Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2007/08/02-03 Shiodome, National Art Center, Mori Art Museum, Roppongi, Oriental Bazaar

Walking south from the Ginza district is Shimbashi station, and beyond that is Shiodome. The Dentsu building — the headquarters of a major Japanese advertising agency — is a skyscraper with sharp angles.

20070802_Dentsu_building.jpg

On the lower floors of the Dentsu building is the Advertising Museum Tokyo.

20070802_Ad_Museum_Tokyo.jpg

Their collection dates back to the Edo period, and traces through to modern advertising. Resting up from our continual touring and the heat, Diana and I watched a few years of “best ads” on the interactive video displays … until we decided that watching commercials wasn’t the best use of our time in Japan.

Continuing south from the Dentsu building is the Caretta Shiodome complex houses shopping and restaurants, in addition to the Dentsu Shiki Theater. The Broadway production of Wicked seemed to be a hot ticket, with displays promoting the show in the courtyard outside.

20070803_Caretta_mall.jpg

The other attractions were farther afield, so we got on the subway.

We weren’t so interested in the shopping in the Roppongi area — the shops are in the class of Beverly Hills — but there is a cluster of interesting art museums there. Had we known the subway routes to the National Art Center better, we could have reduced our exposure to the August heat by going to Nogizaka station on the Chiyoda line. Instead, we went to Roppongi station on the Hibiya line, and walked downhill for 20 minutes, to approach the National Art Centre from the southeast side.

20070802_NationalArtCenter_view_south_entry.jpg

A path led up to the entry for the building, and the ticket booths on the northwest plaza. The center is large, with multiple shows running concurrently, so we were slightly confused at which show(s) we had come to see.

20070802_NationalArtCenter_west_entry.jpg

The atrium of the center opens up to three levels of galleries, with a restaurant on a circular platform up top.

20070802_NationalArtCenter_atrium.jpg

We toured through the 100th Anniversary of the Nitten, but the evolution of traditional arts from postwar Japan didn’t really interest us. We were more intrigued by Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture, a show originating from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Looking north from the National Art Center is a clear view of the Mori Tower, part of the Roppongi Hills complex.

20070802_Mori_Tower_from_NationalArtCenter.jpg

Roppongi Hills has upscale shopping and a first-class hotel. In our tourist dress of shorts, sandals and knapsacks, we weren’t positioning ourselves as credible clients.

20070803_Roppongi_Hills.jpg

Up in the tower, there are three attractions. The Mori Art Museum was completely taken up by a large exhibition on Le Corbusier: Art and Architecture, A Life of Creativity. We donned audio guidebooks, and spent a few hours tracing the life of this (in)famous architect. In my reading, Le Corbusier is renowned for his modernism, designing structures without the consideration “as if people mattered”. I was amused at the idealism of the Modulor scales, where apartments designed for “perfection” for the French would have been corrupted to allow for Germans two to three inches taller.

The second attraction — Sky Aquarium — seemed pretty much for little kids. We bypassed that for the third attraction, Tokyo City View. Looking east, we could see the Tokyo Tower, the Japanese version of the Eiffel Tower. The harbour and Ginza district are also over that direction.

20070803_TokyoCityView_view_east.jpg

The north and south views were much the urban skyline of low rise buildings and skyscrapers typical of Tokyo. The west view gives an overview of Route 3 (the Shibuya Route) of the Metropolitan Expressway. Since subway and rail are so extensive in Tokyo, we never rode on the expressway.

20070803_TokyoCityView_view_west.jpg

From Roppongi, we took the subway back out to Harajuku. Although we had been in the neighbourhood on a previous day, we had arrived too late to shop at Oriental Bazaar. With the promise of finding gifts made in Japan, Oriental Bazaar became a destination on our itinerary.

20070803_Oriental_Bazaar_DY_pouches.jpg

On the main floor is a selection of Japanese-made dishes, which we thought a bit heavy for air travel. In the basement, we found an small independent store with a good variety of handmade goods.

20070803_Oriental_Bazaar_bandanas.jpg

Diana stocked up on gifts, especially for her nieces.

20070803_Oriental_Bazaar_DY_purses.jpg

These long subway excursions effectively marked the end of our planned vacation in Japan, but not quite the end of our stay. After four nights in Kyoto and seven nights in Tokyo on the Ginza, we reoriented our accommodations (and mindset) towards the original motivation for coming to Japan: the ISSS 2007 meeting at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Diana had a few more days before moving on to Vancouver, and I had another ten days.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on Coevolving

    • Socio-Technical Systems, Service Systems Science
      In order to move forward, the Systems Changes Learning Circle has taken a step backwards to appreciate the scholarly work that has come before us.  This has included the Socio-Psychological Systems, Socio-Technical Systems and Socio-Ecological Systems perspective, from the postwar Tavistock Institute for Human Relations.  The deep dive on “Causal texture, contextualism, contextural” takes us […]
    • Causal Texture of the Environment
      For those who haven’t read the 1965 Emery and Trist article, its seems as though my colleague Doug McDavid was foresighted enough to blog a summary in 2016!  His words have always welcomed here, as Doug was a cofounder of this web site.  At the time of writing, the target audience for this piece was […]
    • Causal texture, contextualism, contextural
      In the famous 1965 Emery and Trist article, the terms “causal texture” and “contextual environment” haven’t been entirely clear to me.  With specific meanings in the systems thinking literature, looking up definitions in the dictionary generally isn’t helpful.  Diving into the history of the uses of the words provides some insight. 1. Causal texture 2. […]
    • Trist in Canada, Organizational Change, Action Learning
      Towards appreciating “action learning”, the history of open systems thinking and pioneering work in organization science, the influence of Action Learning Group — in the Faculty of Environment Studies founded in 1968 at York University (Toronto) — deserves to be resurfaced. 1. Trist in Canada 2. Environmental studies, and contextualism in organizational-change 3. Action learning, […]
    • Remembering Doug McDavid
      The news that Doug McDavid — my friend, colleague, and one of the original cofounders of the Coevolving Innovations web site in 2006 — had passed, first came through mutual IBM contacts.  More details subsequently showed up on LinkedIn from Mike McClintock. Doug left us on May 9, while working at his desk, likely in […]
    • Pattern language, form language, general systems theory, R-theory
      One of the challenges with the development of pattern languages is the cross-appropriation of approaches of techniques from one domain (i.e. built physical environments) into others (e.g. software development, social change). The distinction between pattern language and form language is made by Nikos Salingaros. Design in architecture and urbanism is guided by two distinct complementary […]
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on Ing Brief

    • 1969, 1981 Emery, System Thinking: Selected Readings
      Social Systems Science graduate students in 1970s-1980s with #RussellAckoff, #EricTrist + #HasanOzbehkhan at U. Pennsylvania Wharton School were assigned the Penguin paperback #SystemsThinking reader edited by #FredEEmery, with updated editions evolving contents.
    • 1968 Buckley, “Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist: A Sourcebook”
      Resurfacing 1968 Buckley, “Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist: A Sourcebook” for interests in #SystemsThinking #SocioCybernetics #GeneralSystemsTheory #OrganizationScience . Republication in 2017 hardcopy may be more complete.
    • Wholism, reductionism (Francois, 2004)
      Proponents of #SystemsThinking often espouse holism to counter over-emphasis on reductionism. Reading some definitions from an encyclopedia positions one in the context of the other (François 2004).
    • It matters (word use)
      Saying “it doesn’t matter” or “it matters” is a common expression in everyday English. For scholarly work, I want to “keep using that word“, while ensuring it means what I want it to mean. The Oxford English Dictionary (third edition, March 2001) has three entries for “matter”. The first two entries for a noun. The […]
    • Systemic Change, Systematic Change, Systems Change (Reynolds, 2011)
      It's been challenging to find sources that specifically define two-word phrases -- i.e. "systemic change", "systematic change", "systems change" -- as opposed to loosely inferring reductively from one-word definitions in recombination. MartinReynolds @OpenUniversity clarifies uses of the phrases, with a critical eye into motives for choosing a specific label, as well as associated risks and […]
    • Environmental c.f. ecological (Francois, 2004; Allen, Giampietro Little 2003)
      The term "environmental" can be mixed up with "ecological", when the meanings are different. We can look at the encyclopedia definitions (François 2004), and then compare the two in terms of applied science (i.e. engineering with (#TimothyFHAllen @MarioGiampietro and #AmandaMLittle, 2003).
  • Meta

  • Translate

  • 
  • moments. daviding.com

    Random selections from the past year
  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal