Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Sciences Activities News
Workshop with Waseda University in Tokyo

Workshop with Waseda University in Tokyo

Designs for Manazuru, Japan

Vacancy is a major topic in rural areas in both Germany and Japan. In Germany some 1.2 million homes are vacant, in Japan close to 8.5 million, 13,6% of all homes.  And it is not just housing that is vacant: also, village centers, community centers, stores, GP practices, and so on, are no longer in use. Collectively, they represent not only spatial vacancy but also a huge loss of social, cultural and material value.


Vacancy in rural areas is not a new fact: this process has been going on for many years. What is new is that this apparent problem is increasingly presenting itself as a new opportunity, a new potential.  In general, and also specifically in Germany and Japan, there is a new demand for a more communal form of life, a revaluation of community spirit, prompted in part by the Covid period.


During a two-week workshop, students from Waseda University and Leibniz University are jointly investigating the potential of vacancy in the village of Manazuru. By 2045, its population will decrease by 45% due to aging. Using a research-by-design approach, students will develop design scenarios for Manazuru's future. The results will be presented to the residents of Manazuru.


Leibniz University Hannover, Institute for Architecture and Design, Department of Architecture in Context

Prof. Marieke Kums, Dipl. Ing. Moritz Walter

Waseda University, Art & Architecture School, Kobayashi Lab

Associate Prof. Keigo Kobayashi