Two Weeks in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge

Whilst I’d visited the east coast of the U.S. in the past I’d never been to the west coast until September when I spent two weeks in the Bay Area. Given that my whole career revolves around building digital products it was exciting to get a glimpse inside Willy Wonka’s factory. Read more

Oi Man Estate in Hong Kong

Oi Man Estate, Hong Kong

In the 1950’s Hong Kong had a problem – facing a surge of immigration from Mainland China it didn’t have enough affordable housing stock. In 1953 the problems were compounded when a fire burned down a large slum area in Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon, leaving thousands homeless. Read more

BCTION: Reviving Tokyo’s Dead Space

BCTION

Last weekend I was lucky enough to catch the final day of the most exciting exhibition I’ve seen in a long while. Titled BCTION, over 70 young artists came together to fill nine floors of an old office building in Kojimachi (麹町), scheduled for demolition, with a dizzying array of art installations. Read more

Shimokitazawa Awa Odori Festival

Shimokitazawa Awa Odori Festival

One of the main things I’ve come to love about living in Tokyo is the plethora of traditional festivals which take place in the streets of local neighbourhood throughout the year. The summer months are particularly active and back in August during the Obon festival (お盆) I attended the wonderful Awa Odori (阿波踊り) dance festival held in Shimokitazawa (下北沢). Read more

Murakami’s Tokyo: Part 1 — Beginnings

Murakami's Tokyo Part 1

Even at a time like this, the street is bright enough and filled with people coming and going—people with places to go and people with no place to go; people with a purpose and people with no purpose; people trying to hold time back and people trying to urge it forward.

After Dark

Haruki Murakami is often described as one of the world’s greatest living novelists and has been compared with the likes of J.D. Salinger (he even translated The Catcher in the Rye into Japanese). His depictions of the loneliness and isolation of modern Japanese life ingratiated him with the country’s youth who often struggle to assert their individuality in the face of societal notions of conformity. Read more