Professor Manuel Herz, teaching Critical Urbanism at the University of Basel, and architect Shadi Rahbaran of Rahbaran Hürzeler Architekten visited Kyoto Institute of Technology’s (KIT) Design Lab (D-lab) to follow up on a workshop on urban metabolism, or the cycle of energy, water, food, goods, soil, and waste in a city. For one week in May, they worked as workshop leaders and critics together with the D-Lab students on the topic of “Water shaping the Kyoto”.
The two architects had collaborated in a project on urban research in Kyoto with D-Lab last year – at that time with a focus on the spatial structure of food, studying the flow of food from its source to waste based on fieldwork at places including Nishiki market. This year, the project investigated the geographical, historical and cultural aspects of water in Kyoto, aiming to design spaces which realize social, ecological and entertainment factors appropriate for the historical city in modern days.
The Science & Technology Office Tokyo, Embassy of Switzerland in Japan had the pleasure of accompanying the professors and students from KIT as well as the Swiss architects on the first day of the workshop, which took place outdoors. As the group followed the water supply of Kyoto from north to south stopping at various stations, students presented the characteristics of the respective places in English to the Swiss experts. Featured were the old Kujo mountain pump station, the Yushikawa ship farm, the wood terraces overlooking Kamogawa and Fushimi port.