Museum day in Tokyo

Yesterday I took the “day off” and just went to Akihabara to browse the electronic gadgets and play some video games.
Today, thanks to Gian Pablo’s tips (friend from ITP) I went to the following:
NTT ICC – an amazing space with ITP-like projects. Pity there it you are not allowed to take pictures! But the building itself was great… actually almost every major building here is a feat of architecture, design and engineering:

At the NTT ICC center, some projects worth I particularly enjoyed:
KAGE – a series of cones on the floor that produce an image both on the floor and two projections on adjacent walls when you touch them.
Modulobe – stick and joint models move around on the screen and through large buttons, a track ball and a joy stick you can make the model jump and drag it. You can also change the view you have of the model as well as change the model you play with. Very dynamic and entertaining.
The Secret Life of Numbers – a data visualization panel that shows the popularity of numbers from 0 to a million on the internet since 1997! Every time that number appears on a site it gets a hit. The number 1 and 1 million were obviously popular. To my surprise the number 365 (days in a year) was not popular but the number 6600 (one of Nokia’s phones) was very popular.
Tablescape Plus – a simple but very effective board “game” where the characters interact if they are placed close together, saying hello to each other or sitting on the bench for example.
There was also a special exhibit for kids – Sight & Sound – Watch the Sound and Listen to the Images – very entertaining even for adults… well, especially for someone who is going to ITP – trying to figure out what technologies were used and all. One puppet show project was actually using the Wii stick to control the animation… the girl explaining the project said I was the first one that noticed that 🙂
After that I went to Roppongi to the Mori Art Museum to see a fantastic exhibit of the architectural genius of Le Corbusier. An impressive exhibit with both his art work (paintings and sculptures) and his architectural work including original sketches, sc AND full size models and many videos about his work. Interesting to know that he is said to have influenced much of modern Tokyo’s urban planning in terms of joint housing, museum, shopping and entertainment centers!
As a bonus to the museum, you get to walk around the Tokyo City View – a large space around the building’s 52nd floor!

On the other side of the spectrum, the subway/train stations does not seize to amaze me. Not only the shear complexity and extent of them, but how deep the are! I was doing some mental calculations and my estimate is that some of these lines must be at least 10 stories or more underground… amazing.
Very interesting day!

One thought on “Museum day in Tokyo

  1. Marilia

    hey… will you be in L.A. any time soon… Elena disse que talvez esta semana… let me know; I can come up and see you or, you could come down to SD.

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