My feeling after I graduated from Japan.


I came to studied Master degree in Japan because I think there are a lot of interesting architecture here.

I hoped  I could learn process how to design a building that relates to human life and social more than design a beautiful building.
But no, when I and foreign students have projects with Japanese students, they start from form first without studying about circulation or area requirement.

I came to studied Master degree in Japan because I think there are a lot of interesting architecture here.

I hoped  I could learn process how to design a building that relates to human life and social more than design a beautiful building.
But no, when I and foreign students have projects with Japanese students, they start from form first without studying about circulation or area requirement.

Actually, they spent their time to design a beautiful thing without process, no question, no purpose. not research design. Adviser seldom comes to check student work.

When we do qualitative research, my adviser doesn't understand the meaning of theory, theoretical framework or conceptual framework. 
no need to ask other Japanese students, nobody understands it.
Our adviser only asks us to find an interesting thing in our thesis, not about process.

We feel they care only end product without process how we do it, how to gain knowledge after we graduate.
We feel its not different from Japanese architecture in nowadays that focus only weird form.

A lot of Japanese architects be famous because they try to design weird building + high technology from an engineer, just make some story after their building finish. Its different from architects who have critical thinking when design.

Here, For me, I dont know, if they dont know how to design like a research, focus only beautiful form, so what direction that they will give into their building?

sorry for my English, but what do think? I dont know how about other universities in Japan or in your university. Is critical thinking not a selling point anymore?

Mar 19, 17 11:39 am

Perhaps the western and eastern approach to architecture today are quite different. "Critical thinking" is therefore relative, depending on which approach.

Intellectual, theoretical analysis in architecture, urbanism, and beyond are more western in method. In such way, the study of architecture - hierarchy, order, urban context, etc. - can be seen as modern and more integrative with social studies.

However, my observation is that eastern culture, architecture, and philosophy strive for simplicity and sensitivity. Intuition takes priority over diagrams, rationalization, and process. What appears beautiful is enough.

This difference is not black and white. Of course, there are overlaps and exceptions. And regardless of which approach, architecture can be amazing.

Mar 19, 17 12:15 pm

I wonder which university did you attend? Could you let us know?

Mar 19, 17 10:48 pm

Thank you for all comments. I cant say what university, but a famous one.  If I have a chance, I want to say everyone, exchange here 6 months is ok, but do not graduate here.

I still hope that in the past the way that Japanese design building is differnt from now. I used to join many workshops with other universities, it makes me feel not different, my university or others. I also ask non-Japanese students from other universities,  They feel the same....

In Japan, The bachelor course is four years , some universities start to study architecture when the 3rd year. When they are 1st - 2nd year student, they study general course like economic..., not architecture . Im very surprises that some of them still got the one of the high-rank school of arch in the world.

I cant imagine what they can do after graduated. When we work together There are a lot of students from America, Taiwan or China, but Japanese cannot exchange any idea much (they always JOB HUNTING since 1st year in master and company will choose them within a year) Foreign students must be a leader and work alone alltime, although our site is in Japan. Nobody can find area requirement, nobody can draw circulation diagram. They relay focus on form. finally when they do master research thesis some of them do it only 20 pages with a big font.

Im afraid that many advisers here dont know the meaning of "research" If you read JA71 Research Methodologies. The projects are very interest me, but the meaning of research is not clear. Not all project that show process.

 I think the most important thing that makes Japanese can build outstanding architecture is talent engineer. If we talk about philosophy or logic thinking, I think it's FAKE. 

Now, I and my friends feel very regret to study here. Some of us cried and said our government should not pay for us to study here. Adviser does not have so much time to talk with students.They seldom come, over 10 students per one adviser. 

I and my friends never research before, because we study design when bachelor.

When I have any problems, we email to our previous adviser in our country, not Japanese adviser. I feel like I graduated from our country more than here.

Meanwhile, my friends, they feel like, they was help by many books about research methodology more than Japanese adviser.

Nobody can check our research is reliable or not.

Here, research mean only finding answers.  We dont know, when we apply to a new company, how we can reply  if they ask us what did you learn from Japan. Because we learn how to research from many books and from the adviser in our country.

How could we say that we know how to research if our adviser doesn't understand the meaning of theory, theory framework, conceptual framework? If you have any comment...

Mar 20, 17 2:06 am

In the end you have good design or bad design, and a million different ways to qualify anything as either.

Architecture is a professional design field. Qualitative research is only one part of design, and a pretty soft part at that (apart from researching codes and other types of requirements).

Based just on these posts, I would say that it is unfortunate, but you shouldn’t dismiss something just because it didn’t align with the expectation you had of it going in. You have to be open minded to learn new things.  

Mar 20, 17 3:16 am

"...nobody can draw circulation diagram. They relay focus on form."

So does the AA and Bartlett, doesn't stop them from being the foremost in the field?

Hard to take this guy seriously w/o any context.

Mar 20, 17 3:20 am

now that you know how to design a beautiful building, "make it more humane and social" (in the words of Cedric Price).

to be honest, I don't see a problem here, beauty is an important dimension to architecture.

I recommend you take a look at the lecture by Iñaki Abalos at the GSD "Architecture for the search for knowledge"

Mar 20, 17 9:56 am

Was your degree a MS or MArch/MEng? Research in each case has a different meaning and objective, thus it is hard to judge based on what you are telling us. I have a friend who did his Masters at YNU and another one at Todai, and they had a great time there, and learned a lot in terms of design methodology, which is very different from what we learn in South America. Maybe your prejudices stopped you from learning from a different perspective? idk.

Mar 20, 17 9:57 am

Critical thinking isn't really taught in Japan and that's what caused most of your frustration I imagine.  I'd never want to put myself or kids through the education system here, that's for sure.

Mar 20, 17 11:39 pm

practice for 20 years and you will be fine

Mar 21, 17 12:45 pm

Sorry for your experience.  I think many well known Japanese architects get part of their education in the west and go back and apply it in their country.  If you're Ando, then you're self educated on western architecture also. xD

Mar 22, 17 9:51 am

Hi Vendetta,

I have sent you a message via Contact option here.

Been waiting for your reply.



Jun 25, 17 2:11 am

Just follow your heart, then you can make the better choice.

Jun 27, 17 7:06 am

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