Mitsuhiro SAKAKIBARA( Architect / Researcher )

※日本語本文は下部にあります。


MONU, the latest issue of which is themed “Domestic Urbanism” (#24), is exactly what its name stands for: a “Magazine ON Urbanism”. Bernd Upmeyer, who runs an architectural office called BOARD (Bureau of Architecture, Research, and Design), is the editor-in-chief of the magazine that is published biannually out of the Netherlands. The feature title on the cover of each of its issues forms a term containing the word “urbanism”, and the curious word combinations, such as “Clean Urbanism” (#11) and “Transnational Urbanism” (#22), lend to the appeal of the magazine’s design and content. As the theme of domestic urbanism suggests, the latest issue focuses on the “things that are usually hidden and private” within the domestic realm and examines their relationships to the city. Here I will provide a simple review of the latest issue of MONU while drawing on some Japanese examples that tie into the theme.

A research by Uzo Nishiyama

The first such example that comes to mind when reading this issue is the work of architectural scholar Uzo Nishiyama, who conducted an enormous amount of research on domestic living and laid the foundations in the 1940s for an approach to housing planning that was better adapted to people’s actual lifestyles. He advanced his ideas through texts such as Korekarano sumai (The Housing of Tomorrow, 1947) as a counterproposal to the unrealistic housing policies proposed by the Jutaku Eidan (Housing Corporation) for solving the housing shortage problem in the country during and after World War II. A more modern example that comes to mind is the work of sociologist Chizuko Ueno, who has explored the relationship between domesticity and society, the relationship between room layouts and domestic gender issues, and the roles of the architect through discussions with architects and architectural scholars like Riken Yamamoto and Shigebumi Suzuki.

Books related to Chizuko Ueno and the discussion with some architects

This issue of MONU shows that there are many more diverse topics that can be explored through the theme of domestic urbanism. Its content includes articles that discuss subjects familiar to Japanese readers, such as “Chantal Akerman, Yasujiro Ozu, and the Poetics of Intimate Space” by photographer/filmmaker Sander Hölsgens, which examines interior scenes in the films of Akerman and Ozu, and “Socialist Urban Planning and the Housing Question: At Home in Skopje” by architectural scholar Jasna Mariotti (a specialist on post-socialist cities), which discusses the urban planning of Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia (the city center was built based on a master plan by Kenzo Tange).

Sander Hölsgens “Chantal Akerman, Yasujiro Ozu, and the Poetics of Intimate Space”

It also features research like “The Minor Composition of Threshold Domesticities” by architect Lucía Jalón Oyarzun, which looks at elements such as rooftops and external staircases that occur in the intermediary zones where urban and domestic spaces mix. A piece that I found to be particularly interesting is “The Fridge, the City and the Critique of Everyday Life” by urbanist/writer Justinien Tribillon, which explains just how much the refrigerator has changed the way people consume the city. An example of a similar analysis to this is presented in historian Andrew Gordon’s Fabricating Consumers: The Sewing Machine in Modern Japan (2013). This book focuses on a highly domestic element, the sewing machine, to examine issues such as fashion, the social advancement of women, and the modernization of society and makes the argument that the introduction of the sewing machine to Japanese households transformed consumers into producers.

Justinien Tribillon “The Fridge, the City and the Critique of Everyday Life”

As suggested by the range of topics mentioned above, the theme of domestic urbanism appears to have great potential for drawing connections between architecture and a variety of different fields. Interesting examples of topics for thinking about this theme can also be found in the context of Japan. For instance, there is a feature titled “Kakucho suru ‘watashinchi’?” (“The Expanding Concept of ‘My Home’?”) in the April 2008 issue of Kenchiku Zasshi (Architecture Magazine) that looks into the manga kissa (lit. “comic café”) and their private booths, which previously had not been given much attention from an architectural perspective. Considering how the manga kissa has become a ubiquitous commercial/spatial typology that can be found in almost any Japanese city, one could say that the domestic space we have known as the living room has been externalized from the home into the city.

Andrew Gordon “Fabricating Consumers: The Sewing Machine in Modern Japan”

More recently, the idea of turning domestic spaces into public spaces has been gaining ground in Japan with the rise of home-rental services such as Airbnb. However, such services are subjected to regulations because there have been instances of spaces being used for unpermitted purposes and of spaces becoming a source of problems with neighbors. While the aforementioned booths of the manga kissa technically are not examples of “sharing economy” spaces, they have also continued to be subjected to regulations because of a law on entertainment businesses known as the Fūeihō (Businesses Affecting Public Morals Regulation Law). Both of these spaces can be seen as examples of domestic spaces that have become political arenas, exactly as Andrés Jaque discusses in the MONU interview titled “The Home as Political Arena”.

The bounds of the domestic are continuing to expand further with the explosive spread of smartphones and tablets. The domestic is no longer something that can or should be shaped into a common generalized mold as in the days of Nishiyama. Rather, it is something that can be defined differently by each individual. What we should do is examine how these variously defined realms of the domestic are encroaching into the realms of the city and society — and vice versa — and identify the boundary zones where they meet, for it seems that that is where we can observe the latest forms of living that are actually taking shape and find the keys to thinking about the roles of architecture/housing today. This issue of MONU presents a variety of concrete approaches for how we can go about this and opens the door to new research on domestic living.

Table of Contents of MONU#24

『MONU』24号レビュー|ドメスティック・アーバニズム

榊原充大(建築家・リサーチャー)

最新24号を「ドメスティック・アーバニズム」なる特集テーマで届ける『MONU』は、その名の通り「アーバニズムに関する雑誌(Magazine ON Urbanism)」。自身BOARDという建築/リサーチ組織を運営するベルント・アップマイヤーが編集長となり、オランダから年2冊を継続的に届けてくれている。

11号「クリーン・アーバニズム」、22号「トランスナショナル・アーバニズム」のように、毎号「アーバニズム」なる語が特集タイトルに含まれ、併置される語とのコンビネーションが誌面の魅力につながっている。今号のテーマは「ドメスティック」なる言葉通り、普段は隠されているような私的な部分、つまりインテリアの領域と都市との関係性を見ていこうという内容だ。
そんな『MONU』最新刊について、日本の参照項を挙げながら簡単にレビューしてみたい。

今号を読みながらまず思い起こされるのは、膨大な数の暮らし方調査を行い、1940年代初頭における住宅営団による住宅不足解消のための住宅供給方針に抗い、人の暮らしにより即した住宅プランニングの礎を築いた建築学者西山夘三の仕事だ。より近年の例だと、社会学者上野千鶴子が山本理顕や鈴木成文など複数の建築家と行った、家庭と社会との関係性、住宅における間取りとジェンダー問題との関係性、そして建築家の役割にまつわる議論も思い浮かぶ。

ただ、『MONU』今号は、「ドメスティック・アーバニズム」なるテーマのもとに、さらに多様なトピックがあることを教えてくれる。

今号において、写真家/映画監督サンダー・ヘルスゲンスによるシャンタル・アケルマンと小津安二郎による映画内室内シーン分析「Chantal Akerman, Yasujiro Ozu, and the Poetics of Intimate Space」、ポスト社会主義都市を専門にする研究者ジャスナ・マリオッティによるマケドニア共和国のスコピエ都市計画についての論考「Socialist Urban Planning and the Housing Question: At Home in Skopje」など日本にゆかりのある対象に関する記事や、都市と家庭とが互いに浸食し合う中間領域にある屋上や外部階段などの要素に着目する、建築家ルシア・ハロン・オイアルツンのリサーチ「The Minor Composition of Threshold Domesticities」といった記事の中でも個人的に最も興味を引いたものがある。冷蔵庫がいかに都市の「使い方」を変えたのかに関する、都市計画専門家ジャスティニアン・トリビロンの議論「The Fridge, the City and the Critique of Everyday Life」だ。

類例としては、歴史学者アンドルー・ゴードンが『ミシンと日本の近代』(2013)で示したような、日本における家庭用ミシンの普及が「消費者」を「生産者」に変えたという指摘があるだろう。ファッション、女性の社会進出、社会の近代化といった論点をミシンという極めてドメスティックな要素から見ていく議論だ。

これらが示唆するように「ドメスティック・アーバニズム」はいわば、建築と他の領域とが接続し得る概念だろう。日本にもそれを考える上で興味深い事例がある。

例えば『建築雑誌』2008年4月号において「拡張する「私んち」?」特集が組まれ、これまで建築的視点からはそれほど注目されていなかった「まんが喫茶」とそこでの個室の紹介などがなされている。現在ではその商業/空間形式はかなりの都市に普及し、いわばリビングというドメスティックな空間が外部化していると言っても過言ではない。

より近年では、本来はドメスティックである空間をパブリックにするエアビーアンドビーは日本でも市民権を得ているが、許可を得ない業として利用する人々が現れたり、近隣とのトラブルが起きたりすることから規制の対象となっている。先に触れた「まんが喫茶」の個室はシェアリングエコノミーの一例ではないが、風営法の関係で社会的規制の対象とされ続けてきた。実際のところ今号で建築家アンドレ・ジャックが「The Home as Political Arena」で語る通り、「ドメスティック」が政治の舞台となる一例だと言えるだろう。

スマートフォンやタブレットの爆発的な普及によって、「ドメスティック」なるものの外縁はどんどん広がっている。戦前戦後期とは異なり、その形はいまや一般化し得るものではなく、またそうすべきものでもないだろう。一人ひとりにとって異なる、いわばレイヤー状になったそれぞれの「ドメスティック」がどのように都市や社会へと侵食し、またその逆が起きているのか、その境界にこそアクチュアルな現在的暮らしと、そこでの建築/家の役割を考える鍵があるように思う。『MONU』今号はそのためのアプローチを具体的に指示し、いわば新たな「暮らし方調査」の端緒を開いてくれる。


Posted by Mitsuhiro SAKAKIBARA