Eco Products Fair 2010 Tokyo

It’s just an idea.

From December 10th- December 12th there will be an Eco Products Fair at the Tokyo International Exhibition Centre down in Odaiba.

Odaiba.. Mmmm..

How to describe Odaiba. Well first think of the words “Tokyo Waterfront” whilst trying not to also think “Minamata Disease”.

Then superimpose that image on “pool table” flat land reclaimed from the sea. This is when landfill becomes seafill.

Then cover it with the work of unrestrained architects for whom the term ‘green construction’ encapsulates an irreconcilable paradox.

And that my friends is Odaiba. It’s about as green and sustainiable as a ski slope in the Arabian desert. Oh come to think of it, that actually exists – in Dubai – where else?

Anyway,  on those dates, Odaiba, where  Logan’s Run meets Akira, plays host to Eco-Products Fair 2010.

Anyway, my idea, and I have yet to clear it with Taylor, is to go down there with some fliers and see if the Japanese are truly interested in producing ecology as opposed to buying it.

Hell, it’s not as if they’re even buying ecology. They’re going down there hoping to buy something that has green cachet, whilst generating a significant carbon deficit into the bargain.

Very few of the products that will be on display will be made from recycled materials. The ones that are, well that is their main selling point, as in you wouldn’t buy it for any other reason.

Not ideal is it?

Well I mean to go down there with some fliers and see if I can get some people interested.  It’s going to be an uphill struggle, even with fliers in Japanese.  It’s a particularly closed culture. While this makes things really difficult for me I have to remember that I’m a guest in this country.

Anyone out there have experience in doing something like this. Wonder if I should buy a kilt. At least I’d have my picture taken.



  1. atozinusa said,

    November 20, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Hi Ian,
    In case you haven’t noticed, I’m the one who posted a reply in treehuger column you’ve left regarding the rooftop ecology. I really think your approach to having a sustainable low-impact rooftops in Tokyo is worthwhile. Although my idea generally centers on technology as I lean toward my engineering background, my basic philosophy is as simple as yours. I happen to be Japanese, so maybe I can help you guys cut those red tapes and communication.

    btw, you’re dead right about Odaiba, but need a little more thought about the closed culture aspects of Japan. The problem is how to get the message across a rather skeptical (and intelligent) culture, but as soon as it takes off, it will rocket. The result is right in front of your eyes. Those concrete and glass characterless architectures are the fruits of dynamism of people when they got together as one, albeit not in a way I prefer.

  2. November 24, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Hi Atoz,

    I agree, it is certainly dynamic. And like you I think it’s not dynamic in a way I’d like. I also agree that Japanese culture is intelligent (nothing this complex is dumb) though I would say that it is risk averse and non-entrepreneurial. Some might say that it is also zenophobic, however I think that would be going too far. I prefer to think of it as extreme group identity. Trying to keep that going in a world that is very different doubtless demands a high level of isolationism.

    On the Odaiba thing, well my biggest concern about Odaiba is that it’s not resilient. I tend to prefer the word resilient over sustainable. Mmm, perhaps that needs some explanation on my part.

    When people look at a process or a network and say that’s sustainable or not sustainable they’re generally making that judgment based on present circumstances. Under these circumstances the most structurally unsound building in Tokyo is sustainable. However change those circumstances drastically and it’s not sustainable, because it’s not resilient.

    Shock it and it will collapse.

    Odaiba is like that. Tokyo is like that. Pretty much every city in the world is like that. Much of what I describe in my blog could be described as Eco, green or whatever. It could equally described as crisis management or crisis preparation.

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