Kuwait University Fall 2010
Architecture Design Studio V
Nasser Abulhasan & Joaquin Perez-Giochechia / AGi Architects
TA Sharifa Al Shalfan
Prior to design of an embassy highlighting issues of identity from the country of origin and the host country. A demanding phase is to be dedicated to analyze and understand the particular and various elements involved in determining the content vadlidity, the assignment given is to design the Kuwaiti Embassy in Japan. Through the assessment and study of both countries, seeing a link “physical or metaphysical” shared or contrasting between them, to begin to understand weak and strong points and generate a program unique to the selected area. Through research and analysis, a selected medium is to be generated to create a link with the local and visiting residents of the area, the embassy employees and beyond if possible. Furthermore, through selection with criteria set out to nominate a potential site.
Cultures of both countries were studied, from similarities to differences, and analyzing which element can represent so called Kuwaiti Identity, the statement that we took was the Kuwaiti social behavior. Analyzing the Japanese mind-set two main common elements appeared that are shared with the Kuwaiti culture, mass-transportation and consumerism, each at different stages. Whilst analyzing the Japanese culture it seems rigid, and their social interactions seem too time-consuming to know one another, yet the introduction of technology it has further disconnected the so-called people. Yet Kuwait as a country is known for being social interactive in the past and even nowadays, known for hosting social events in Diwaniya’s even with the technological boom, the so called anti-social tool it was transformed to become a means of extending the public relations via families and friends.
Diwaniya’s were formed under the premise to be places of intellectual social interaction between people, either held in someone’s home or a building belonging to one of the bigger families, they have been a part of Kuwaiti culture since the early days and till now, they haven’t died out as a tradition or principle, they have further evolved with the technology. The proposal was to create areas of interaction between people, letting them interact with one and another, yet the question was how to do so and not seem forced. Restating the elements observed by the modern Japanese culture, we took upon the elements of mass-transportation and consumerism into play, and as Japan is known for being a gaming industry, the thought of using that element as an advantage, using the new technology in a form of game linking to mass-transportation and consumerism. Studying the time, the people use any form of mass transportation, it is allowable to place a game in-between the short and long rides, and as they are on a regular basis, it means a possibility for a formation of a team, hence an opportunity to understand people. The game incorporating the elements of adventure, mystery and leveling up allows a room for growth. The games can be set time intervals as not to interfere in daily lives yet allow for interaction.
The interaction would start at a smaller level on the back of the buses, allowing for growth onto other forms of mass-transportation in the future, but the interaction does not start or end with the bus, it’s only a point to the main current stage, which is located at Akihabara, Electronic town of Tokyo and near the governmental offices in Chiyoda Ward. The embassy would host in the physical world the connection between the gamers, visitors and passerby’s, with dedicated spaces allowing these interactions to occur and in the virtual augmented world and it would connect the gamers to challenge one another. To conclude the project statement, it aims at using the means of mass-transportation and consumerism, in form of a technological aspect connecting people socially through these elements in an environment hosted inside the embassy, and its surroundings connecting people in both physical and virtual realms.