Gkoliomyti / Towards a Non-neoliberal Design Paradigm

Towards a Non-neoliberal Design Paradigm ISHINOMAKI 2.0 – a Network of Grassroots Community Building

Author: Anastasia Gkoliomyti, University of Athens; Tokyo Institute of Technology

Supervisor: Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Research stage: initial doctoral stage

Category: Paper


The research focuses on community-driven guerilla interventions following the Triple Disaster or 3.11 to generate a new conceptual framework for design to include repair. The first part of the research criticizes the neoliberal project’s limited scope and failure to include a bigger picture of worldly processes. The second part of the research explores architectural practices that took place in Ishinomaki, a city in the Tohoku region of Japan that suffered a massive blow following the disaster, namely: 1. Ishinomaki IRORI, 2. Ishinomaki Bookshelf, and 3. Recovery Bar. The methodology of the research consists of interviews, literature review as well as ethnographic and visual observations to support the analysis. The research concludes that disaster can become an opportunity for “non-neoliberal projects” to emerge where the direction of institutions is led by design-based research and not vice versa.

Keywords: care, architecture, Japan