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Feature CREATIVE ROOTS T ANGIBLE EARTH Interactive technology nurtures a global perspective 1 of earthquakes anywhere in the world. He says he thought at the time, “If earthquakes could be made N display in the Marunouchi area of visible to Japanese people on a global scale, it could Tokyo until August 2014, the centerpiece change our awareness of our planet.” of the Tangible Earth Museum is a Building on this concept, Takemura was convinced digital world globe that provides real-time data of the need for a tactile device that could visualize on an interactive, spherical display. Through the earth in even more detail, and decided to develop simple hand gestures, users can retrieve and it in the form of a world globe. After constructing a present information within the display itself, prototype in 2002, he completed a full-size version of with global environmental information accessed the Tangible Earth in 2005. With a diameter of 1.28 directly through the Internet. The world comes meters, one ten-millionth of the actual size of our alive with flowing visualizations of events, from planet, Tangible Earth reduces the thickness of our earthquakes, tsunami and even bird migrations to 10-kilometer troposphere to precisely 1 millimeter. continental drift, global warming and the cross- Takemura’s intention wasn't to produce a world border circulation of PM2.5, the fine particulate globe but create a world of people who are true matter that makes up some forms of air pollution. citizens of the Earth. He was motivated by what The device is the brainchild of Shinichi he saw as a need for a tool that would encourage Takemura, professor at the Kyoto University of Art thinking on a global scale. “Just as the world was and Design and director of the non-profit Earth changed by the invention of the letterpress and Literacy Program. The idea evolved from a website the completion of our world map during the Age of Professor Takemura developed in 1996 in response Discovery, I hope this Tangible Earth will stimulate to 1995’s Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake; he an increase in people who can think from a truly aimed to provide a platform for viewing the onset global perspective.” MAYUMI IGA O 14 | highlighting japan