Sustainable design architecture travel sketch and insight 5.2 Japan


Posted on Wednesday 8th March 2017

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As a lead up to the release of the book LEARN from LOOKING, we have started posting some of the drawings and excepts here. You can follow the author, Charlie Szoradi, to see the work via @CSzoradi on Twitter and CSzoradi on Instagram plus #LearnfromLooking and  In addition to his work as the author of this book, Mr. Szoradi is a LEED AP architect and the CEO of the first authentic American LED manufacturing company: Independence LED Lighting.

Excerpt from the text that supports this one of many drawings in the book:

We can look to more proactively build up in cities versus out in suburbs to reduce the burden on sprawl and automobile transportation.

From the roof of the Olympic Village hostel where I initially stayed in Tokyo, I drew the first image of my Japanese odyssey in 1992. The skyline was more dynamic than any I had seen in other cities. Imagine dozens of cranes swinging, churning, moving, and grinding as they rushed to expand the capital city. Over the past two hundred years, Tokyo has been destroyed at least four times by either fires or earthquakes. Remarkably, the city officials consistently return plots and streets to their original layout. The result is that often ten-story buildings sit on twelve-foot-wide parcels that most likely used to be someone’s house. As well, the streets wind and dogleg with the organic-ization of limbs on an old oak tree, making navigation less than simple for the unfamiliar.

Tokyo for all intents and purposes is the largest village on earth. The sense of urgency and crowding, which we share to a slightly lesser degree in large American cities, is perhaps palatable to the Japanese people in part because of the oasis parks and the natural experiences they find outside of the cities.


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