Pondering the future of railway stations also means pondering the future of the neighborhoods they stand in, and the lives of those who visit them. JR East joined architects and designers to contemplate the “Asatte” (the day after tomorrow) of railway stations, and are delighted to share the outcome via this exhibition set at twelve stations on the Yamanote Line. We hope as you take in the displays, you in turn will join us in contemplating the future of the station, and our way of life.
Railway stations are places that are used by large numbers of people every day. They cannot rest even for one day. Though the world changes rapidly, stations cannot change so easily. And so even today they preserve within their space the assumptions of the age in which they were built. Existing stations have undergone repeated minor changes to complement these assumptions, but contradictions can also be seen. The time has come to boldly reconsider what form railway stations should take based on a vision that is focused on the future. Here, we have imagined the station of the future, “Asatte no eki,” as a place that is more open to the community and to users without compromising on existing safe operations.
・Architectural models: “Asatte no eki” ideas that expand the possibilities for each of the 12 Yamanote Line stations will be displayed as compelling, meticulously detailed architectural models (1/50 scale).
・Panels: Will show in graphical form via architectural drawings, illustrations etc how the “Asatte no eki” future stations emerge from the historical, geographical and social backgrounds of each station.
*“Asatte no Eki” are ideas for railway stations of the near future conceived by 38 students from around the world in a joint studio run by Professor Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Professor Sheila Kennedy of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, based on a framework for joint research set up between Tokyo Institute of Technology and JR East.
(Architect / Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology)
What kinds of people will populate the stations of the future, and how will they approach their lifestyles? “Asatte people” are people imagined based on repeated conversations with a wide range of individuals prompted by the “Asatte no eki” proposal.
The comments also arose from these conversations. When people express their thoughts, they question why they think that way and become aware of the actual associations that gave rise to their thoughts. These associations are also interspersed throughout the exhibition. The comments reflect both new attitudes and unchanged approaches. The associations incorporate both pure ideas and ideas that have already been realized/implemented.
These associations were originally triggered by stations. What will our lifestyles and stations be like in the future? What do we want them to be like? We invite you to think about these questions as if you yourself were one of the “Asatte people.”
・Lifesize human models: Lifesize illustrations of twelve “Asatte people” living at the twelve “Asatte no eki” will welcome visitors and guide them to each of the future stations. Station employees, maintenance crew, train drivers and so on will also be presented as lifesize illustrations.
・Panels: The “Asatte people” will quietly say what they feel and think at each station. Graphics and sound will be used to show key words and reference examples evoked in relation to living and stations, such as the city of Tokyo, challenges in modern society, and technological advances.
The “Asatte” of the title has two meanings. One is jumping, in these days of momentous and turbulent change, not to tomorrow, or to the distant future, but just slightly ahead, to asatte, that is, “the day after tomorrow.” Directing our gaze initially on what lies only a little ahead, rather than trying to take in the whole picture, or being unsettled by what we do not understand. The other meaning is that of occasionally deviating abruptly from the main path; the usual narrative; leaping into the unknown, literally to “the day after tomorrow” as opposed to tomorrow with its greater certainty. Therein, after all, is precisely where ideas different from any previous may lie.
The theme of the exhibition is eki: railway stations. When rail first appeared in Japan, stations were referred to as teishaba, literally “vehicle stopping places,” equipped only with the bare essentials for getting on and off trains. Subsequently dubbed eki, a term earlier used for staging posts on Japan’s major routes connecting provinces to capital, they have since undergone transformation in every era, these days containing restaurants, shopping centers, tourist information desks, even preschools. Thus the station is no longer simply a place to catch a train, but a hub of daily life.
Which means, pondering the future of railway stations also means pondering the future of the neighborhoods they stand in, and the lives of those who visit them. And thinking about what to do with railway stations in order to enrich our lives, means thinking about what constitutes a rich existence in the first place. As we do so, we find ourselves tuning in more readily to the history of Tokyo as a city, contemporary social issues, and the march of technology.
We joined architects and designers to contemplate the “asatte” of railway stations, and are delighted to share the outcome via this exhibition set at twelve stations on the Yamanote Line. We hope as you take in the displays, you in turn will join us in contemplating the future of the station, and our way of life.
* This exhibition has ended. Thank you for visiting.
- 19 December 2018 - 4 February 2019
- THE RAILWAY MUSEUM Special Gallery 2
[THE RAILWAY MUSEUM]
- Opening time
- 10:00 - 18:00
(Last Admission 17:30)
- Every Tuesday (except 25 December) and New Year’s Holydays (29, 30, 31 December and 1 January)
- Admission Fees
- Adult 1,300 Yen / Elementary, Junior High and High-school Students 600 Yen / Children (Preschool children 3 Years and up) 300 Yen
- Take the New Shuttle from JR Omiya Station, get off at Tetsudo Hakubutsukan Station. One minute walk from the station
3-47 Onari-cho, Omiya-ku, Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture
- Official site
- East Japan Railway Company
- Tokyo Institute of Technology
- Studio KIKIRIKI Co., Ltd.
- Supported by
- The Railway Museum (East Japan Railway Culture Foundation)
- Yutanpo Shirane
- Graphic Design
- Yasuwo Miyamura