• Hello. My name is Mariia Ermilova. I am a researcher in the landscape field from Russia, based in Japan.

    On this website, I collected my research works. Please find the list of publications and projects below. For the sketch artist and facilitator portfolio please refer to here.

  • This paper is based on the two years community-based participatory action research (CBPAR), focusing on Cross-Cultural Design Collaboration (CCDC) landscape design studio, held in Iwase Neighborhood Association area, Matsudo, Japan. We first briefly introduce the problems of Japanese local community and introduce the priorities of collaboration between university and community in Japan. Then, we introduce the Design and Build program, which was incorporated into the Chiba University CCDC studio in 2014. The authors suggest “Students live in the Neighborhood Association” model as an effective way to facilitate the collaborative programs between university and local community. We critically reflect on the process of CCDC landscape design studio held in Iwase, Matsudo city in 2017-2018. Based on that, we provide the recommendations for the implementation of interdisciplinary practical programs in Universities, so they can contribute to the quality of life of local communities utilizing the suggested model.

  • This project attempted to understand the current situation of children's play in depopulating rural areas of Japan and improve the situation through a participatory adventure playground planning project. Questionnaires revealed the children's lack of friends to play with and reduction in nature play experience. The authors—a team from the Spatial Planning Laboratory, Chiba University, Japan—suggest that an adventure playground can contribute to resolving these problems. For that, a series of workshops was organized, triggering discussion of the need for nature experiences and risky play as well as responsibilities in case of injury. As a result, a plan for the adventure playground was agreed upon despite the fear of injuries and the original unwillingness of town officers to take responsibility for children's risky play.

  • During the last century, global problems initiated the studies on a linkage between local culture and sustainability. Local craft production considered one of the way of sustainable community development, preserving the cultural connection with the natural environment, contributing to economic, social and environmental sustainability. This study aims to investigate origins of the traditional Japanese Tsurushibina decoration craft, its connection to natural environment, history of origin, preservation and use in Inatori district and consider the possibilities to use the Tsurushibina decoration craft for sustainable community development.

  • Here I am telling a story about an inspiring action of Tatiana Ilinich, who organizes an Ivan-Chai festival that uses time-honored tea-making techniques and associated rituals as the point of entry for reviving people’s interest in a wide range of cultural traditions.

    (c)Langscape Magazine Volume 7 Issue 2 pp 66-70

    EDITOR: Luisa Maffi GUEST EDITOR: David Harmon

  • While living in Japan I learn a traditional craft that, long neglected, is attracting practitioners again: the colorful art of making tsurushibina, or “hanging doll” decorations. The “dolls” are mostly figures of plants and animals with deep cultural significance, embodying both practical and symbolic connections with nature. Practicing the craft, I discover it diverse meanings and assume, that it can serve to revitalize Japanese traditional knowledge and to foster environmental education, by helping people learn or relearn the “biocultural code” inscribed in this art.

    (c)Langscape Magazine Volume 6 Issue 2 pp 31-35  www.terralinguaubuntu.org/langscape/home.html

    EDITOR: Luisa Maffi

  • Projects

    My work with the local communities in Japan

    Photo: Mariia Ermilova

    The project is based on the Community-Based Participatory Action Research developed by the team of students, living in Iwase Neighbourhood Association building and local citizens of Iwase community from March 2016. This project is an interdisciplinary, process- oriented study, where we observe different phenomena, document them and discuss with the community collaborators, trying to contribute to the straightening of a local community, as a community of practice and using landscape as a primary source for community design work. In the process of research, we address the interrelated issues, identified by previous studies and observed in the community.

    When new generation of citizens, living as a nuclear family is losing the connection with their neighborhood communities and landscapes, children have less nature play, elderly people, who still remember their experience of natural environment barely transmit their knowledge to their children and grandchildren, we suggest to use the existing local community structure -Neighbourhood Association (NA), as a place and process to unite the generations in creative work with their landscape with the help of aspiring specialists - students.

    Project credits:

    Mitsunari Terada - leader, manager

    Mariia Ermilova - manager

    Design: Mitsunari Terada

    This project seminar aims at these following two points. First, as an international program, students with different cultures and specialized backgrounds could show their collective creativity through the collaborative workshop experience, while understanding different values. Second, enter the actual Japanese community, grasp the local issues while communicating with the local residents, and acquire the way of thinking and methods of community design, including planning and on-site design & build.

    Project during 2017-2018 was held at Iwase Neighborhood Association and was led by the Chiba University professors Isami Kinoshita and Ryosuke Shimoda with the coordination of students-managers of Iwase Neighborhood Association Mitsunari Terada and Mariia Ermilova.

    Photo: Career Groove

    EDIBLE WAY is an edible landscape project in Matsudo city, lead by Aiko Eguchi and started by the team of students from Kinoshita Lab, Chiba University, Japan in 2016.

    EDIBLE WAY - the project, aiming to unite people in the safety net by growing vegetables in designed planters and making common meals from the harvest.


    Photo: Mariia Ermilova

    We made a collaborative art workshop to share the value of edible landscape created by our EDIBLE WAY project with wider audience of citizens. As a base for communication we got a suggestion to use a blackboard. Using sketching live observations from the planters and seeds, we learned about plants and created "portraits" of plants and seeds for everyone to see.

    Overall workshop was held 2 times by researchers and artists with local children on the walls of an empty property, which walls we made into the blackboard.

    Project credits:

    Aiko Eguchi - coordinator, concept artist

    Mariia Ermilova - coordinator, bio sketch instructor

    Tomoko Yamawaki - blackboard artist

  • Contact Me

    I'm a Tokyo-based researcher and urban sketcher. I'd love to meet up for the sketch and hear from you if you get interested in my projects.