Cool Taipei City-01

The thing which knocked out me at first in Taipei was a crowd of motor bikes. As soon as the signal is changed in red, the motor bikes spring out at the head of the waiting cars. The time when the vacant space in front of a pedestrian crossing is filled with those is a sign that the signal will be changed in blue soon. As soon as the signal change in blue, the motor bikes start all together. But, in contrast to our image for the intensity of motor bike, they begin to run with correct drive manner. The marvelous order, that is, city of Taipei and country of Taiwan.

A curator Mio Iwakiri analyzes that the reason we have not seen bicycle there is because it would not cool for Taiwanese due to the image of bicycle in Continental China. Not only in Taipei but also in all towns in Taiwan, I could find no rental bicycle but only rental motor bike. I can only walk and see those since I have no certification in Taiwan.

In Europe, the sequence of architecture becomes a townscape. While, in Asia or the third world, the noisy elements such as a sign or a washing define the atmosphere of the townscape rather than the architecture oneself. When a Tokyo-based architect visits Taipei, it seems that the motor bike which is apart from the surface of architecture and moving at will is the noisy element in the town and, that is, the townscape of Taipei. Cheers for the motor bike!

To Japanese Version

Upload:February, 2007

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Photo by Daigo Ishii