“Gakkan Engawa Workshop” is a media expression workshop utilizing citizen participation. It was designed and held to celebrate the opening of Fukutake Hall at Hongo campus of the University of Tokyo in March 2008.
With the completion of Fukutake Hall, we aspired to make it an open and connected space, much like the corridor balconies of Japanese traditional houses called ‘Engawa’ and thus we decided to name our workshop “Gakkan Engawa.” We invited participants of find a picture or photo image expressing ‘wa’(‘circle’ in Japanese) followed by sending it to us with a short caption using either mobile phone or PC. We processed these in real time and projected them onto a large glass wall of Fukutake Hall. We set multiple visualizing modes to present images as:
1. Descending cascade-type visualization: thumbnail images descending in a chronological sequence.
2. Firework-type visualization: thumbnail images with same keyword gather and made a popping-up motion much like a firework.
(starts after the cascade-type)
3. Additional screen display: showing individual images in their original size with captions.
We collected 361 images and messages, where the variety of interpretation of “wa” was found from a cute ripple of raindrop to a human circle of a group dance. The workshop proved to be a great success, with many students, faculty members, alumni and even people from the local community participating in this creative activity.