Mengping Huo

University of Melbourne

Over the past two decades, Japan has witnessed a significant rise in the ‘hikikomori’ phenomenon, with over a million people choosing to become socially withdrawn. These individuals opt for extreme social isolation and confinement, detaching entirely from societal interactions.

This project wishes to offer a fresh perspective: Hikikomori should not be labelled as a disorder. By introducing an innovative set of spatial principles, this project aims to push back against dominant societal norms and advocate for the unique needs of the hikikomori community.

The dual-natured design encourages hikikomori engagement on their terms and invites societal participation to foster mutual respect. The aim is twofold: to empower hikikomori towards self-directed reintegration and to initiate a public dialogue that dismantles entrenched stereotypes, nurturing a collective environment of acceptance and comprehension.