Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reflections of Tokyo

In Tokyo, I find myself not only looking at interesting objects, but also at their reflections created by surfaces. Whether the reflective material is the glass façade of a building or the window of a subway, it offers an alternate view of concrete objects.

I first became intrigued by the different reflective materiality used all over Tokyo when I was walking down a street and saw the reflection of the Mikimoto building on the glass façade of a building across the street. I looked in the opposite direction and there it was. It was totally unexpected and I got a full preview of the building which I would’ve otherwise only seen at a sharp angle. Tokyo International Forum by Rafael Vinoly is another great glass building in Tokyo that you should check out. It casts reflections onto nearby builings creating a pattern of light.

Modern buildings here are predominately glass, maybe to open up the small spaces inside or maybe just to create a sleek look. I’ve noticed a lot of mirrors, windows, and glass that create such clear reflections that I have to think twice about which is real and which is reflection. It creates more interest, making somewhat of an extension to a design. And when the sun hits the glass of transparent buildings, there are different shapes throughout the day projected onto surfaces creating an exchange of design. Reflective materiality lends a hand to design in an unexpected way and creates a new world in what would otherwise be a blank space.

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