blooming flowers

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rocks extend a narrow ledge


mimcry between the plant add-ons and the concrete-based-sclptures


shelves are useful but how come they are mostly inside? DSC01005s DSC01006sDSC00254s

fields of lifeworlds


plants offer a different kind of lifeworld to the ashfelt concrete environments around them, a different logic     DSC00968s DSC00320s DSC01038s

where I would have expected a field of grass, was rice

gardens in Kyoto 2


flat walls and smooth poles extended with wire-coathanger holders, hooks, coiling pots

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some gardens in Kyoto

Over April 2016 I visited Kyoto at least three days a week, to train Aikido. During the day I wandered around, intoxicated by the matcha-green spring, the neatly raked stone gardens, the wabi-sabi huts, the moss-interspersed stone pavements and the blooming rhododendrones. Slowly, in-between the ‘destinations’, I started to notice another kind of garden: a kind not mentioned in tourist guides nor philosophy books. Nonetheless, in my zen-infused gaze, they extruded the same kind of care as those where I paid an entrance fee to: lovingly maintained with nuanced details. Even better, if I looked into the details, I could start to read quirky, individual stories of the human beings who look after them. While their surroundings had not been constructed by master carpenters, nor are they made with the finest materials (most often rubbles), they transmitted a frugal richness, that resonated with the poetry of Santoka:

The bagworm too dripping spring has come yes
Minomushi mo shizuku suru haru ga kita zo na

For me, art is a way of seeing, of appreciating, of caring. Beauty is not only those framed within white walls. It is a lens. Simply being alive and aware is enough to do this. Some of my favourite pieces of art are poetry written by people who lived with very little materially. Their works exalted the richness of nothing, frugal appreciation.

Such delicious water overflowing
Konnani umai mizu ga afureteiru

While it is true that nowadays, the famous zen gardens and Buddhist temples are run as commercial enterprises, the state of mind they transmit, of nuanced appreciation, does not require money nor status to practice.

I roll on my back and there’s the blue sky
Korori nekorobeba aozora



Satoka poems from


cracks, creases

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nooks, ledges


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car connections from Kyoto

In A pattern language: towns, buildings, construction (1977), Alexander, Ishikawa, Silverstein et al., wrote of the car connection:

The process of arriving in a house, and leaving it, is fundamental to our daily lives; and very often it involves a car. But the place where cars connect to houses, far from being important and beautiful, is often off to one side and neglected.

They suggested:
Place the parking place for the car and the main entrance, in such a relation to each other, that the shortest route from the parked car into the house, both to the kitchen and to the living rooms, is always through the main entrance. Make the parking place for the car into an actual room which makes a positive and graceful place where the car stands, not just a gap in the terrain.

However, not everyone has the chance to design a house and where their car would dwell from scratch. Instead, there is a plethora of small modifications to existing infrastructure, to aid the process of arriving and leaving a house. Here is a selection from Kyoto, April 2016.


Mirrors for seeing from multiple angles simultaneously

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reflectors to ease tricky corners
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gardens, edges for other life forms


handmade screen protects blooming freesias on the end of a public parking lot

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sand and grass garden with an exquisite selection of plants: iris, rose, pine, camelia, mistletoe

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a pleasant outdoor room made by grape vines

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bonsai garden on the edge of a parking space, makes a wonderful alley to walk through too

trolley for specific things

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Post with a title

and some text

pole storage