Hugo Maia is currently a PhD candidate in Architecture and History at the University of Tokyo. He received his MA and BA in Architecture from the Faculty of Architecture in Lisbon and also holds a BA in Psychology from the Higher Institute of Applied Psychology in Lisbon. His quest on Architecture is mainly focus on the contradiction between the city urbanity and the possibility it offers to its inhabitants, supported therefore on a grounded historical, cultural, social and architectonic analyses of the city. His understanding and investigation of Tokyo goes back to his first visit to Tokyo in 2011 at the time of his research for his MA on “The Place of Memory in the World’s Busiest Station – Shinjuku, Tokyo City”. Hugo focused on the search of a relation between built and un-built; old and new; space and place; construction and memory, humanity and culture. His current research “Fluid Memory” searches for answers regarding the complexity of Tokyo urbanity. Understanding Tokyo’s modernity today allows for the definition of an image of a possible future or shared utopia, supporting or denying the myth of Tokyo as the society of the future.
Aquiles Hadjis has been living and working in Tokyo since 2009, when he arrived on a MEXT scholarship to develop his art practice at Tokyo University of the Arts, where he completed his MFA and PhD degrees in Fine Arts. His artistic work and research focus on the links between free improvisation, experimental music and visual arts. He has performed and shown his work in many countries including the US, Japan, Germany, Venezuela, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Aquiles’ relationship to Japan predates his arrival to the country, as he has been studying Japanese Art and culture since the late 90’s. He has focused on the study and practice of Kendo (Japanese fencing) and Zen Buddhism of the Soto school, integrating the philosophical core of both disciplines into his artwork. During his time in Tokyo, Aquiles has lived in the Yanesen neighborhood, an area that has been gaining popularity the past few years for its unique combination of old temples and ancient buildings with many curious shops and cafés in which independent designers have channeled the area’s historical background through ingenious renovations.
Architect, PhD. Rafael is currently correspondent for Italian architecture magazine Domus based in Japan and has lived in Tokyo for over 13 years. He received his Master degree and PhD from the University of Tokyo under the guidance of Prof. Kengo Kuma. He is currently a Senior Guest Researcher at The University of Tokyo (Kuma Kengo Laboratory) and guest researcher at Keio University, besides visiting lecturer in other architecture institutions in Japan and abroad. Member of the JIA (Japan Institute of Architects), he co-founded and runs his architecture and urban design practice STUDIO WASABI since 2013. From 2017 he became Director of Casa Nano, an art residency in Tokyo part of Casa Wabi Foundation in Mexico. An avid toy collector, he has a keen interest in the ludic-cultural aspects between people and their cities.
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Meji Jingu Shrine, Harajuku, and Omotesando
Kiyomizu-dera, Nishiki Market, and Your choice of sites