Shinichiro Kobayashi “Japan New Map”

Tabula Rasa is a Latin phrase often translated as “clean slate.” An opportunity to begin again with no record or history. Architects use the term to describe the place where a torn-down building once stood, which they now see as an opportunity to start over with a new, better structure. Such traces are scattered across the landscapes of Japan. Photographer and urban explorer Shinichiro Kobayashi's Japan New Map (2003) captures the essence of the tension found throughout the country. How can we make something new, inspired by the abandoned or unfinished, that may one day serve as the inspiration for something new once again? This question underpins our design process.