Project Japan, Metabolism Talks… (英語) ペーパーバック – 2011/9/28
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Back to the future: Visionary architecture in postwar Japan Once there was a nation that went to war, but after they conquered a continent their own country was destroyed by atom bombs... then the victors imposed democracy on the vanquished. For a group of apprentice architects, artists, and designers, led by a visionary, the dire situation of their country was not an obstacle but an inspiration to plan and think although they were very different characters, the architects worked closely together to realize their dreams, staunchly supported by a super-creative bureaucracy and an activist state... after 15 years of incubation, they surprised the world with a new architecture Metabolism that proposed a radical makeover of the entire land... Then newspapers, magazines, and TV turned the architects into heroes: thinkers and doers, thoroughly modern men Through sheer hard work, discipline, and the integration of all forms of creativity, their country, Japan, became a shining example... when the oil crisis initiated the end of the West, the architects of Japan spread out over the world to define the contours of a post-Western aesthetic.... Rem Koolhaas / Hans Ulrich Obrist Between 2005 and 2011, architect Rem Koolhaas and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist interviewed the surviving members of Metabolism the first non-western avant-garde, launched in Tokyo in 1960, in the midst of Japan s postwar miracle. Project Japan features hundreds of never-before-seen images master plans from Manchuria to Tokyo, intimate snapshots of the Metabolists at work and play, architectural models, magazine excerpts, and astonishing sci-fi urban visions telling the 20th century history of Japan through its architecture, from the tabula rasa of a colonized Manchuria in the 1930s to a devastated Japan after the war, the establishment of Metabolism at the 1960 World Design Conference in Tokoy, to the rise of Kisho Kurokawa as the first celebrity architect, to the apotheosis of Metabolism at Expo 70 in Osaka and its expansion into the Middle East and Africa in the 1970s. The result is a vivid documentary of the last moment when architecture was a public rather than a private affair. Oral history by Rem Koolhaas and Hans Ulrich Obrist Extensive interviews with Arata Isozaki, Toshiko Kato, Kiyonori Kikutake, Noboru Kawazoe, Fumihiko Maki, Kisho Kurokawa, Kenji Ekuan, Atsushi Shimokobe, and Takako and Noritaka Tange Hundreds of never-before-seen images, architectural models, and magazine excerpts Layout by award-winning Dutch designer Irma Boom "
About the editor and author:
Rem Koolhaas is a co-founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Having worked as a journalist and script writer before becoming an architect, in 1978 he published "Delirious New York, a retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan." In 1995, his book "S, M, L, XL" summarized the work of OMA and established connections of contemporary society and architecture. Amongst many international awards and exhibitions he received the "Pritzker Prize" (2000) and the "Praemium Imperiale" (2003).
About the author:
Hans Ulrich Obrist (born 1968) is a curator, critic and historian. He is currently Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Obrist is the author of The Interview Project, an extensive ongoing project of interviews.
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As a designer I can relate to the metabolist's desire for architecture to play a role in solving the many complex problems in a rapidly changing world. Only by working together to advance the architecture profession in Japan were they able to achieve some level of success. With the focus today so much on the individuality of each famous designer, it is refreshing to read about this not-so-distant movement that happened because of a group of individuals working toward a common way of thinking. I have not come across any other books that describe the process of a movement taking shape quite like this book does. It goes to great lengths to provide as many viewpoints as possible from the people who were there when it happened. It is an architecture book that is also about how these architects interacted with their world to promote their vision.
It feels like a large amount of respect and care went into the making of this book. Rem Koolhaas and Hans Ulrich Obrist clearly knew that the metabolist movement in architecture has tremendous historical importance and a serious lack of recorded historical documentation. They did a wonderful job compiling and presenting all the information in this book!
When the nuclear bombs dropped on the Japanese cities had to start building cities from scratch.
This book describes the processes of designers to design solutions to this tragedy.