We run a community space called SHIBAURA HOUSE. Using the knowledge, know-how and network we have developed through our activities, we also help public sectors, embassies, and companies to form their own unique communities.
By understanding the purpose and the background to making such a community, we will do research combining various methods and even extend our support all the way as to the actual management details. Our strength is in proposing original ideas that take specific locality and social contexts into account. SHIBAURA HOUSE itself is an example of an initiative that does this. If you need help to bend the rules and think outside the box, please drop us a line.
Our approach to creating new context and value in the region
〉Following societal changes around the world
Our staff collect information daily and hold regular discussions on various topics, especially those relating to sustainability and inclusive society. When we consider things, we do it with an awareness of changes in people’s values and consciousness, as well as future trends across the world.
〉Screens vs. the real world
We create a hypothesis based on all the information and sources we have collected. Then, rather than simply following this hypothesis, we think it’s very important to test it against the reality in the field. “In the field” makes it sound simple, but it’s actually a complex place in which various thoughts and interests intersect. As much as possible, we try and adopt a 360 degree perspective, to find a constructive conclusion.
〉Start by constructing with a logic and making a leap at the end
When we carry out a project, we always have staff that manage the whole project and work with trusted experts around us. In doing so, it makes it possible for us to create unique projects and results while ensuring a professional perspective, underpinned by logic.
Defining a unique theme, and then preparing the space
We use SHIBAURA HOUSE and the surrounding area as a place to practice building new communities — sometimes, by prototyping. We create an autonomous community by first choosing a theme, or themes, that everyone is interested in, and then by providing an appropriate system for everyone to work in, and the information necessary for them to do so. This page introduces some of these projects.
▲ Tokyo Bay Adventure School: Creative connection around the waterside
We held a two-day workshop with a sleepover, which was themed around the sea in the summer holidays. Participants made some rafts using plastic bottles that would have been otherwise thrown away, and rafted down into Tokyo Bay — a body of water that you could not exactly call beautiful. We created this workshop because we wanted to stimulate the children to think more about the sea. Together with adventurer Satoru Yahata, and architect Eiki Danzuka, as well as Fukushima Kids Dolphin Camp team, we listened to stories about the sea, made rafts out of the bottles, and even rowed into the sea This event led to the fostering of a community through the blending of local people and creativity, around the theme of the waterfront. Our project OPEN! FURNITURE was a typical example.
▲ OPEN！FURNITURE: Making contact points for local residents
This was a project to rediscover public space in the Minato-ku area, and to look at it in a different way. It included activities such as exploratory walks, making furniture, and art events. In 2018, we collaborated with the local store association, and in 2019, we collaborated with community spaces, shrines, and individually owned stores in our area. By installing furniture in in-between spaces in town, we created a point of contact around which residents could mingle and meet each other.
(FY2018/2019 Minato Support Program for Art and Cultural Activities)
▲ nl/minato: A place for citizens to learn
The nl/minato project is a platform that connects the Netherland and Minato-ku area. It creates a space for learning through citizen participation, and explores the theme of human rights and social inclusivity, from social, political and cultural perspectives. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and SHIBAURA HOUSE as well as various local initiatives collaborate and put on local events regularly. With progressive and unique examples from the Netherlands as our starting point, we use dialogue as a means of deepening our understanding of the situation both within Japan and throughout the world. We have established a space for participants and organizers to learn together, through things such as regular study sessions and the recording and publishing of information. (supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Japan)
▲ A community connected by greenery: creating a place to reconsider how we live
Because of the COVID-19, our way of living has changed. We also saw less and less communication done in person. This new project was initiated from a desire to overcome this situation. First of all, we decided to start up a farmer’s stall, stocked with vegetables from unique farmers, on the ground floor of the building. We try to avoid food loss by selling items per item or by weight. Through this shopping experience, we hope to regenerate ways of communication from old times. What’s more, we will ask these farmers for their support in teaching us to grow fruit and vegetables throughout the local area. Local people are encouraged to purchase seedlings, and create tiny vegetable patches in their own balconies and in public spaces, to eventually create a local area connected by greenery. (Collaborator: Minato-ku)