Past Program

Posturban Japan | Tradition to Contemporary Design

What if Tokyo becomes a forest?

The population in Japan is decreasing, and the population is aging faster in cities. In Ukraine, 30 years after the Chernobyl disaster, the exclusion zone became a forest where wild animals thrive. Considering the foreseen scenarios of our future technologies, such as remote medical treatment, flying cars, driverless buses, and AI-operated white-collar jobs, the definition of convenience may no longer be based on location.


Wintersession Travel Course
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Kiryu, Gunma, Japan
  • Uno, Japan
  • Kyoto, Japan
Winter 2024

Estimated dates—final dates to be announced.

Course Dates: Jan 4, 2024 — Jan 22, 2024

Open to RISD students, Brown University students

Minimum 2.5 GPA required. First year students are not eligible for this course.

  • Art
  • Design
  • Craft
  • Sustainability
  • Conservation
Academic Credits
  • Architecture

Includes accommodation, all meals, field trips, local transportation, museum entrances, health and travel insurance. Airfare is not included.

WS24 Posturban Japan Tradition to Contemporary Design Shinya Kigure Shiroiya Hotel Green Tower
WS24 Posturban Japan Tradition to Contemporary Design

About this course

Course Description

The concept of a Circular Economy puts pressure on all manufacturing companies to increase material efficiency. The extraction of raw materials will hopefully decrease, therefore, unpopulated areas can regain nature. The Japanese population currently occupies 50% of their land, which is predicted to fall to 40% due to depopulation in 2050. 70% of the land is currently forested, and Tokyo is only 0.6%.

What is the ideal life in the post-urban forest? Instead of trying to increase the population, how can we happily accept depopulation? How do we seek the happiness of individuals?

Students will envisage a new Actor Network connecting inhabited and uninhabited environments.

Apply to a Wintersession Travel Course

The application for Wintersession Travel Courses 2024 is now closed.

View details

Apply to a Wintersession Travel Course

The application for Wintersession Travel Courses 2024 is now closed.

View details

More Info

Application + Registration

The entire application process will be completed using an online application portal. You will be able to upload, request and submit all required documents there. Apply to a Wintersession Travel Course

RISD Students

Unless otherwise noted on the course page, all Wintersession Travel Courses are open to students in any year of study. Please check the course pages on this website carefully to learn about any restrictions specific to your chosen travel course.

GPA Requirement: Exception to Academic Policy

If your current cumulative GPA is 2.5 or above, you are eligible for registration. RISD students seeking an exception to the GPA requirement academic policy should follow the instructions set by the Registrars’ Office.

Brown University Students

If you are a Brown University student with a GPA of 2.5 and up, you are eligible to apply. Admission for Wintersession Travel Courses is highly selective and preference will be given to RISD students. Please read carefully through the application materials and steps above to make sure you are preparing your application to the best of your ability.

As such, all students are advised not to purchase flights for participation in Wintersession Travel Courses until the travel is confirmed, which happens no later than one week after the final Wintersession Travel Course payment period.

In cases where Wintersession Travel Courses do not reach minimum capacity, the course may be cancelled after the last day of Wintersession Travel Course registration period. In case of cancellation, all payments will be refunded in full. Any cost incurred for travel reservations in such situations is the participant’s sole responsibility.

It is not possible for a student to drop a Wintersession Travel Course via the standard Add/Drop process after it has commenced. In the case of unforeseen and extenuating circumstances (and only after students have spoken with the faculty lead and RISD Global for approval to withdraw from the program), students should be aware that no refund will be issued.

RISD Wintersession Travel Courses follow the RISD withdrawal policy for off-campus global learning programs

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1:1 Advising Session

Have questions? The RISD Global team is available to meet for a 1:1 advising session. We can give you more information about your study options, help you figure out which program makes sense for you, and assist you with the application process.

Schedule an Appointment


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