Virtual Design Festival

VDF collaborates with Tokyo architecture YouTuber Martin van der Linden to explore Tokyo's "mysterious urbanity"

Virtual Design Festival has teamed up with Dutch architect Martin van der Linden of YouTube channel One Minute Architecture to present a selection of his best short architecture movies.

Van der Linden, founder of Tokyo-based Van Der Architects, has lived in Japan since 1995 when he moved to the country to work on Hiroshi Hara's monumental Kyoto Station.

Projects he has completed since then include a 2014 community centre in the earthquake-hit town of Yamada.

He started making videos about six years ago, documenting both his own projects and buildings by other architects around Tokyo.

Exploring Tokyo's "mysterious urbanity"

His One Minute Architecture channel on YouTube now has dozens of videos, including building reviews, how-to guides and personal reflections.

"I first came to Japan in 1992, to work on Kyoto Station," he says in the video he made to launch his collaboration with VDF. "Even after 28 years, I found Tokyo endlessly fascinating, and I enjoy making videos of its architecture, and its rather mysterious urbanity".

His one-minute videos mix factual descriptions, humour, opinion and quirky insights.

"Many tourists visit the Shibuya Crossing," he says of the famous X-shaped pedestrian crossing in front of Shibuya station, which is reputed to be the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world. "But did you know that there is a river running beneath it?"

"Privileged to see great architecture on a daily basis"

"I feel privileged to be able to see on a daily basis great architecture such as Kengo Kuma's SunnyHills, the new Olympic Stadium or my absolute favourite, Kenzo Tange's Kuwait Embassy building."

For his collaboration with VDF, Van der Linden has selected eight of his favourite movies, one of which will be streamed each day for the next seven days, starting with his film about Kuma's timber-clad SunnyHills bakery later today.

Forthcoming episodes include videos about Tange's Kuwait Embassy, Kengo Kuma's Olympic stadium, and Hara's Kyoto Station.

Van der Linden will also present mini-documentaries about topics including fire-proofing techniques in Japan, how natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons have shaped Tokyo, and how to photograph architecture.

"So, enjoy Dezeen's Virtual Design Festival," van der Linden says. "Stay home and stay safe."

About Virtual Design Festival

Virtual Design Festival, the world's first digital design festival, runs from 15 April to 30 June 2020. It is a platform that will bring the architecture and design world together to celebrate the culture and commerce of our industry, and explore how it can adapt and respond to extraordinary circumstances.

VDF will host a rolling programme of online talks, lectures, movies, product launches and more, complementing and supporting fairs and festivals around the world that have had to be postponed or cancelled and it will provide a platform for design businesses, so they can, in turn, support their supply chains.

Find out more here or email [email protected] for details or to join our mailing list.