Eiji, the protagonist in David Mitchell’s novel number9dream described Tokyo as “too close up to see.” His experience of the metropolis goes on: “There are no distances and everything is above your head – dentists, kindergartens, dance studios. Even the roads and walkways are up on murky stilts. An evil-twin Venice with all the water drained away.”
Indeed, evil or not, cities can be thought of as twins. And Tokyo’s vibrant skin can be overstimulating and chaotic to some but rich, engaging and even nostalgic to others. But what happens when you take Tokyo’s skin and apply it to other cities? “Then, each city would change into Tokyo? What is the image of a city or the locality?” These are all questions posed and subsequently answered by Japanese architect Daigo Ishii in a project titled “Worldwide Tokyo-lization Project” (世界東京化計画).
The fascinating project takes elements of Tokyo and applies them to 6 global cities: New York, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Paris, La Paz and Venice. The project, originally produced as a video work, is on display at the 2016 Venice Biennale through November 27, 2016. It’s an interesting concept and one that’s akin to French designer Nicolas Damiens project Tokyo No Ads.