Umbrella Flowers

2008 -


Inexpensive vinyl umbrellas that are easily available come in handy for unexpected showers. The vinyl umbrella is becoming a symbol of mass-consumption, however, since many are disposed of after use. About three hundred discarded umbrellas were prepared at a site of an event held to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.
The umbrellas were employed as a material in an initiative that builds shelters through the clever use of familiar objects around us. While such events tend to carry serious themes, the organizers’ intention in getting architects and designers to propose shelters using “familiar objects around us” was to inspire people to incorporate disaster prevention measures into the fabric of daily living and see it as something more familiar, rather than as a special effort for earthquakes. If we define a shelter as a place for evacuation during an emergency, the one in the photograph made by linking umbrellas in a grid pattern appears too fragile for a shelter. Nevertheless, seeing the idea in coming up with such a structure with only vinyl umbrellas and four trees in the yard, and without using reinforcement materials, I realized such approaches were exactly what’s needed in disaster prevention measures.

location HAT KOBE+BO-SAI EXPO 2008 / JICA Hyogo South International Square (Kobe city, Hyogo Pref.)
principal use temporary shelter
date 2008
structure vinyl umbrella, vinyl code
total area 12m2