Dinner By Vol.5


May 2015

Project type

The 5th installment of our Dinner By series took place in the lovely, 57 Arts in Lewisham. We were honoured to be joined by special guests from studio-L, a Japan-based agency that combines community empowerment with social design.

The dinner began with each guest sharing a story about a person they had met during a creative project. They then mapped this person’s movements on our ‘matrix tablecloth’, eventually forming a latticework of journeys from rural to urban regions, reflecting the migrating populations in both Japan and the UK. We learned about Sera-san, the Noroshi (smoke signal) expert who commutes to a small island from the city and Ota-san, a ‘I-turn’* city worker who moved out of the city to enjoy the life in the countryside.

The language barrier gave us a beautiful opportunity to employ visual tools and alternative conversation starters such as the visual maps, strings and ‘ingredients cards’ to share and dissect case studies. Despite the obvious differences between Japan and the UK, we found common ground in the discussion of patterns of people’s’ movement and methods for working with both urban and rural communities. The dinner gave us the opportunity to explore in-depth studio-L’s community design methodologies and opened up questions about how they can be applied to such a multicultural context as London.
A warm thank you to Yama-san, Arisa, Kaori, Noriko-san and Maru-chan from studio-L, Victoria from CABE, Maja from The Glass-House and Pam-chan from Event Communications for your company and thoughts. To Daisuke and Taka for your hands and help. To Pamela for helping create the graphics needed for this multi-lingual feast, to Kat for making the night memorable with your beautiful photographs, and to Mary, for hosting our creative fancies once again.

*U-turn / I-turn

A term commonly used in Japan to describe the types of people’s movement in and out of cities. U-turn refers to the inhabitants who leave their urban lifestyle behind and return to their hometown in a rural area. I-turn describes the people who move to a different area, usually from an urban to a rural area.