CxD at Better City Better Life – Cumulus 2010


The United States is currently at a crossroad where the transitions between its past, present and future are being articulated. Cities from around the country are challenged in unprecedented ways at the beginning of this 21st century. The American urban model, developed around cars, highways, and vast suburbs, is slowly exhausting its promises for a better life while poor planning has made cities incredibly obsolete. In this time of crisis, many places have to learn how to become relevant again.
At a global level, many people are asking what makes a city great. Are great cities those that provide unforgettable experiences? Or are they places that manage to seamlessly bind the way they look with the way they work? How should they balance both tradition and modernity?
This paper shows, through best practice examples collected during a 30-city tour, the various roles that designers play in this time of urban transformation. It also questions the implications linked to historic preservation and the relevance of both old and new ideas in urban environments.

Link | Cumulus 2010 at Shanghai

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Summer Journal

[VisualDiary] Echigo, Niigata

“Well Sasaki-san, you will be driving on your own and you can’t read Japanese… at least you speak like a native. I just want to let you know that if anything happens to you, this rental car is equipped with a special device so we will find you and come rescue you.”

“Oh… Thank you.”

So peaceful I went across rice fields, forests and mountains…

‘cadavres exquis’ Workshop at AtelierLOGHOUSE

A mother asked me what the game ‘cadavres exquis’ consist of. I explain to her that above all, it is about playfulness and having fun.

At a deeper level, this game is about life being shaped through our relationships with others. Life itself is about building relationships. As there is only so much one can control in life, almost all is triggered by encounters, conversations, various human interactions, including both understanding and misunderstanding.

[VisualDiary] Kyoto

A short getaway to Kita village in Kyoto Prefecture, where I have been visiting the local folk museum and the Little Indigo Museum to be featured soon in CRAFTED.

[Shopping] Paris

Last minute gift shopping, seriously wondering if there are French products & brands that are not sold in other parts of the world… Not easy! Out of this list No.5 is likely the most mysterious and rarest gift of all…

1. Les Cuchettes, lollipops by La Maison d’Armorine
2. Olive oil glass dispenser by Olive & Co
3. Argan oil lip balm by Melvita
4. Caramel candies with sea salt by La Maison d’Armorine
5. Homeoplasmine, skin remedy by Laboratoire Boiron
6. Petits-Beurre de Lorient, biscuits by Albert Menes
7. Galettes de Pont-Aven, biscuits by Traou Mad
8. Mint-linden herbal tea by Belle France

[Work in Progress]

1. To stand at the beginning of everything. / 2. To know that everything is possible in life. / 3. To forget about distance and time. / 4. To look at the horizon. / 5. To keep going on the little bumpy road. / 6. To feel happiness at the sight of the morning sun. / 7. To be where the imaginary and the real become one. / 8. To float like a white cloud in the sky.

[VisualDiary] Paris

“In May, do what you like to do…”

I am back at the drawing board (aka, the dining table) preparing for some exciting projects. I have only been back in Europe for 4 days, and Asia is calling me back already: school project in Tokyo, social enterprise with hill tribes in Thailand, and design exhibition in Korea! Feeling grateful for the many opportunities given to me by my dear friends from around the world. Thank you for encouraging me ~

[CRAFTED] Wat Si Saket

A place of exceptional beauty… Wat Si Saket, Vientiane.

[VisualDiary] Bangkok

The privilege of spending an afternoon sipping passionfruit soda, reading the words of others, finding myself in the words of others, and thinking about why we do the things we do, for whom and how…

I can say and in a moment I shall say that what counts is to be human and simple. No, what counts is to be true, and then everything fits in, humanity and simplicity.” – A. Camus


More photos of Yangon at CRAFTED

[VisualDiary] Edinburgh

[Work in Progress]

I have been on many roads and flying across tropical skies since late October 2014, living and capturing tiny moments in various countries of Southeast Asia. ‘Daydream’ is the title of this journey, focusing on the beauty of the local everyday, glimpses at ordinary instants that somehow bring meaning to life. Photographs, artworks and pieces of writing will be compiled in a book over the next months…

[VisualDiary] Saigon

In Southeast Asia the urban environment changes faster than people and life itself. In Saigon like in other places, natural elements are challenged, space is being constantly altered. But the street food lady continues to sell even in front of a huge construction site, while the bamboo on this wonderful building seems to say that we can change without sacrificing all.

[Work in Progress]


While the world is talking about freedom of expression, I am now training 13 women in Bangkok and witnessed their need for creative expression.

“I had fun.”

“I didn’t think of anything but just made something.”

“I don’t know what it is, but I’m going to make a brooch out of it.”

Those are some of the comments heard at the end of the session.

When I started the class, the women asked me for instructions to follow.
I said I had none and that they had complete freedom.
 It made some feel nervous at first, but then, they picked the material in front of them and started making. Some went fast, others went slow. Some sat on a chair. Others sat on the floor. Some made small objects, others made big ones.

13 different personalities, 13 lives, 13 forms of expression.