History of Architecture in one man, over 90 years old

I discovered this interview with Yona Friedman, and he tell his story that has some links with the book of Arata Isozaki, a historical connection with the dutch Hertzenberger. and some affinities with contemporary postmodernism freedom. Overall is a good way to contextualize the few incipits . and why they were few, that Japanese centralized system had to carry on until 1965, and their future conquered adult architecture life.

A 37 minute interview, slow pace, with a difficult English accent, beside that it is really Amazing. I am sorry if you cannot get the relationship, it is not explicit, you have to know some of the History behind it to get it. It goes into the Japanese debate about National Architecture, their stubborness, the metabolistes. How Tange recognized his influences. This come almost last in the video interview below.



At the end one should explain why the Australian Mercutt got a Pritzker Prize and not this guy, just because he does not speak with a good English accent? Cheers.


Toshima Gakuin High School, by Atsushi Kitagawara, 2001

ToshimaGakuin1I just got a bicycle. Nice new way to find interesting works here and there, where you have not any clue about them it is really surprising, and exciting. This is the sort of things you are expecting from Japan and not likely from other countries I guess.

This was on my way to a local library. It turned out to be an awarded architect with some reputation in Japan, not so much abroad.

Here his career on wikipedia. Mr. Aaron Betsky dedicated an article on him “The other Japanese Architecture”, here. and also a monography you can find online. The official architect website, here. Although it does not have an english version it has voices in double version Continue reading

Tokyo Design Week 2016 …

It should have been a great memory of a full day spent in a creative atmospehere and indeed,

it was a sunny day. For the first time  the food distribution was successful on several aspects. They use a Hokkaido circuit stands chain, and the quality was there. I had even a japanes wine, not so bad.

The exhibition of architecture models was crowded, plenty of interesting unknown architecture studios and not only the famous ones.

Many big brands sport their stands, such Docomo, Sekisui House, Autodesk, Sony,  Panasonic and even…Ikea!!! Why Ikea had the need to be there is really astonishing…anyway it is a sign of a success of the whole event.


dsc01318Even the interior, as you can see from the shot above was extraordinary well conceived. A large cafe area where anybody could sit and relax was not there last year.

It was under the usual level the external exposition. One year  I recall many simple containers, this time there were few because the main meadow was on the purport of art installation, all of whom, were inside inflated giant ballons, more than two meteres tall. The downside is that those  art works looked almost the same since the “frame” was overwhelming the content.

The student making of game children was satisfactory as usual, with some lacking of originality.

Unfortunately on Sunday evening a new on Japanese Television transformed all above in an irrilevant event. It is so  sad that I would write about it only after some relfections.



The Rossini`s paradigm

This may seems off topic but is is relevant to some previous posts. A paradigm, is not a common word, let say that a paradigm is an example so clear and so well understood that could be used to measure other phenomenons. This wide definition of paradigm can be applied to history, science, arts and so on.

In this case I wish to explain why I associate paradigm to the person of Rossini. Rossini was a music composer, he lived in the 18th century, born in a small town in 1792  named Pesaro. His career was fast as a flash. I think most of you know about Mozart than of Rossini but really he is the one considered had made opera becoming the modern Opera.

He was only 14 when he composed his first opera.! The big contract with a theatre came ad the age of 23, in 1815. Wikipedia voice is fairly correct even if many of his operas went lost so I am not sure about the 39 cited there. If you think for a second that composing an opera is not as easy as writing a blog; even nowadays not every musician has the skills to write a whole opera, and he did it when he was a kid.

Until now it is just a list of things, dates and numbers.

In 1823 twelve of his operas were already represented in Paris, and when he moved there he was alredy a star…but, guys, he was just 29 years old, and the king wanted him to take over an historical theatre in Paris (the Theatre Italien), that precisely happened one year later, on 1824. And what do you think happened in Paris?

“A large sector of the press was against him, more for chauvinistc than for musical reason”(The Golden Century of Italian Opera, by William Weaver, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1980)

It is known that his talent and his skills were two steps ahead to his musicians competitors, but had they recognized his greatness? What sort of advantage could have been taken from that? None. They had but negative points on their side thus they threw their jealousy, a human feeling, like stones toward him. Luckily with the audience on his side Rossini lived in the French capital quite a good life.

So here are two facts. Being the best, and coming from another country makes the Rossini career a sort of paradigm that can be applied to similar situations.

Was he a likeable and pleasent man or not, it does not make any difference for this purpose. I am sure most of you can gauge others stories as well in other countries , times and arts or sports…

Then you can add much more details to this story, for instance the huge difference at that time between Paris and Rome; the latter one was almost like a huge village in the early years of 19th century, the Pope was not particularly happy of the ideas of coming from the last revolutions.

[As you may not know, the Italian State was at the time, just an utopia, and when it was founded 50 years later, it was against the Pope, and against the religion…just to mention an hot topic that many Italians seems to forget these days…]

…could the Rosssini paradigm be applied to mrs Hadid, which happens to embody even a greater challenge than the one won by Rossini ?

three factors. Foreigner, best, and…woman.

Unfortunately  I made the association after having read an article on the english version of the yomiuri shimbun.

An article that if it was published on a western paper would be ridiculous, almost defamatory…and that reminds me the 1824, Paris….

I think the politicians have all the right to change decision in spite of whatever reason they need. Another story is letting some japanese architects to mount conclusion based on fallacious stereotypes: we all make fallacious decisions. Another one, just a step too further for western standards, to minimize with insults.

…I was forgotting a link to watch a Rossini`s Opera, the Guglielmo Tell at the ROF, in french with german subtitles.



Good Design Award 2014- @ Tokyo Midtown – Design Hub 1st of 2 posts.

20141101_124506This was my first time in this well-known design fair. From a robot, to a car, a kitchen tool, a whole house system, a Sony new projector..name it and you`ll find it. We did not think about it as big as it was.

My camera had problem on its lcd screen thus I could not focus the subjects. Like the introduction picture, the others  would not be perfect shots either.

20141101_124517the one above was a room plenty of objects lined on long tables. Maybe it was the room  at the third floor, or any others, they were very similar but the one at the first floor. There was the Exhibition`s entrance, below another space.



Outside of the exhibition, at the Tokyo Midtown pathway to the underground, there was another exhibition, “Design Touch” from students of Tokyo Universities I recall. Here below one of the most memorable piece.

Good Design Award 2014…more comes in teh next post.

I am planning to post something inusual for Christmas. By now, since I have been poste about Tokyo Midtown already twice , I am suggesting to take a look of the recent history of this District, reading a very intersting article here.

Tokyo Designers Week 2014 , 3rd of three posts. The project proposal Exhibition.

20141026_170246I am happy to to finish the Modelling exposition started in the previous post and totally reported in this crafted blog . Here are some more. The one above is from Tanijiri Makoto (谷尻誠) and Ai Yoshida (吉田愛). Here their official web site (Suppose Design Office) from which they show their admiration for the work of the american architect Ghery, which is a rare thing. It is a proposal costruction located in the city of Hamamtsu ( 浜松市) that contains public and private spaces.

The main concept is a forest. The ideators claim it seems complex but it is not since many units can be repeated largely.

Here below the model by Akihisa Hirata, here his official web site.

20141026_170235They are presenting more than one project I guess.

Akihisa Hirata modelthen we pass to Sou Fujimoto, same generation of Hirata and his Serpentine Gallery Pavillion



last we look at the Maki Onishi (大西麻貴) + Yuki Hyakuda (百田有希) houses. An extraordinary close look at the contemporary Tokyo style for Houses.20141026_165900

Actually I was forgetting the entrance model. A huge complex by Riken Yamamoto in Zurich, who seemed the wealthier of all of the exhibitors. His career started long time ago in 1973…



Tokyo Designers Week 2014 1st of 3 posts

This is the third year in a row that I go to this event, it is the reason why I am becoming picky.Design Week 2014, Sunday evening

Design Week 2014, Sunday evening

Let`s start to write the oddest thing, to raise up the evaluation at the end of the post.


Unfortunately this year we decided to not bring anything from home and appreciate the variety of different shops that the Design week was usually offering. The 2014 week offered…just one shop, I do not even remember the name. Three kind of dishes:  curry, burger and pasta plus dessert and coffe from nespresso machines (not bad at all)…but at 1`o`clock, the burger was already gone. For 2400yen we had one pasta  and one curry with three different curry sauces. Although the curry was ok, the pasta was …those kind of sweet things, sometimes you eat in the worst places in the world.

Just near this restaurant was placed a BBQ area where some special people were enyoing the weather and the braces. To my request on information how to join them, they replied to me just “go to the entrance and get the ticket”. I went to the entrance and that was not true, an invitation was needed to join the party.

Really I did not want to join that kind of people since they seemed to me more close to the Halloween atmosphere than the TDW. I got the impression they were closer to a sort of pop-AV-porn culture than a Design fair. I am still wondering what they were doing there.

Ok, the odd has gone. Now let`s switch to the positive.

An incredible exposition of kimono designed by contemporary well-known brand leaders inspiredby Hokusai. A gift to Design Week, really a big surprise.

A collection , carefully chosen of Architectural models from several japanese architect leaders ( o+h (Maki Onishi + Yuki Hyakuda) / CAt – Coelacanth and Associates (Kazuhiro Kojima + Kazuko Akamatsu) / Kazuyo Sejima / Makoto Tanijiri / SANDWICH (KOHEI NAWA) / MOUNT FUJI ARCHITECTS STUDIO (Masahiro Harada + Mao) / Sou Fujimoto / Terunobu Fujimori / Akihisa Hirata / Riken Yamamoto...) called “architectural model

20141026_165946They were all very interesting indeed! The one above is from Toyo Ito, a working name is Aoi-mori Arena Athletics Stadium. Aomori is just below Hokkaido.

The padillion from the Universities is always fun to walk through but when you pass in front of the Seoul University…well you cannot avoid to look at those hot features!

The  container exhibition was also very attractive this year.  I did 20 minutes of line to see a 3d performance from a dancer, with a very sophisticated and professional 3d video. They have succeded in having me very excited. I was floating in their world, and sometimes get scared by the Heightness. (Dance in the rain, by KodaKumi), if you go don`t miss it.

20141026_171525A good event was the planting of a symbolic tree, probably from somewhere in Africa,

in this video below a moment of the work.

And that`s it. I did not go to the supermaterial and the superrinnovation. I am sure they were good, but I had to play with my kid in the outdoor where the universities showcases some funny things.

We were running through tunnels like this, getting the students worried of the safety of their works.


And the Winner is…

It is a clear and well realised idea from Kappes. It is called MOMENTum

here below I shot some seconds

I think that “workpiece” is envisaging the power of human creativity applied to the concrete things in order to reach a superior level. Nothing less.

All the other things were nice, some of them very well realized, but this was…more.