Modern Japanese May Be Too Much
Obsessed with Efficiency


Amid the hustle and bustle of a big city, efficiency is one of your primary concerns. You may try to do almost anything to save your energy and avoid waste. For example, if you drive a vehicle for a long distance, you would probably do not hesitate to choose an expressway, instead of an ordinary road because you are accessible to information obtained from your smart phone or car navigation system―which exactly tell you to take the quickest route to get to a goal in the shortest period of time. If you are during rush hour, you would take a different route so that you will not be in heavy traffic, and then you can consume your time more efficiently
The same is true of public transportation, including trains and busses. You try to reach your destination as early as possible by taking a limited train or express― ?what is the best way to get there? A local train takes me to that station and I need to catch an express from there?? You are unconsciously preoccupied with what makes your life more efficient.
Responding efficiently to what you have to do is not a bad think at all. Particularly when you are faced with something that cannot be replaced with―time, for example. Effective time management means spending more time at your destination and doing something creative for extra tasks. Seeking efficiency is a natural desire for people who seek optimal results in life. Another important concept is space, efficiency for which is constantly required.

An open ceiling space from the first to second floor designed with a subtly-curving staircase creates an important visual effect on this residence.
Like time, space is limited. When you buy a land, for example, you must build a house in a limited space. If you live with your family, you need to consult with them about which space you may use as you like. In that case, your own space may be very limited to certain rooms―your den or bedroom only. So you may need to depend on good design incorporating space efficiency if you want to build a house from scratch.
This residence is; however, far from being efficient. The spacious entrance hall is filled with sunlight. The staircase connecting to the second floor is occupying a larger space in the foyer. But its visual presence creates a beautiful, soft curve in the space, making a ?meaningful void? by the deliberate use of blank space.
The vision of the room changes as you go up and down the curved staircase, the presence of which is creating a comfortable atmosphere in the room, adding a pleasant sense of peace―one of successful designs incorporated by the architect of the house.

Introducing a Game Element in Your Daily Life


Generally speaking, we try to finish our tasks as fast as possible with less chaos and more efficiency. With a sense of urgency, we try to make every possible effort to maximize our success to reach our goals at the fastest speed without a waste. We are living in a society where efficiency is highly valued.
Japan has achieved a rapid economic growth supported by such sense of efficacy and urgency, and earned a certain reputation in the world. I’ am not saying this is all bad, but if we depend too much on efficiency, it may take all the fun out of life.
We are moved by beauty, delicate work, such as tools or machinery, that were created by people who are in a specialized field, including craftsmen and artisans who seek utmost efficacy to attain their ultimate goals. In contrast, we are also impressed by an opposite beauty which is ignoring efficiency and creating luxury. The residence, in this case, may be an embodiment of rich beauty which is contrary to efficiency.
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