Dhillon Marty Hojoki Workshop: “Unwrapped Gift Basket”

unwrapped gift basket

Aris Kafantaris, Tong Shan, Natsumi Takano, + Prof. Beth Weinstein

The Dhillon Marty Foundation Hojoki are intended to perform as vehicles for raising environmental awareness, appreciation of local cultures and agricultures, and to catalyze economic recovery in diverse regions of Japan through the work and activities of the visiting scholars and artists residing in these mobile pavilions. Our team’s primary intentions for the design of these Hojoki are

• to celebrate material equilibrium by adapting traditional craft and material artistry in new ways

• to work in harmony with natural tempo through the pavilions’ adaptability to diverse biotic regions, seasons, and weather, as well as contexts

and topographic conditions

• and to support diverse social and cultural tempos of artists and scholars engaged in solo work, in collaborative endeavors and in conversation with hosting communities.

The proposed design investigates the application of traditional Japanese arts and material culture in new ways. Bundled rattan is used as both the outer structuring frame and inner surface by adapting traditional basketmaking and weaving at the scale of the pavilion.

Traditional bento boxes and lacquered cases are reinterpreted in bamboo to create programmatic containers, interruptions in the basket’s weave, for tokonoma, writing desk, futon storage, dresser, tea kitchenette, window, and entry door/platform/stage.

Quilted, diaphanous and netted textiles are reinterpreted as a series of layered spatial skins, offering thermal insulation, visual privacy, airflow, and rain protection.

The pavilion cores work in symbiosis with their collection of enveloping layers that, through their unwrapping, spanning and suspending between and around cores set up a gradient of performances, from spaces for individual work and research, to communal spaces of collaboration and social exchange, and for public interface and engagement.

For the pavilions to funtion off the grid, photovoltaics and water harvesting, storage, and filtration vessels are tucked into the outer wrapping layer. These spatial cores, enclosure layers, plus platforms, that pack up inside during transport, comprise our kit of parts.

The cores open, textiles layer, enclose and tune the interstitial spaces. Artists and scholars in residence participate in customizing the organization of their temporary community according to the social interaction and creative performances desired, supporting individual residents’ work and daily life, fostering encounters and collaborations between residents, and creating conditions for interaction with the local community. Our proposal anticipates configurations that promote different forms of engagement and spatial-social performances such as local food preparation demonstrations and sampling, dance and music performances under an awning that spread out onto a hill, and salon style lecture-conversations for small groups.

Beyond the tuning to the social and cultural tempo, the design of the hojoki and their textile and platform extensions can be attuned to each individual site, be that tea-growing fields or urban campuses, on flat or sloping topography, for wet or dry climates. Our proposal considers the interstitial space between hojoki as an important interval, between interior space and city/landscape, for appreciating the specificity and wonder of the seasons, ecosystems, and situation of each unique residency period.