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Course overview

Course overview

Welcome to the course

In our first video, we’ll look at the cultural properties that dot the Mita Campus of Keio University, and at the Ex-Noguchi Room, the university facility that is the focus of this course. Our three educators will provide a course overview.

In this course, you’ll learn about preservation and utilization of cultural properties. There are many cultural properties on the campus of Keio University. As a case study, we’ll focus in particular on the Ex-Noguchi Room. In Week 1, we’ll consider the history of this room, from its completion to the present. The prefix “Ex-“ (“Ex-Noguchi Room”) has to be added today because relocation altered the room’s environment. In Week 2, we’ll consider how the room should be used as a cultural property, while looking at specific examples. We’ll learn, based on the slogan “sharing value,” that cultural properties cannot be preserved and passed on to the next generation unless active efforts are made.

What you’ll learn in Week 1

In Week 1, you’ll learn about preservation and inheritance of cultural properties. The Ex-Noguchi Room at Keio University will be the focus.

To some extent, we are all surrounded by cultural properties in our daily lives. However, these properties don’t catch our attention often if we aren’t aware of them. If people no longer recognize cultural properties as such, and forget about them, then resistance to their loss will disappear. The Noguchi Room that existed at Keio University had extremely high historical and artistic value, but it was removed. This real-world example should help you understand that value alone cannot protect a cultural property. That value must be actively shared to keep people from forgetting about it.

As will be seen in the latter half of Week 1, a similar issue arose at Keio University after the events surrounding the Noguchi Room. It looked like buildings with historical value called the Keio University Hiyoshi Dormitories(1937) would be demolished. However, in this case, the university administration convened an advisory board before the decision to demolish was made. The board included expert members and recommended preservation of the building. As result, the dormitories still exist today. This is a case where the history of the Noguchi Room was actually put to use.

Today, the Ex-Noguchi Room is completely changed from its original form. We will present the history of this room, and how we share and publicize the room today through active use (the topic of Week 2). If you use these experiences as a reference point, this course should be helpful for preservation and utilization of other cultural properties, both inside and outside of universities.

Team members

This course will be taught by Professor Yohko Watanabe, and the staff/curators Shinsuke Niikura and Miho Kirishima, of the Keio University Art Center. Both of the latter are involved in the “Architecture of Keio” project at the center. They are carrying out preservation, restoration, and publicity activities for the Ex-Noguchi Room and other Keio Buildings.

Educators and Organizers From left: Yohko Watanabe, Shinsuke Niikura, and Miho Kirishima

Support for this course will be provided by Motoki Yasui of the Keio University Press, and Keiko Okawa of the Keio University Graduate School of Media Design. Be sure to “follow” the team members and read our responses during the course.

Important notes

  • There are links to PDF files in the “DOWNLOADS” section in the first Step of each week.
  • You can view the images used in the articles in a larger size by clicking the links marked “Click to take a closer look.”
  • Special words and terms specific to this field are listed in the glossary in Step 1.18.
  • When you complete each step, click the “Mark as complete” button before proceeding to the next step.

Get extra benefits by upgrading your course

You can get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

Unlimited access to the course: Continue to learn at your own pace through unlimited access to the course after it ends, as long as the FutureLearn platform exists.

Certificate of Participation or Certificate of Achievement:To help you demonstrate your learning, we’ll send you a Certificate of Participation or a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.

Click here for details (English page only)

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Invitation to Ex-Noguchi Room: Preservation and Utilization of Cultural Properties in Universities

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