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

A Japanese architect has Tokyo-ified six famous metropolises.

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)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of the interior of a WeWork co-working office.
    Design

    WeWork Wants to Build the ‘Future of Cities.’ What Does That Mean?

    The co-working startup is hatching plans to deploy data to reimagine urban problems. In the past, it has profiled neighborhoods based on class indicators.

  2. An illustration of a private train.
    Transportation

    Let’s Buy a Train

    If you dream of roaming the U.S. in a your own personal train car, you still can. But Amtrak cuts have railcar owners wondering if their days are numbered.

  3. Equity

    How Poor Americans Get Exploited by Their Landlords

    American landlords derive more profit from renters in low-income neighborhoods, researchers Matthew Desmond and Nathan Wilmers find.

  4. Design

    Cities Deserve Better Than These Thomas Heatherwick Gimmicks

    The “Vessel” at New York’s Hudson Yards—like so many of his designs—look as if the dystopian world of 1984 has been given a precious makeover.

  5. A photo of San Antonio's Latino High Line
    Equity

    A 'Latino High Line' Promises Change for San Antonio

    The San Pedro Creek Culture Park stands to be a transformative project for nearby neighborhoods. To fight displacement, the city is creating a risk mitigation fund.