Seeking to explore power as crucial factor in the design of the built environment, we will look at energy systems and related objects, from sites of generation to spaces of consumption, from distribution networks to control rooms.

Tutors: Filip Geerts and Sanne van den Breemer
Director of Studies: Salomon Frausto

Contributors: Santiago Ardila, Juan Benavides, Daniella Camarena, Stef Dingen, Marco Fusco, Jack Garay Arauzo, Theodora Gelali, Shaiwanti Gupta, Hao Hsu, Marianthi Papangelopoulou, Felipe Quintero, Gent Shehu, Siyuan Wang

“National’s Fight Light"

Public opinion, Advertising, Distribution, National, Earthquake, Tokyo, Paris, Commercial, Image

The core of advertisement lays on public opinion, and the effects its brings on people’s mindsets and behavior. Both Paris and Tokyo, have a strong relation between inhabitants and their landmarks. From postcards and illustrations of the illuminated Eiffel Tower and Louvre Pyramid, to city lights of Shibuya and Ginza. But this excitement for light is also attached to minor unexpected and even daily icons. Osaka’s Dōtonbori Glico sign 1 is not only a main tourist attraction but also a symbol of the city. Chain restaurant Kani Douraku is famous for its iconic giant moving crab billboards outside many of their restaurants. Businessmen promote them, and people love them.
    As a communication system, advertisement is –most of the time– a strategic dialogue between companies and individuals, where things are offered and demanded in the most intuitive and responsive way. Although it is sometimes used in a non-capitalist-and-voracious manner, but with an inspiring and encouraging spirit. On January 17, 1995, the city of Kobe was struck by a devastating earthquake with a seismic intensity of 7 on the JMA Seismic Intensity Scale 2 that reduced the city streets to rubble. Named as The Great Hanshin earthquake, and regarded as the second largest in Japan’s 20th century, it was a turning point in the emergence of volunteerism as a major form of civic engagement. Moreover, Japan implemented an improved disaster response policy and The Ground Self-Defense Forces acquired a major role to respond in earthquakes over a certain magnitude.
    The advertisement published in the newspaper by Matsushita Electric Industrial (known today as Panasonic Corporation) shows lit-up characters spelling “fight” rising from Kobe streets to mark people’s joy at the return of light to the city 35 days after the quake struck. The advertisement transcended the realm of corporate advertising to shine a light in people’s hearts.

1. Famed giant billboard displays the image of a runner crossing a finishing line. It was installed in 1935 as an advertisement for the Glico confectionery company in front of Dōtonbori Canal in Chuo Ward, Osaka. Since 2014, it uses LED technology, while previous versions were all neon. Ezaki Glico's primary business is manufacturing processed foods and dietary supplements and its main financier was Sanwa Bank, which was merged into the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, also a member of Midori Kai, a group of companies whose are mainly financed by Sanwa Bank. One of Glico’s long-lasting corporate message was "Good Taste and Good Health" (おいしさと健康, 1971—1992)
2. Japan Meteorological Agency’s tables explaining their JMA Seismic Intensity Scale.