Autonomous individuals and initiatives can manage fine on their own. That’s what you might think. There’s a limit to what an individual can create alone, however, and focusing on a specialty can limit their field of view. To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to devise a way for people to be able to see what others are doing. This is where the community comes into play to open things up beyond the scope of the individual. When self-directed individuals are brought together, they can form rich cooperative relationships that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Additionally, when people with different specialties share a common platform, they can gain the power to invent new things.

One way this happens is through orchestration. Orchestration refers to the way autonomously operating individuals will magnify their power by cooperating with each other, just like how instruments that are individually capable of producing beautiful notes can create even more beautiful harmonies when combined in an orchestra. Unlike in an orchestra, however, at Mistletoe, there isn’t a conductor.

Collaboration is crucial when you’re working towards a goal that you can’t achieve on your own or through one project alone. Even without there being a conductor, Mistletoe members will spontaneously form collaborations that seem to have a way of growing into bigger projects before you know it. You can witness this especially at Mistletoe of Tokyo (MoT), where people might form small quartet-like orchestration groups or develop topics brought up in conversations between individuals into community-wide events. Things like this happen all the time. Communication naturally becomes key to using the space. Before being granted access, all users are carefully briefed by MoT’s administrative team so that they not only understand Mistletoe’s values and social mission but also recognize that MoT is not an “event space”. This close communication is an invaluable asset that contributes to MoT’s value.

MoT isn’t just a place for gathering. Many of the people who come here do so with the hope of connecting with others and producing output of some kind. Small-scale orchestration takes place when they initially bring their ambitions to the administrative team. The MoT team’s role is to grow this orchestration into something bigger, not by acting as a producer but by engaging strictly in careful conversation. This approach enables projects to maintain their autonomy, which makes it easier for them to involve more people and be developed into larger projects. Importantly, it ensures that these people will chance upon projects serendipitously rather than by premeditation. These chance encounters are what enable both individuals and projects to grow.

Currently, people can only learn about projects if they happen to be present at the right moment, but there are plans in the works to increase visibility so that anyone will be able to see what has taken place in the past by coming to MoT.

Contributors: Kenichi Shinjo, Akiko Kikuchihara, Kaori Ochi
Text: Hinako Izuhara




一人ではできないこと、一プロジェクトだけでは到達できないゴールに向かって誰かと手を組むことはとても大事だ。Mistletoeでは、指揮者なしにそれぞれが自由に手を組みながら、それがいつのまにか大きなうねりになっているようなイメージをもっている。とくにMistletoe of Tokyo(MoT)では、カルテットのような小さなオーケストレーションが日々生まれている。対個人で話していた小さな話題がいつのまにか発展して大きなイベントが生まれる──。日々そういったことが起きている。この場所を使うためには、対話が欠かせない。運営者と使い手は細かなやり取りを経ていて、ここがイベントスペースではないこと、Mistletoeの理念、社会的な意義などが話し合われている。その緻密なやり取りこそが、MoTの価値であり財産なのだ。