars encompass an area for visitors to contemplate their relationship with the Earth and use statistical data to better understand and care for areas in crisis. An immense projection expands over the wells in the exhibition gallery like a cloud, with images and data describing humanity’s need to coexist with environmental risks.
In conjunction with the upcoming exhibition, the UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies and JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles will co-host the Global Japan Forum 2023: Designing with Disaster to be held on January 28, 2023 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. This year’s forum invites renowned architects, academics, and environmental researchers from both Los Angeles and abroad to discuss the lessons learned from past environmental disasters and how to create disaster-resilient environments to safeguard our futures.
The exhibition Designing with Disaster is one part of the ArcDR3 project and was created and curated by Professor Hitoshi Abe of UCLA and his team at xLAB in collaboration with IRIDeS at Tohoku University in Japan. Sponsored by Mitsui Fudosan, it was presented in Tokyo from April 9-24, 2022, in conjunction with a symposium attended by architects and other scholars from around the world. Participating Universities include UC Berkeley (USA), University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), University of Melbourne (Australia), National Cheng Kung University (Taiwan), National University of Singapore (Singapore), Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Chile), University of Tokyo (Japan), Tohoku University (Japan), Tsinghua University (China), University of Washington (USA) and UCLA (USA).
Admission to the exhibition is free. Walk-ins are invited and the gallery is open on weekdays from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and on weekends from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
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JAPAN HOUSE is an innovative, worldwide project with three hubs – London, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo – conceived by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. It seeks to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan in the international community. Occupying two floors at Ovation Hollywood (formerly Hollywood & Highland), JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles offers a place of new discovery that transcends physical and conceptual boundaries creating experiences that reflect the best of Japan through its spaces and diverse programs.
Location: 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028