Topics & Stories


Discovery, Topics & Stories


Text: Jun Asami


How do you find an old house that doesn’t appear on Google Maps? Shin Hamada takes the old-school approach of using his feet and his eyes. Finding buildings in the nooks and crannies of the city and turning them into a miniature model is one part of the work done by HAMADA ARCHITECTS™. Now then, it is important not to forget to mention that this isn’t the name of an architectural firm—no, this is the name of a project run by the photographer Shin Hamada where he puts ideas into practice.

The buildings that he finds on his walks are constructed into delicate miniaturized models, packaged into blister packs (or something like them), and delivered to the customers who buy them. These deliveries are made by hand when possible, and so Hamada makes an effort to have a little conversation with each customer. Hamada doesn’t rely on convenience to speed up the process, rather he chooses to accept every delay and difficulty as part and parcel of what he does. In his mind, the time spent while working is time spent spinning his own thoughts.

A free paper is sometimes distributed in town which contains records of his thoughts, ideas that are put into practice, and conversations. For Case.9, the latest issue, the theme is “Thoughts, Everyday, Beliefs” and it contains urban photographs as well as extracts from Thoreau’s Walden and snippets of conversation—most likely taken from Hamada’s model deliveries.

Such genre-defying and fragmented work defies a simple definition. It could be said to be representative of the process of trying to put a physical form to the complex topic of our cities and public spaces while trying to not lose this complex nuance. Or perhaps, it almost seems as if Hamada could also be saying, “Through doing something ourselves, our towns and our lives can become much more interesting.”


Jun Asami
Editor and Writer. Director of the antique shop ‘Goods’, also belongs to Design studio ‘Well’. He has worked on the production and publication of artbooks alongside other artist.

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260 × 372mm 160P

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