Kamagasaki Union

This proposal speculates the future of Yoseba districts throughout Japan. Yoseba can be found in nearly every major Japanese City, they are the centres of proletariat culture in the heart of the postindustrial metropolis. These districts have evolved out of urban labour markets in each city, where much of Japan’s underclass come to find work as disposable labour. As Japan’s economy slows down, those who live and depend on day labour in the Yoseba districts are hit the hardest, consequently these districts are currently in rapid urban decline.

This project began through a site visit and a series of drawings examining the social and economic complexity of the Yoseba and the rich cultural and ethnic diversity found in the largest Yoseba district in Japan. Kamagasaki lies within the center of the city of Osaka. The urban phenomenon has formed its own form of self governance and an internal economy, with its own currency, laws and social rules. The architecture of the proposed union is rooted in the spirit of this self-governance that defines the way of living in Kamagasaki. These declining districts are under constant threat of vanishing due to the predatory property developers that surround them.

The idea of the new union is to house provide employment, shelter, training and support for those who are effected and displaced. Whilst the proposal is conceptualises a polemical anti capitalist utopian urban district, it also aims to tackle a real widespread problem of unemployment, homelessness and discrimination. This is an architecture of resistance thats seeks to aid and promote self reliance rooted in the community.

LOCATION | Nishinari District, Osaka

PROGRAMME | Cooperative Union