University of Tokyo (Deli)

G30 Architecture & Urbanism Obuchi Lab - Critical Mass Bureau



Dec '10 - Aug '12

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    from ruin to rebirth

    Deli Zhao
    Sep 19, '11 9:17 AM EST

    hi all long time no see,,,,,,,,,,,,,i'm alive,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    on may this year,i went to new york for half a month with my lab for a research trip&studio review with princeton(reiser studio)/colombia(nanako studio).

    after that till july,developments for studio project.mine is a speculative project that is about growing architecture(tasks this semester are project contextualization&prototype debugging).

    and then on august,no summer vacation.working on two projects parallelly. one is aast workshop:an algorithmic wooden design for emergent shelter in 1:1 scale;another one is in progress,a pavillion,real construction project in shinjuku.

    i ll post images about those things later,,,,,,,,,,,,

    now this entry is about a lecture from rem,,,,,,,,two days ago,,,,,,,about metabolism,,,,,,,,,,,

    when i was in college,maybe 1st semester at zone 2 of hit,i read a book about "The Metabolists",a manifesto of japan designers,which aimed to deploy biological systems as inspiration for architecture and urbanism that could adapt to ever-changing modern life.

    it sounds not that cool right now as so many these kinds of thinking and academic practices have emerged all over the world since recent years the border of architecture and media art/movie is dissolved.

    but the background of this architectural wave in japan is reconstruction of cities like hiroshima and tokyo after WWII.

    it was 1960s.

    this year,a severe earthquake of magnitude 9 happened to northeast areas of japan.
    tens of thousands people are homeless.

    after this mega quake,designers of japan again,are walking together to plan new home after is kind of a special way for japan cities' development:"from ruin to rebirth."for metabolism,several exhibitions are on the show related to it in tokyo right now. it seems that "The Metabolists" start to be active again. even rem koolhaas,one of my favourite architect, has involved in this;his new book called:"Project Japan: An Oral History Of Metabolism"has been released right is said that in this new book,a lot of never-seen pics/models/interviews will be published.the ambition of this book argues lots of terms in today's architectural issues like monumentality/sustainability and necessity for architecture to embrace the future.and his point here,at this time is that:the book is a vivid documentary of the last avant-garde movement and the last moment that architecture was a public rather than a private affair...

    on 17.sep's afternoon,rem koolhaas gave a lecture at department of architecture,university of tokyo with toyo ito,and many others,to talk about this new book,the old term.

    so,what did "The Metabolists" exactly do to re-build/re-new/re-development of japan cities in history?
    what will it do for now?what's the role of it in japan mega cities's development?is metabolism the same term as 1960s?in 21st century,with driving forces like computational space/material computation;can metabolism be extended?does rem consider his new book as a summury or historical book for metabolism?

    obvious questions,aren't they?
    actually after lecture,i asked him several questions above.

    i ll show you full answers from him later from my friend's recording file.

    anyway,i think sometimes designers always think hard,very hard,are trying to lead the way of living without considering the existing human techniques and materiality,which techniques might be invented,achieved or at least can be researched/argued after proposal,even for the design tool.and we prettify this avant-garde,dont we? there is always a gap between proposal and material in real world.but one thing is important here,that is design with tutor yusuke said once in studio:"dont design for mars."

    also peter cook's student(left) whose Phd thesis at tokyo university is about cedric price.

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