Many people think that Japanese architecture is uniquely sustainable and in harmony with nature, and has a new potential to become an alternative to modern-era architecture. Is it true? The key is “aesthetics.” Unique perspectives on naturalism by Kengo Kuma, Toyo Ito, Sou Fujimoto, Tadao Ando.
The exhibition “Tadao Ando: Endeavors” held at the National Art Center, Tokyo in 2017 was a comprehensive compilation of Ando’s energetic work that stretches over 50 years, including the replica of the “Church of the Light,” the installation of the Naoshima Project, the Row House of Sumiyoshi, Punta della Dogana and the Shanghai Poly Grand Theatre.
大三島 憩の家 (Omishima Ikoi-no-Ie) is one of the few visitor accommodations in beautiful Omishima Island in Seto Naikai, Western Japan. Architect Toyo Ito is heavily involved in the revitalization activities in Omishima, and Ikoi-no-Ie is one of the flagship projects that renovated old elementary school.
Sou Fujimoto designed his own “Library of Babel” at the Musashino Art University. It is the architecture of awe – a mesmerizing world of duality materialized by a spiral forest that consists of books and the absence of books (empty bookcases).
In scenic/historic Onomichi City, Hiroshima, you can stay at an exquisite, traditional Japanese sukiya-style house renovated by a local business Discoverlink Setouchi. Named Setouchi Minato no Yado, the houses overlook downtown and stunningly beautiful Seto Naikai Inland Sea.
TAKEO Paper Show “SUBTLE” was originally held in 2014 in Japan as part of the exhibition series that has been presented by the Japanese paper company, TAKEO, since 1966. It was brought to the newly opened “Japan House” in the heart of Hollywood, Los Angeles, to quietly but powerfully showcase the potential of “subtlety.
The exhibition “BUTTERFLY STOOL 60th:カタチの原点 (the groundwork of the form)” focused on how Sori Yanagi, a trailblazing industrial designer in Japan, came up with the idea of a beautifully minimalist stool that consisted of only two pieces of plywood held together by a couple of bolts.
Architect Toyo Ito has been on his journey to re-define the purpose of “modern architecture” through his disaster relief efforts following the Tohoku Earthquake/Tsunami that affected Northeastern Japan in 2011. Learn about his efforts through his “Home for All” project and the Venice Biennale 2012 Japan Pavilion: “Architecture. Possible here?”
Many daily household items are not a feast for the eyes, and you are not inspired or excited when you use them. But does it have to be that way? The MUJI cooking scale is just beautiful in design and delivers great functionality (and is semi solar-powered). It is inspiring to find how just one aesthetically pleasing cooking scale can uplift your life.
We visited MUJI’s model house in Kanagawa, Japan. The model, the “Wood House,” is a “tiny house” of about 1,000 square feet that delivers edit-ability and flexibility you could never have expected in other homes. The secret? Efficient insulation and no walls that would otherwise have limited your option to leverage each corner of the space. Find out how it works.
The exhibition “The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945” was held at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo in 2017. From Kenzo Tange, Kazuo Shinohara, Toyo Ito, Kazunari Skamoto, Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Sejima and Sou Fujimoto, it delivered a unique narrative on what “modern” meant for the Japanese and their way of living.
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban’s “Projects in Progress,” his second solo exhibition held in Tokyo in 2017, featured La Seine Musicale, the Tainan Museum, The Watch Company (Swatch + Omega), and some disaster relief projects among many other ongoing projects.