Metropolitan Tokyo MASHUP: G-Cans Proposal by Ryan Chan, Vivian McCall, Noritaka Inoue
A design based exploration of Tokyo’s mysterious underground water storage facility
For the MASHUP project, our group selected G-Cans as the site of focus. Also known as Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, it is located in Saitama and its main goal is to prevent flooding and overflow of various water bodies during the course of heavy rain. However, there have been questions concerning the legitimacy of this waterway system and whether or not it will work according to plan. Some are even inquiring into the nature versus technology argument in which man tries to ineffectively defy and control nature using modern technology. G-Cans represents such a modern approach to manipulate nature in order for man to maintain dominance. The goal of this project will effectively use this sterile facility and apply human-scale, interactive amenities that invite locals and tourists to visit and enjoy themselves.
The intention of this project is to insert the missing vitality of Japanese culture into this facility when it is not in use or when the rainy season (monsoons) are not occurring. This infusion of culture will also make the site a well known, popular place to visit and allow the Japanese citizens experience what the government has used their tax money, 2 billion yen, on. A few human-scale approaches are utilized in order to transform G-Cans from a large and imposing waterway into a more human-scale domain. Such tactics are to bring in various forms of entertainment like concerts, festivals, and street performers. Japanese people enjoy themselves in cities like Tokyo because there are lots of people and places to socially interact. Having live concerts, street perfomrers and seasonal festivals is a way to liven up G-Cans. The use of portable rojis would make the facility user-friendly and it could create revenue for the facility. At the end of each day, everything could be disassembled and removed. This way the space could be utilized efficiently instead of having lots of empty space for most of the year.
Our method is to first tour the G-cans site and learn about the technicalities of how the system works and to see what impact the project has on the surrounding areas such as residential neighborhoods and businesses. After the tour of the site, the group will take photographs and film the site. One of the workers will be interviewed about the performance and success of the project. An interview with a local resident on his/her thoughts about the project and its viability will be done afterward to contrast the two perspectives. At the end, there would be intensive editing and the concept of human spontaneity will be applied in the form of concerts, street performances, and the portable roji.http://www.vimeo.com/5725398
The media will consist of various footages of the site and the two interviews. There will be a walk through before and after the mashing of the site. The final outcome will have 2 rows of A3 with five pictures each. The first row will be the site normally accompanied by audio that will feature only the sounds of the footsteps and water flow. The after pictures will be a mash up of the liveliness accompanied by the sound of people enjoying their time.
Sources that would be used include http://www.akademifantasia.org/?p=572