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What If Every City Looked Like Tokyo?

A Japanese architect has Tokyo-ified six famous metropolises.

Daigo Ishii's vision of a Tokyo-ified Venice includes Japanese pine trees and colorful banners. (Daigo Ishii/Future-scape Architects)

What would cities look like if they adopted the aesthetic of another metropolis? Would those cities maintain their identity and character, or would they transform into something entirely new?

Such were the questions that Japanese architect Daigo Ishii took on for “Worldwide Tokyo-lization Project,” a video installation now on display at the Venice Architecture Biennale until November 27.

Ishii used such notable Tokyo markers as neon signage, advertisements, vending machines, and kawaii (cute) stuffed animals to overlay scenes from six cities with equally strong visual personalities: Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, La Paz, New York, Paris, and Venice.

The result is something of a hybrid—neither Tokyo nor the original city, but an urban space oddly and compellingly in between. Jeremiah Budin of Curbed wrote, “We can’t stop looking at them. Against all odds, we actually really want this to happen in real life.”

Buenos Aires (Daigo Ishii/Future-scape Architects)
Copenhagen (Daigo Ishii/Future-scape Architects)
La Paz (Daigo Ishii/Future-scape Architects)

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