Dolphin slaughter in Taiji

Driving a pod to slaughter What is it? Taiji is a small town in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, inconsequential except for its notoriety as the site of the regular and highly controversial slaughter of large numbers of dolphins. Endorsed by the Japanese government, details of the slaughter are systematically concealed by local authorities, so much so... Continue Reading →

On permanence

The oak tree is large and solid. It has a deep tap root, a massive trunk and heavy branches. It lives for many years and spreads its branches across a far-reaching crown. It entrenches itself so firmly into the soil that over time its water-seeking roots can crack concrete slabs and rip up paving stones. It... Continue Reading →

Modular refugee shelter

What is it? Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, has spent many years investigating the potential of cardboard construction in his work. His most recent project is a small-scale, modular refugee shelter originally developed after the Niigata earthquake in 2004 and now being deployed in gymnasiums across the Tohoku region for families displaced by earthquake, tsunami or... Continue Reading →

Going nuclear

The recent earthquake, tsunami and aftershocks that have (and are continuing to) hit Japan are tragedies surpassed only by what now appears to be the real possibility of a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Images of containment chambers on fire, video footage of radioactive water vapour pouring into the atmosphere and discussion of... Continue Reading →

2010 World Architecture Festival – an overview

What is it? The third installment of the annual World Architecture Festival, running in Barcelona since 2008 under the creative direction of Paul Finch. It comprises seminars, an exhibition and project presentations by architects who have entered the festival awards programme. What do we think? We had the good fortune of witnessing high quality projects... Continue Reading →

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