Tokyo is Japan’s capital city, the largest urban area in the entire country, and at the forefront of technology and industrial innovation. Its unique location on the Pacific coast of central Honshu makes it susceptible to earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons and rising sea levels, some of the greatest devastation is being inflicted by digital devices.


Increased use of digital devices, from computers to mobile phones, can have seriously detrimental effects on mental health. Not only does excessive screen time disrupt natural sleep cycles, but too much time spent on social media can also cause increased anxiety and depression.

A number of studies were published in Japan detailing the impact of depression on the Japanese public, with 84% of firms reporting mental health problems among their employees. In fact, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare even found in a 2009 study that depression was costing the economy the equivalent of over $30bn.

For the Tokyo Urban Meditation Cabins competition, Buildner is asking participants to submit their designs for a meditation cabin prototype that could be replicated and placed around various spots in Tokyo. The cabins should serve as a small public sanctuary where people can take a break to reconnect with themselves.

Participants are asked to explore how architecture can function in a therapeutic way and address the challenge of how successfully inject a small tranquil space in an otherwise stressful environment.

Download the full competition brief for more information! 

The competition is open to all. No professional qualification is required. Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (4 team members maximum). Correspondence with organizers must be conducted in English; All information submitted by participants must be in English.

Tokyo Urban 
Meditation Cabins