[Extract] The focus of this paper is the concept “empty center” of Japanese cities, famous for Roland Barthes’ descriptions on Tokyo.This semiotic paradox, or binary opposition in Derridean terms,exposes not only the noticeable difference in the appearance of “Western” and Japanese cities, but also the value-laden and ethnocentric categorization of signs in the structural interpretations of their meaning. Whereas the former cities are typically characterized by a center marked by the culture’s symbols,such as a church, a town hall, a cluster of company headquarters,and so on, the absence of anything in the center of a Japanese city is often interpreted as “hollowness” which completely disregards the plurality of meanings in this cultural framework.
|Title of host publication||Cities in Transformation Research & Design|
|Subtitle of host publication||Ideas, Methods, Techniques, Tools, Case Studies|
|Place of Publication||Leuven|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2012|
|Event||EAAE/ARCC International Conference on Architectural Research - Milano, Milano, Italy|
Duration: 7 Jun 2012 → 10 Jun 2012
|Conference||EAAE/ARCC International Conference on Architectural Research|
|Period||7/06/12 → 10/06/12|
Sarvimaki, M. (2012). Activating emptiness: Bricolage of Japanese urban context. In Cities in Transformation Research & Design: Ideas, Methods, Techniques, Tools, Case Studies (pp. 270-273).  Leuven: EAAE-ARCC .