Research

This page briefly highlights some of the activities related to the culture around my practice, such as magazine contributions
research interests & teaching.

Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, “Memory ” Issue 3, Vol 1, conversation, 2010, Post Magazine, p 118-127, 2011.

Kazuhiro Kojima, “Memory in Architecture”, 2010, Post online edition. 2010.

PROPOSED TITLE: Reconciling Metabolism: Negotiating Systems of Stasis & Change

KEY WORDS: ARCHITECTURE, URBANISM, JAPAN, GROWTH, METABOLISM

RESEARCH QUESTION
The key research question concerns the space between 2 approaches to growth and change within architecture and urbanism, taken by the 1960’s Japanese Architecture movement “Metabolism”, and the updated response “Void Metabolism” by the recent generation post 2000.
The original Metabolism movement, as documented in World Design Conference in Tokyo of 1960, used biology primarily as a metaphoric vehicle to understand the city.
On an architectural level, the Metabolist’s primarily designed Permanent “Joint Core” systems with variable housing modules that plugged into those cores.
In contrast to this, the recent generation of “Void Metabolist’s”, as outlined in Yoshiharu Tsukamoto’s “Void Metabolism” are concerned with the actual ecological process of growth and change of the city. The result is design focussed on the void spaces between building’s, that have arisen due to the subdivision of land.
The two fundamentally differ, in that while Metabolism’s utopian potency in its manifestation of the permanent and transient formally, its permanent core structure was set and inflexible relying on the mega structure established by authorities, whilst Void Metabolism allows for the replacement of both buildings and voids alike, giving agency to individual land owners.
As “Void Metabolism” was an update of “Metabolism”, this research would aim to update Void Metabolism.

AIMS & SIGNIFICANCE
1/ LEGACY
Contemporary architecture is still very concerned with the legacy left by the Metabolist’s, typified in the work of Kenzo Tange, Kiyonori Kikutake, Kisho Kurokawa and Fumihiko Maki.
This is evidenced Rem Koolhaus & Hans Ulbricht’s recent book “Project Japan”, Japan’s entry to the 2010 Venice Architecture Bienalle “Void metabolism”, and the Mori Art Museum Tokyo’s exhibition “Metabolism – City of the Future” in 2009.
Metabolism is vitally connected to broader 20th century Architectural context of CIAM, Team-X, Archigram, and exercised influence on contemporary generations since including Rem Koolhaus. Perhaps due to its unique moment in rapidly industrializing post WWII Japan, it is a pinnacle of the realization of experimentation into built form. As “Void Metabolism” was an update of “Metabolism”, this project would aim to update Void Metabolism.

2/ STRATEGIES TO GROWTH & CHANGE
Growth and Change are the major drivers for both the planning, analysis and projective imagining of our cities. They have implications for urbanism and architecture. The theoretical landscape constantly shifts as we re-frame nature, and in turn, our concept of how the buildings and infrastructural elements that make up the city are connected and related changes.
In attempts to understand the process of change of the city, Movements such as Metabolism, Void Metabolism make analogies to the relationships between these elements such as likening the city to a biological organism, an ecological system, cybernetic systems of exchange & more recently complex fields.
As the city expands, it is serviced by infrastructure to facilitate movement. As these movement patterns change, the mobility of its citizens increases, fuelling the metabolism (cells) of the city through subdivision, merging and clustering. Therefore the underlying structural order in which the city is networked affects its future form. The nodes provide sites of potentiality.

3/ ALTERNATIVE TO LANDSCAPE URBANISM
Best illustrating the changing conception of the city is “Landscape Urbanism”, typified by Charles Waldheim, Mohsen Mostavi & James Corner. A number of other theoretical branches of the city have also sprung from this tree.
Landscape Urbanism & Void Metabolism may share formal outcomes, where the figure and ground are set as a field, neither being dominant. However whilst Landscape Urbanism’s roots are in field theory, (Stan Allen), Void Metabolism resulted from an analytical study of the city, likening the city to an ecological system, studying the resulting creatures of the process of evolution.
The major difference is that Void Metabolism, having roots in Metabolism, structures the City vertically, to free up the ground plane whilst Landscape Urbanism, aiming to express the aesthetics of landscape structures it horizontally. It is hoped that this study could yield a third model that exists in between, offering an escape from the oppositional Rural and City.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
CORE
Noboru Kawazoe. 1960. Metabolism & Metabolists.Tokyo, Bijitsu Shuppansha.
Rem Koolhaas & Hans Obrist. 2011. Project Japan: Metabolism Talks. Edited by Kayako Ota, James Westcott & AMO. Hohenzollernring, Taschen GmbH.
Koh Kitayama, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto & Ryue Nishizawa. 2010. Tokyo Metabolizing. Tokyo, Toto.
Mori Art Museum. 2011. Exhibition Catalogue to: Metabolism The City of the Future: Dreams & Visions of Reconstruction in Postwar and Present-Day Japan. Edited by Yatsuka Hajime, Kikuchi Makoto, Yamana Yoshiyuki, and others. Tokyo, Shinkenchiku-sha

RELATED
James Corner. 2006. “Terra Fluxus” In The Landscape Urbanism Reader. Edited by Charles Waldheim.New York, Princeton Architectural Press. 21-33.
Stan Allen, 2009. From Object to Field: Field Conditions in Architecture & Urbanism. in Practice, Architecture, Technique & Representation. London, Routledge.
Atelier Bow wow, 2010. The Architectures of Atelier Bow-wow: Behaviorology. New York, Rizzoli.
Rem Koolhaas, “Whatever happened to Urbanism” Koolhaas and Bruce Mau, S,M,L,XL. New York, Monacelli. 969.
Kisho Kurokawa, 1998. From the Age of the Machine to the Age of Life. Edited by Dennis Sharp. London, Bookart.
Paul Mumford. 2009. Defining Urban Design: CIAM Architects and the Formation of a Discipline, 1937-1969, New Haven, Yale Press.