To celebrate the publication of his recent book, KIYONORI KIKUTAKE: BETWEEN LAND AND SEA, Professor Ken Tadashi Oshima will join GSD faculty Mark Mulligan and Antoine Picon on March 4th to discuss the life and work of the visionary Japanese architect Kiyonori Kikutake (1928 – 2011). Based on the architect’s first solo North American exhibit, Tectonic Visions Between Land & Sea: Works of Kiyonori Kikutake, this new publication explores the work of the famed
architect who, for more than half a century, was the leading voice of the Metabolist Movement, embracing forces of renewal, recycling, and transformation.
Following the debut of his Sky House and Marine City at the 1959 C.I.A.M. Conference in Otterloo, Kikutake’s oeuvre regularly expressed his lifelong ambition to create a dynamic platform for living, floating above land and sea. Spanning the scales of the individual dwelling unit, the monumental scale of landmark works, and the urban scale of his evolving Marine City projects, Kikutake drew inspiration from centuries-old Japanese construction traditions to rebuild a nation ravaged by war and natural disasters, continuously evolving to address societal and technological changes.
Rem Koolhaas, whose 2011 publication Project Japan reawakened an interest in Kikutake’s avant-garde architecture, characterized the Metabolist Movement as an outpouring of “immense optimism …an ambitious vision of accelerated urbanism and advanced technology existing in parallel with an untainted nature.”
In their discussion, the three participants will elucidate Kikutake’s importance to modern architectural discourse and his continuing relevance to global architecture today. The discussion will also serve as complement and backdrop for the 2016 annual Kenzo Tange lecture by Toyo Ito the following week (Monday evening, March 7th). A book signing and reception will follow the presentations.
Ken Tadashi Oshima is Professor of Architecture at the University of Washington, Seattle. His most recent publication, KIYONORI KIKUTAKE, BETWEEN LAND AND SEA, is based on an exhibit of Kikutake’s work held at the GSD in the fall of 2012. Oshima’s publications also include Global Ends-Towards the Beginning (2012), International Architecture in Interwar Japan: Constructing Kokusai Kenchiku (2009), and Arata Isozaki (2009).
Mark Mulligan is an architect based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Associate Professor in Practice at the GSD, where he teaches courses on construction technology and modern Japanese architecture. He is editor of Nurturing Dreams: Collected Essays on Architecture and City by
Fumihiko Maki (2008), and co-author of The Thinking Hand: Tools and Traditions of the Japanese Carpenter (2014).
Antoine Picon is the G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology and Director of Research at the GSD. Trained as an engineer, architect, and historian, Picon works on the history of architectural and urban technologies from the eighteenth century to
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