The future of libraries? In Japan, elevated study pods encourage conversation


seikei-library-atnightPhoto via

It can sometimes be difficult to find absolute silence in a library if a noisy student or two decide to be chatty. But that’s not really needed at Japan’s Seikei University thanks to the building’s ingeniously designed isolation spheres (pictured above). Referred to as ‘planets’ these modernly designed elevated rooms can be used for meetings or for group work. Such a futuristic environment certainly looks like an inspiring place for young minds to develop!

But why bother to go to such lengths to create these isolation rooms? The sole purpose was to create a new type of library where speaking was not prohibited. In a traditional library, students come in to find books that they’re looking for, and then they proceed to read or work quietly. Seikei University wanted to reinvent their library into a space where students have discussions and exchange opinions about their books.

The library was co-designed by Shigeru Ban, a graduate of the university and design/construction company Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei. Ban is perhaps best known for his gorgeously designed for Centre Pompidou-Metz in France, pictured below:


The library was built back in 2006 to mark the 100th anniversary of Seikei University. Although the modern building has been around for more than six years, it recently received a lot of attention when someone featured it on Naver Matome, a heavily used Japanese curation site [1].

People who reside in vicinity of the university are allowed to use the library, but I’m not sure if it is open visitors who live beyond those areas. Perhaps if some sci-fi movie director decides to shoot a film there, then maybe you can enjoy a more thorough view of this modern library in Tokyo!




seikei-library-planets2Photo by Liss Blog

seikei-library-plantes1Photo by pbs.twimg

  1. Naver Matome is another unique Japanese internet service which I will write about in the near future.  ↩