Charlie Edmonds

Architectural Designer,



Void Pedagogy

Due to the short life cycle of domestic buildings in Tokyo and the fragmented planning system, void space perforates the city. In rural Japan, progressive schools utilise project-based learning as a student-led alternative to standardised testing. The teachers of these schools, known as Children's Village Schools, are generally under the impression that such institutions could not operate in the city; their curricula require a level of spatial freedom that they believe cannot be achieved in Tokyo.


In researching Void Pedagogy, I studied the intersection of these topics, and endeavoured to reveal the potential therein. I proposed that void space may be formally adapted for educational purposes: a de-centralised and regenerative school which encourages spatial freedom and project-based learning in Tokyo, inviting the Children's Village into the city.


Educational Spaces

Prior to the Void Pedagogy project, I conducted research into contemporary explorations of  educational space in the UK. Through reading the work of Jeremy Till, Sarah Wigglesworth and Herman Hertzberger, these design propositions explored how Lewisham in South London may host a progressive, student-led school. The core values of this design work were to facilitate student autonomy, community integration, and a responsive relationship to urban context.

Through these design explorations, the progressive pedagogical values and language required for my work on Void Pedagogy in Tokyo were first discovered. 


Between bell tower, boombox, minaret, and pipe organ, our proposal brings the meaning of beacon beyond the visual and into a sonic context. In an age of streaming and algorithmic playlists, mass market buildings and architecture that ignores its context, our beacon offers musicians an intimate space for connectedness, and an unexpected encounter to the passerby on boat, bus, or foot. Copper tubes rise up from the building and acoustic horns emerge from the structure, creating an immediate sense that the building is more than a visual landmark and urging pedestrians to listen in more closely.