Viewing architecture as closely related to daily life and “naturally” embracing sustainable initiatives

Department of Architecture
4th year undergraduate
Miho CHO
Hiroto Takaguchi Laboratory

Q Tell us about your research.

The Takaguchi Laboratory, to which I belong, focuses on “creating operational systems” in the environmental field of architecture, dealing with themes like disaster prevention, decarbonization and sustainability. My specialty field is environmental media, where ‘environment’ refers to anything surrounding us and ‘media’ refers to any medium connecting things; therefore, rather than thinking of architecture as building ‘concrete boxes’, I think of it as something closely connected to our lives.
As part of my research, I’ve devised measures to foster “window-opening behavior” in apartment complexes in Indonesia. Indonesia is experiencing a remarkable economic development and the number of air conditioners is rapidly increasing as a result. While its climate is referred to as “hot and humid,” temperatures drop after sunset and nights are relatively cool. Nonetheless, since electricity is cheap, people constantly rely on their air conditioners. I have therefore been exploring ways to induce “window-opening behavior” to bring people to open their windows when it’s cooler.
As part of my graduation thesis, I tried to assess conditions on the ground as accurately as possible. Since the Covid 19 pandemic made it impossible to visit the country, I researched conditions by conducting online surveys. I polled over 300 people asking a wide array of questions to understand when and why people open their windows and collecting personal information like age and gender, and even body type and attitude toward life.
I am planning to pursue a master’s degree and my first goal is to deepen my understanding of this topic and develop concrete proposals.

Architecture” is witnessing people’s happy moments

Q What did you learn at the Department of Architecture?

Most people will study architecture because they are drawn to the glamorous world of designing and planning. However, I see it as something closely connected to our daily lives, and I am interested in using it to manage behaviors.
I first became interested in the field of architecture when I heard someone say that “among what have been considered important professions since ancient times – doctors, lawyers and architects – architects are the only ones who witness people’s happy moments.” Since then, I have been working on things that interest me. If I think something is interesting, I’ll give it a try. When I do that, I feel like I am marking with a “dot” a particular moment in my life, and when I look back, it’s fun to see how those dots form a “line” that uniquely represents me.
At Waseda one can pursue all kinds of interests, I hope you will want to try out different things. See you at Waseda!