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In 1972, architect Kisho Kurokawa designed a residential building in Tokyo to house office workers during the week in small, interchangeable pod apartments. In addition to a uniform circular window, each pod came with a built-in bed, television, heater, and bathroom, and sometimes a stereo with a reel-to-reel tape recorder.

The one-person pods aren't far from Mike Bloomberg's new plan for micro-apartments in New York, but they might have been built about 40 years ahead of their time. The concept of moving the pods for renovations and upgrades didn't catch on, and the building eventually fell into disrepair.

Photographer Noritaka Minami shot a photo series of the soon-to-be-demolished building in 2011, and managed to find a few units that seem to be relatively untouched since their construction. [images via IGNANT]









Here in New York City, the MTA regularly reminds us subway riders of certain dangers in the system. Using posters featuring simple Helvetica text and sometimes stick figure illustrations, they warn us against things like riding outside the train, and venturing onto the tracks

From the mid-'70s through the early '80s, the Toyko subway system also used posters to remind riders of the rules, except these featured super heroes, Hitler, aliens, Santa Claus, even Jesus Christ. The posters warned against more specific, but possibly annoying, behavior. Aliens told riders to not read newspapers too widely, Hitler and Charlie Chaplin illustrated the evils of spreading your legs too far apart while sitting, Jesus told you not to forget your umbrella, and Santa Claus reminded riders at the holidays not to get drunk and pass out on the train. [Images and translations from Retronaut via WFMU]


"Don't forget your umbrella." (October 1981) The text at the top of this poster—which shows Jesus overwhelmed with umbrellas at the Last Supper—reads "Kasane-gasane no kami-danomi" (lit. "Wishing to God again and again"). The poster makes a play on the words "kasa" (umbrella) and "kasane-gasane" (again and again).

"The Seat Monopolizer" (July 1976) Inspired by Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, this poster encourages passengers not to take up more seat space than necessary.

"You've had too much to drink." (October 1976) This poster of a drinking Santa is addressed to the drunks on the train. The text, loosely translated, reads: "I look like Santa because you've had too much to drink. It's only October. If you drink, be considerate of the other passengers."