Tokyo Pop Lab

Tokyo Pop Lab enables its users to directly interact, manipulate, and influence the changing dialogue of pop culture. Given the globalization and rapid changes in trends today, the facade of this building aims to serve as a dynamic documentation of the ever-accelerating growth and influence of popular culture.

Tokyo Pop Lab’s facade condition takes precedent from the modular systems explored during the metabolist movement, and the organized chaos of vibrant vernacular signage found in Shinjuku, Akihabara, and Shibuya. Nearby brutalist/metabolist building ‘Nakagin Capsule Tower’ features interchangeable micro pod apartments, extending the lifespan of the building. Similarly, Tokyo Pop Lab utilizes an additive pod system, allowing the building to have a perpetual lifespan, constantly growing upward and mimicking the development of popular trends.
Honorable Mention 
with Kelsey Currier & Alejandro Peña

Bee Breeders Tokyo Pop Lab Competition

PROGRAM: Pop Culture Incubator
LOCATION: Tokyo, Japan

As popular trends resurface and reinvent themselves, vacuum transport tubes will connect users between similar brands or subjects, e.g. fashion, music, art, etc. Should a trend resurface a third time, the trend is rewarded with a sculptural vessel, occupying multiple pod ‘lots’, that is integrated directly into the facade fabric. All previous transport tubes will reroute into the larger figural module, as the larger vessel will act as the central hub of the trend.

Each pod represents the prevailing trend of a fiscal quarter during the year; documenting past and current trends, and possibly influencing future ones. A selection/voting process based in a smartphone app allows students and visitors of Tokyo Pop Lab – as well as the general public - to vote for the most popular trend during a three month span.

The ‘candidate’ with the most votes at the end of the quarter will be awarded with a standardized pod, equipped with an external screen or window to represent their brand/trend/name to be seen from the street. Pods can be occupied for a variety of uses such as a retail space, installation, information kiosk, or a themed cafe.