Tiny Tokyo

[cityofsound] In last month’s Wallpaper* magazine (“Size matters” cover), a typically luscious photospread juxtaposed a series of groovy objects on to some wonderfully detailed and massive models of New York, Tokyo, and Shanghai. Checking the resources section at the back of the mag, turns out the models are from the Mori Urban Institute for the Future, part of the giant Mori building complex in Tokyo.

I saw the Tokyo, NYC and Shanghai models last year in the Ropongi Hills building and it blew me away. I wanted to take pics to no avail, it was dark outside and you could see the real Tokyo through the window with a reflection of the Tokyo model onto the window at the same time… a double exposure of some sort… a golden shot for sure. But to no avail… Only bits of details I got was that it had taken a month to 30 Chinese people and 4-5 Japanese to do Tokyo alone (I read somewhere else that it took 130 model-makers 8 months to complete the 8 cities). They have 8 of the biggest cities in the world done like that. Mori only kept the 3 that had Mori buildings in them. I can’t remember where the other ones are now.

On the same level was a little cinema room where you could view a high definition movie called Tokyo Scanner: a 17-minute film shot from the skies above Tokyo. The film was supervised by Mamoru Oshii (director of the Patlabor and Ghost in the Shell films and series) and directed by Hiroaki Matsu. It was really incredible to see so much definition, you could make out the details of each of the tiny buildings below, I was speechless… really! Tokyo was absolutely beautiful! I bought the DVD, which is obviously not nearly as high def and good as the real thing but it’ll be a nice reminder. Unfortunately, you can only buy the DVD in the building, not online…

Oh, and if you haven’t seen that already, do not miss the Mid-Tokyo Maps… an amaxing flash based project.

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  • Aka.me

    Based in Paris & Tokyo, Paul Baron is a senior product manager for hire. Ex-@AQworks. Co-founder of cultural platform Tokyo Art Beat.
    Service design, interaction design, startups, user research.
    Posts a few times a decade since 2003.

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