Posts tagged with "Atelier Bow-Wow":

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The Japan Society bridges Olympic games past and future at Made in Tokyo

Fifty years of change can totally transform any city and nowhere is that more evident than Tokyo, a mega-metropolis that’s constantly redefining itself. Made in Tokyo: Architecture and Living, 1964/2020 at the Japan Society in Manhattan makes the comparison between where Tokyo has been and where it’s going stark, easy to understand, and perhaps, hopeful. With the 2020 Summer Olympics fast approaching, Made in Tokyo—curated by Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow-Wow with Japan Society gallery director Yukie Kamiya—presents the Tokyo of 1964 and 2020 side-by-side to examine how the city has evolved and where it could go in the future. Historical changes in Tokyo’s architecture are inextricably linked with its political, economic, and social fortunes and the exhibition uses the 1964-through-2020 timeline to tease out the way these factors have shaped the city. Tokyo is rife for densification and because of that, new typologies make the most use of vertical space. At an October 11th talk at the Japan Society, Kaijima and Tsukamoto pointed to a driving school on top of a grocery store as just one way the city fosters the combination of disparate ideas. Made in Tokyo spotlights the city’s versatility and how the past and forthcoming Olympic games have and will affect six public and private architectural categories: stadium, station, retail, capsule, office, and home. The Japan Society and Atelier Bow-Wow have assembled an impressive collection of materials drawn from public and private archives, as well as from over 30 architectural studios. That includes two central, stadium-shaped enclosures featuring materials from the 1964 and 2020 games assembled around each for easy wayfinding; a life-sized segment from a capsule hotel, helpful for providing scale to those who have never been to one; archival drawings; photographs and architectural models by Kenzo Tange and Kengo Kuma; video fly-throughs; and a virtual tour of exemplary Tokyo projects lead by Atelier Bow-Wow. “In the 1960s—15 years after the end of World War II, Japan grew with great productivity and enthusiasm,” said Atelier Bow-Wow in a press release, “various urban institutions were created and young architects were allowed to creatively contribute to diverse architectural designs. Now, in contrast to those times, there is an incentive for large capital and organization towards mass-redevelopment. Through this tremendous turnover of city spaces and transitions of urban institutions we will showcase the evolution of life in the city of Tokyo.” Made in Tokyo will run through January 26, 2020, and will be accompanied by a host of lectures, film screenings, discussions, and art performances.

Current Work: Atelier Bow-Wow and Rirkrit Tiravanija

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art. Architects Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow-Wow and artist Rirkrit Tiravanija will discuss recent projects and share views on life, art, and architecture. Atelier Bow-Wow is a Tokyo-based firm founded in 1992 by Kaijima and Tsukamoto. Based on the concept of “architectural behaviorology,” the practice investigates the behavior of environmental elements—air, light, heat, wind, and water—as well as that of humans and buildings in order to optimize their performance. Recent projects include: Kaijima graduated from Japan Women’s University and completed postgraduate studies at Tokyo Institute of Technology. Tsukamoto studied architecture at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Contemporary artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, who splits his time between New York, Berlin, and Chiang Mai, Thailand, is known for his “relational” artistic practice aligning social engagement as art. Recent works include: Tiravanija studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, Banff Center School of Fine Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Whitney Independent Studies Program in New York. The discussion will be followed by a reception and an opportunity to visit the exhibition Made in Tokyo: Architecture and Living, 1964/2020 at Japan Society (October 11, 2019–January 26, 2020), curated and designed by Atelier Bow-Wow.
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Get some exclusive insight into Atelier Bow-Wow’s New York exhibition

Continuing their influential body of work examining the city from fresh angles and novel frameworks, Atelier Bow-Wow’s Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto will cocurate Made In Tokyo: Architecture and Living 1964–2020 at New York’s Japan Society. The show, scheduled to open in October, will examine Tokyo in the period between the 1964 and the 2020 Olympics, both of which were hosted in the Japanese capital and marked shifts caused by enormous infrastructural investment. Made In Tokyo, a close examination of the flows of everyday life and urban institutions, will feature models, drawings, and photographs of a collection of architecture and art that developed around the city in this period of extraordinary change. AN executive editor Matt Shaw exchanged emails with the iconic duo as they prepare the exciting exhibition.

The Architect’s Newspaper: What can we expect from this show? How does it relate to your book projects, particularly Made in Tokyo, which shares a name with the exhibition?

Atelier Bow-Wow: What you can see from this exhibition is the Tokyo of the two Olympics, seen through the evolution of various urban institutions. Our book, Made in Tokyo (2001), showed the life of this unique city through the observation of “hybrid” metropolitan structures. By applying this lens to the urban institutions that were being created in 1964 and 2020, the years of the two Tokyo Olympics, we will showcase the change, or metabolism, of the life of Tokyo.

How did you sort through almost 60 years of architecture and development of the largest metropolis in the world? What were you looking for as you made your framework?

The urban architecture that was built between the last Tokyo Olympics and the upcoming Tokyo Olympics can be categorized in two ways: architecture that supports the everyday life of Tokyo (transit stations, city halls, offices, houses, etc.) and architecture that supports the nonroutine life (capsule hotels, stadiums, department stores, etc.). Comparing these two kinds of architecture and observing how the environments, conditions, and social expectations for each type has changed will reveal how life in Tokyo has transformed.

What are the major transitions you identify? What built works illustrate them?

Size. The size of the Olympics, the size of cities, the size of economic impact, the technical environment—namely, the internet—how families should live, the way of working, commercial services, demographics of cities, etc., have all changed drastically.

Were there surprises that you came across as you surveyed the city and its history? What assumptions about Tokyo might be upended?

We are the generation of the previous Tokyo Olympics and cannot hide how surprised we are at the tremendous turnover of city spaces from what we remember in our childhood memories. Since the government handed over the reins of urban creation to the private sector, the logic of capital and industry has entered into every corner of the city and started determining the shapes of life and urban spaces. Although it is widely said that the 70-year period of peace in Tokyo—without war or huge earthquakes—has contributed to cultivating a city that values quality over quantity, I think in reality it is livelihood that is servicing capital and industry.

From the outside, 1964–2020 in Japan seems to be a very positive and optimistic period of growth. Is that true?

Since World War II, we had grown in both population and economically until around 1990. Various urban institutions were created with great productivity and enthusiasm. Especially in the 1960s—15 years after the end of the war—young architects were allowed to creatively contribute to diverse architectural designs. Now, in contrast to those times, the institutions that were built in the 20th century are showing their age and need to be renovated. In high-value areas in central Tokyo, there is an incentive for large capital and organizations to move toward mass redevelopment that increases the total floor space, thus covering operating costs. On the other hand, buildings in the other areas are left to the tides of time and tend to be unoccupied and deteriorating. These buildings are often revitalized by young architects and activities rooted in their neighborhoods. In short, bipolarization is happening, and we cannot be positive about the situation.

Now we are moving to the idea of “revival” and localism of the countryside rather than Tokyo’s centralism. Tokyo has been established on the support of the rural areas, but the fact has become more apparent and Tokyo is getting situated as one of the cities in the network of lives.

You include several avant-garde artworks, including some performance pieces, that are critical of Japanese economic development and consumerism. How do those fit into your narrative? Why did you include them?

They show what “ambiences” are surrounding architecture in each era. Along with focusing on urban institutions, we would also like visitors to imagine the backgrounds and conditions that surround the institutions.

(These responses were translated from Japanese into English.)

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In Shenzhen-Hong Kong biennale, the urban village is the main attraction

In mid-December, during the opening weekend of the 7th Shenzhen/Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB), the three former factory buildings hosting the main exhibitions are bursting at the seams. Outside, in pockets of the Nantou Old Town, which the biennale has effectively colonized for its duration, architectural installations occupy empty lots and ground-floor shopfronts. Visitors inspect installations such as WEGO, by The Why Factory and MVRDV, a 9-meter-high architectural folly transplanted from an Eindhoven square where it debuted during last year’s Dutch Design Week, or Pingheng, Understanding Chinese Reality, a mural by Spanish collective Boa Mistura that adorns the wall of one of the main exhibition venues. The 7th UABB is curated by Meng Yan and Lu Xiaodu, both partners at architecture and urbanism office URBANUS, with offices in Shenzhen and Beijing, and by curator and critic Hou Hanru, based in San Francisco, Rome and Paris, who self-identifies as the “outsider” on the team. The biennale is divided into three main exhibitions: Global South, an exploration of countries in the global south and their “informal” urban strategies; Art Making City, a trove of contemporary art exhibits prominently featuring urban environments; and Urban Village, which puts the urban typology of the same name center stage. But, as Yan says to a packed auditorium, “The real exhibition is the vibrant city life.” Much in sync with the biennale’s theme, “Cities Grow in Difference,” the auditorium where Yan is speaking is filled with an audience that ranges from architectural experts to local inhabitants of Nantou Old Town, the majority of whom are Chinese migrant workers. For the curatorial team, the urban village is a model for the future. Against what Yan calls the “globalized, standardized, capitalized city” that has expanded to the global scale, the urban village is a hybrid, a wetland, a “breeding ground for a new city.” The biennale seeks to learn from it, and to emulate it in its search for possibilities. The location of the biennale is a case in point. One of the oldest parts of Shenzhen, Nantou is an urban village, a specific Chinese typology of low-rise housing in the center or outskirts of the city, serving mostly migrant workers and temporary dwellers. Nantou is lively, crowded, and seems to be a place where everything is possible. This central focus on the urban village generates an exhibition that, according to Yan, seeks to have a “rhythm like an old Chinese novel or opera.” In practice, this rhythm materializes in a disorienting sequence of exhibition spaces, where art installations merge with urban studies and architectural drawings and models. Sometimes, components of the urban village find their way inside the exhibition, in the display of windows or wall segments; in others, performance takes over, mimicking the rhythms of urban public space, with an extensive array of video projections and performances by dance and music groups, who during the opening days performed everything from classical ballet to contemporary dance. This overwhelming ensemble proves challenging to digest, and the visitor is left with no clear takeaway. To a certain extent, this is caused by the abundance of artworks present, which are a refreshing if disorienting addition to a biennial of architecture and urbanism. Some of the artworks are fascinating, such as Cao Fei’s video work Rumba II: Nomad, where several vacuuming robots are released in an urban fringe of Beijing in an absurd invasion and impossible task; others feel out of place, such as Lin Rui’s An Anniversary Present: For the Love of Sailor Moon & Eiffel Tower, which cryptically combines a model of the Eiffel Tower with a skeleton dressed in a Sailor Moon costume and pictures of the artist’s friends. On the other side of the spectrum are installations by young design studios that actively engage with the dynamics of Shenzhen, like the ethereal Notch, by Berlin-based alt ctrl and SOLUTION, built on site exclusively with components sourced from Huaqiangbei electronics market, or the whimsical Urban Village Furniture Exchange Program, by Huang Heshan and Jiang Fan, where Chinese copy tropes meet several vernacular examples of stools and chairs found everywhere in Nantou, and used by street sellers and inhabitants alike. All are named after famous architects and architecture studios. Architectural luminaries are also present, such as Atelier Bow-Wow, with the The Fire Foodies Club installation, and Yona Friedman, who presents two instances of his Street Museum in Nantou and Shekou. Additionally, the UABB features a strong presence by architecture schools, whose installations occupy a whole floor of the main venue, even if they do dissect the urban village typology to exhaustion. Overall, despite its convoluted nature, the biennale is surprising and fascinating, much of it is due to its location and the overwhelming participation of the local inhabitants. Walking through the crowds of local residents and international participants, one is unsure where the exhibition ends and life begins. And yet, the unique ambiance of Nantou itself might be as temporary as the biennial. In a rapidly changing context like Shenzhen, which grew from a fishing village to a megacity in under half a century, the UABB is at the center of large-scale transformation. This is true for Nantou Old Town itself, where the biennale is the first step in a regeneration plan for the whole area–a process in which URBANUS is a consultant and will undoubtedly play a part. Here’s to hoping that the urban village inspires the planned regeneration, so that Nantou can be preserved and continue to be an inspiration and testing ground for the future of the city.
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In Japan, a research institute and symposium gives the window its due

In the age of glass curtain walls, the notion of a ‘window‘ may seem a quaint relic of stone and wood framed structures, yet it is still a basic conceptual building block of architecture. In Elements of Architecture, the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, Rem Koolhaas installed a large display of glazed windows (pointed arches, wood frames and divided lights) taken from buildings that form the Brooking National Collection of historic building components. Across the room was a display of advanced contemporary windows cut away to show their internal structures, gauges for testing window strength and a machine for making window parts. The idea of these fragments and the 2014 biennale was to suggest they represented advanced “research” into the basic components of contemporary production. But at least with windows it was little more than a formal display of objects, rather than an outline of current academic research or technical sophistication. But now there is an institute in Tokyo devoting itself solely to the history, meaning and future of the window. Founded by the Japanese fastener (and yes zipper) company YKK AP Inc. in 2007, the Window Research Institute or as they term it “Windowology,” is hoping to become the world–class center for research on glazed openings and an archive of research for scholars. They have, under their director Kinuko Yamamoto, created an institute based on the belief that "windows represent civilization and culture." It approaches the subject of windows in a serious, academic way that brings in architects, cultural historians, and artists. It is fascinating that Japan, only a few centuries ago, did not even have framed windows in their buildings but instead utilized paneled Shoji screens that emitted light though the entire wall rather than simple glazed openings. Windows were not introduced into Japan on a large scale until the arrival of Europeans in the 18th century. The YKK AP–sponsored institute just conducted a day–long symposium on Windowology at the Fumihiko Maki–designed Spiral Hall in conjunction with an exhibition Windows Represent Civilization and Culture, that focuses on the meaning as well as the architectural and urban effects of the window. The exhibition has been organized with the aim of comprehensively examining the knowledge and sensibilities surrounding the window “as a universal cultural phenomena” as described by artists and architects. Many of the images in the exhibit are based on the institute's research and highlight the window's urban effect on the street or as cultural frames for viewing out through and onto the landscape. One large installation, "Window and Ladder–Leaning into History," by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich, set the stage by presenting a large gravity–defying window with a ladder in a large double height circular space. In addition, artists Takashi Homma and Yusuke Kamata each presented new window-themed artwork that they created for the exhibition. Finally, Italian architect Michele De Lucchi produced several of his signature pictograms of windows that serve as a poster image of the exhibit. The symposium presented research by scholars and architects who in their practice consider the importance of the window. Iwan Baan, the architectural photographer, presented a series of windows from refuges camps that are part of a research project he has been developing for ten years. One image showed the mud wall of a camp that had the side of an automobile embedded in it for structural support and used the car's window opening of the interior space. Yoshiharu Tsukamoto of Atelier Bow-Wow spoke about windows as adaptations of local cultural norms and environments, arguing that architects must consider these functions as pro forma realities while working with new and advanced technological window design. Tsukamoto also spoke about energy efficiency in new windows and how they will change our architecture. He described technologically–sophisticated new windows being developed that “pull” heat from the outside into the interior. Fumihiko Maki also focused on the future of technologically–engineered apertures as he spoke about his latest housing projects to create a sustainable society. Three Tokyo–based designers of small residential projects that Tokyo is known for: Yuichiro Kodama, Toshiharu Ikaga and Tetsu Kubota (moderated by Toshiharu Ikaga) discussed wall openings not simply as places for egress or controlled ventilation but as key design elements of each building, like the Steel house, which has an elegant continuous opening on each wall. Finally, historian–designer Terunobu Fujimori showed his wildly expressionistic Mosaic Tile Museum that uses windows as random and odd–shaped small openings splayed across his façade. The ten–hour symposium also considered the historic legacy of windows in literature, art and regional cultures. Vittorio Lampugnani, who has worked with the YKK AP Institute since it was founded, highlighted Roman paintings of windows found in excavation sites and in the paintings of Caravaggio, where the window became a sign of regional culture but does not emit light in order to emphasize that light comes down from God, not the wall apertures on his painted architecture. Lampugnani also showed his Zurich housing development, where windows serve as traditional markers for European urbanism and historical context. The YKK AP Institute that created the window event and exhibit is creating an online archive of windows for scholars that makes it the most important repository on window research in the world. Windows may be new to Japanese culture but this Institute is quickly becoming the most important repository of their history, meaning, and development. If you need to know about windows, an important but often overlooked aspect of architecture. you need to go to Windowology.
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On View> Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake MAK Center 835 North Kings Road West Hollywood, California Through January 4, 2015 The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 devastated the island nation, setting off a tsunami that destroyed over 300 miles of coastline, causing the failure of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and leaving more than 20,000 people dead and 470,000 without homes. The severe damage from the catastrophe propelled architects to take action, swiftly and creatively, as illustrated in a new exhibit, Groundswell: Guerilla Architecture in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Faced with the slow moving bureaucracy of the government response, a number of architects—including Manabu Chiba, Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (of Atelier Bow-Wow), Senhiko Nakata, Osamu Tsukhashi, and Riken Yamamoto—decided to take matters into their own hands and work with local communities to rebuild, using a myriad of design solutions. Through this grassroots movement, the show explores how architects can jumpstart and participate in recovery efforts following a natural disaster.