Apply for Japan Design Workshop / International Advanced Design Workshop 2016


Join us in Japan this summer to continue the work with local communities affected by natural disasters and depopulation:

2016 Japan Design Workshop /
International Advanced Design Workshop

Continuity / Transformation in Architecture & Community Form
21 July – 08 August 2016

 — Application —


Architecture students, recent graduates, and professionals are invited to apply. While the official deadlines have passed for the Japan Design Workshop, there is time for last minute inquiries and applications. The deadline for International Advanced Design Workshop applicants is April 1st.

Final decisions will be made by mid-April.

For more information:

Have questions? See our contact page.

Looking forward to reviewing your applications!

Minna no Butai – ‘A Stage for All’ – showcased in JABS


An article showcasing みんなの舞台 Minna no Butai – a Stage for All was recently published in the Japanese publication the Journal of Architecture and Building Science (JABS):

Construction of ‘A stage for all’—
Attempts for Temporary Housings 3-4 years After the Disaster

みんなの舞台 Minna no Butai – a Stage for All was built in Summita-cho, Irate-ken by the 2014 MIT Japan Design Workshop in collaboration with the University of Tokyo’s Otsuki Lab.

The author, Saori Imoto, is a Research Associate at the University of Tokyo and a 2005-2006 Veneto Experience alumna.

The full article (in Japanese) can be read and downloaded here.


New Yorker Article – ‘The Really Big One’ Forewarns of Pacific NW Event



An article from Kathryn Schulz of the New Yorker raises awareness of the potential for the US Pacific Northwest coast to experience a major subduction earthquake and tsunami not dissimilar to the 3.11 event in Japan.  The article, which was published last week, not only describes the potential similarities to 3.11, but the ways in which communities in the Northwest are in many ways much less prepared than those in Japan.

It also describes the collaborative detective work of how scientists came to understand the potential for an event:  Native American oral tradition, offshore core samples from the US, and historical records of a 300+ year old ‘Orphan Tsunami’ in Japan — before which no quake was felt — were pieced together to form evidence to the story we have today.

The full article can be found at the below link:

Upcoming event for the 4th anniversary of 3.11

Today we mark the fourth anniversary of the 3.11 disaster.  To commemorate this milestone, we invite those local to Boston to attend:


Updates from Tohoku & A Night of Remembrance

Tuesday March 31, 2015
6pm – 8pm
The Red Room at Cafe 939

Berklee College of Music
939 Boylston Street, Boston

Free and open to the public
Register at Eventbrite.

“Updates from Tohoku, a journey to new life,” is a commemoration of the fourth anniversary of 3.11, the disaster that occurred on March 11, 2011 in the Tohoku region of Japan and affected nearly 500,000 people.

The event highlights individuals and projects working in northeastern Japan since 3.11, including our own Shun Kanda in a talk titled “Beyond 2020_nx: A Vision for the Next Generation.”  He is joined by Anne Nishimura Morse, curator of Japanese art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Megumi Ishimoto, founder and executive director of the NPO Women’s Eye.  There will also be performances by Berklee student recipients of the TOMODACHI Suntory music scholarship.

Hosted by the Consulate-General of Japan in Boston, Berklee College of Music, Fish Family Foundation, Japan Society of Boston, and the U.S.-Japan Council/TOMODACHI Initiative

Funding awarded for Japan Design Workshop

The work of the Japan 3.11 Initiative continues strongly throughout this coming summer, and organizations are recognizing the importance of this work.

The MIT Japan Design Workshop has been awarded a grant from the TOSHIBA INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION for the project Beyond 2020_nx, for continuing workshops in Tohoku and to fund a film documentary on the future form of communities in the region.

In addition, the Alfred Kunstadter Family Foundation and the American Chamber of Commerce Japan ACCJ has also awarded funding for the MIT Japan Workshop of Summer 2014, located in Rikuzen-Takata, Iwate Prefecture.

Call for applications: iUP_MIT Japan Design Workshop 2014


iUP_MIT Japan Design Workshop 2014

July 28th –  August 12th

See this document for additional description of this summer’s activities.

If you are interested in applying, detailed information on schedule of activities, costs, travel and accommodation may be requested by forwarding your inquiry directly to :

Shun Kanda <> and Saya Suzuki<>

Year Two of the Initiative

To summarize the Initiative’s work in its second year of operation, we have produced a publication that gives a concise and visual overview of our Year Two activities.  From built projects like the Baba-Nakayama Garden Pavilione to interdisciplinary dialogues such as the March symposium at the University of Tokyo, the Initiative has been actively engaged in its continued collaboration with the people of Minamisanriku.

Special thanks goes to the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership for providing the necessary funding for much of this work.  The publication can be viewed here.

Shun Kanda and Matthew Bunza speak at Columbia University / Barnard College in New York

On the 2nd anniversary of the Great Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, MIT Japan 3.11 Initiative director Shun Kanda, along with Matthew Bunza (Lecturer in Architecture at MIT) took part in a symposium at Columbia University / Barnard College entitled, “The Great East Japan Earthquake: Creative Responses & Social Imagination.”

Great East Japan Earthquake March 10, 2013 Symposium, Part 2 of 8 – Matthew Bunza & Shun Kanda (MIT) – YouTube

Alongside other speakers such as Chim↑Pom, Jake Price, Shimpei Takeda, Yuhei Suzuki, Alisa Prager, Kirsten Homma, Susan J. Onuma, Dr. Robert Yanagisawa, and Dr. Shunichi Homma; the symposium highlighting the diverse ongoing efforts of the respective speakers, asked questions about role of creative response, and reminded us all of the enormity of the work still left to be done in Tohoku.

Special thanks to Daiyu Suzuki, Nat Andreini, and the Consortium for Japan Relief for making the event possible.

More info can be found at:

About the Symposium | NYJAPAN311 | Consortium for Japan Relief