Designing a New Resilient City in Post-Tsunami Japan by Empowering the Community


The destruction from the events of 3/11 in Japan has forced communities to reexamine the concept of resiliency. How can a new concept of a resilient city in Tohoku, Japan, be developed while incorporating new scalable housing, mobility, energy systems and by empowering communities through art technology and culture?


For the class taught at the MIT Media Lab, Sandra was selected as a teaching assistant and team leader. During a primary research phase she supported the students of the group “Art, Culture and Technology” regarding content and organization. She gave input presentations, handed out assignments and structured the research phase to prepare the team for a design charette in Japan. On site she continued her work as a group leader and interfaced with the other groups to develop an Urban Strategy for the site as well as a master plan.


Sandra and her team proposed the implementation of an emergent participatory approach to empower the community to rebuild itself. Within this strategy a toolkit was developed to encourage city-branding opportunities around food experiences empathizing with the culture on site.