Culture-led reuse of former elementary schools: A survey of Echigo-Tsumari art Triennial’s involvement in Tokamachi, Japan

Thekla Boven, Takashi Ariga, Julian Worrall

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    This study focuses on the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial2019;s occupation of former elementary schools in the area of Tokamachi. This contemporary art festival was launched in 2000 in an attempt to revive interest in this remote part of Japan. Through on-site observations, surveys, and interviews, this study first reviews the overall situation of closed educational facilities in the region. Then, a case-by-case description of the festival's involvement was researched. It was discovered that the festival holds a prominent position in providing new uses for such unused facilities in the region. However, depending on the model of usage agreement, various degrees of occupation can be distinguished. Variations of activity timing, program, spatial occupation, and involved stakeholders, allowed the authors to theorize on the capacity of each model to bring change into these localities, and the region.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)61-66
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017



    • Closed schools
    • Culture-led
    • Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial
    • Reuse
    • Rural

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Architecture
    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Cultural Studies
    • Building and Construction
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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