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JAPAN ARCHITECT MAGAZINE PDF

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Architectural Record Digital Magazine, Pdf Magazines, Magazine Design, Japan Meteorological Agency: For the Globe as a Whole, June Was the. PDF | On Dec 20, , Shin-ichi Tanabe and others published International Journal of Japan Architectural Review for Engineering and. Japan Architectural Review was first issued in January , under the chiefeditorship of Shin‐ichi Tanabe.1 This journal, a peer‐reviewed.


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ITEMS 1 - 15 of 43 Forward thinking quarterly architectural magazine from Japan which tackles a diverse range of themes, movements and discussions in the. today, quarterly magazine JA provides its readers with the latest information on Japanese architecture and architects. With a specific theme guiding each issue. The Japan Architect JA64 - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or view presentation slides online. Article in The Mark Magazine - Shock Therapy.

Looking for products and services? The magazine started in and has in every issue since then featured and discussed the importance of daylight as key for building healthy homes, good learning environments and inspiring workplaces. The magazine features in-depth articles from internationally renowned professionals and every issue is unique with a specific theme, depicted in articles and pictures from scientific as well as artistic angles. Sir Winston Churchill already acknowledged that just as we shape our buildings, buildings shape us. The well-being and productivity of the workforce are thus major assets, which crucially depend on the quality of the spaces. Buildings are there to be used; their success largely depends on what happens after their construction or renovation.

This was a critical finding for us on the curatorial team because the complexity and the hybrid nature of design is represented in this unique drawing that is also a study of the issue of the limitation of space in Asia's highly dense megacities. Research from this perspective has brought to light the complex interior-exterior relationship and the private-public dynamics that Pedro talked about earlier.

This dichotomy is not so straightforward in Japanese architecture. In a private home, for example, the duality shifts and changes, functioning as a symbol of the outside world and at times a soft boundary. There are times when a house has intermediary space, a bridge between the work space and the living space. There is also the relationship between the traditional tatami room and engawa the narrow verandah adjoining the tatami-room : This exterior platform is open, not only to interpretation but also in practical terms.

This equivocal nature of architectural elements can be found in buildings in other East Asian countries as well as in Japan. I'd like to discuss some of the works briefly. The building that formerly housed a publishing firm was remodeled into an open, public workshop space designed to accommodate a variety of events and activities including dining and yoga. A low-budget renovation project, the open kitchen that was once an old house is canopied with a sloped roof and provides a welcoming venue for dining and conversation.

Building & Architecture

Abe uses architecture as a means to create dialogue by moving away from its meticulousness and focusing instead on efficiency, social issues and community building. He invited local villagers to participate in the designing and the building processes, which he considered to be part of the project. Research on Japanese and Asian architecture has revealed the architects' interest in experimenting with new social structures and building a new type of community.

In the East Asian context, architecture is intimately connected to society. Asian architecture is open and horizontal; it exemplifies a venue for social interactions and embodies new possibilities.

Today I'd like to talk about the activities of Japanese architects in Taiwan. Currently, a number of new building projects designed by Japanese architects are under construction in Taipei and Taichung.

The history of Taiwan-Japan relations in terms of architecture goes back almost years to the Presidential Office Building designed by Uheiji Nagano during the period of Japanese rule of Taiwan. More recently, Kenzo Tange's office designed the Eslite Bookstore in the s.

The most prominent Japanese architect in Taiwan in the 21st century is Toyo Ito. The latter, a progression of his signature work, sendai mediatheque , has a very complex structure that evokes an image of some animal's skeletal system, with a series of horizontal and vertical tubes penetrating the building.

This structural system I believe is based on the traditional Japanese spatial strategy of connecting the inside and the outside that Pedro mentioned. The Opera House project has had a powerful impact on Taiwanese architectural firms, giving us much to learn from.

The library area is especially striking with its fluid space created using an algorithm. The glass opening on the roof and other features are said to have presented considerable construction challenges, but the completed building holds the viewer in awe with its sheer beauty. In fact, when I was having a discussion with the other panelists last evening, the phrase "kawaii pretty architecture" came up.

This university building is clearly a good example of a kawaii architecture. If you study in such a building maybe your whole outlook on the world will be rosier--you never know. It had its grand opening in July , and was not built from scratch but remodeled using knowledge and technology of expansion from traditional Japanese architecture.

Dissolving into a landscape characterized by striking slopes and curves, the buildings are in complete harmony with the environment.

Let us now turn to the next project, one of which I am a part, a resort hotel to be built on the Penghu Island located in the Taiwan Strait. We are looking to create an organic interior landscape by simulating the brainwave pattern on the shape of the floor. Designed by Tadao Ando, the museum is set to open in October The final work I would like to talk about is Sou Fujimoto 's winning proposal in the international competition for Taiwan Tower in The Eiffel Tower was the object that embodied the spirit of Paris, the world's cultural capital in the 20th century.

Architect pdf japan magazine

In designing Taiwan Tower, Fujimoto emphasized the environment over the object. It remains to be seen how long the project will take to build, but the finished work will no doubt be a tower like no other. The exhibition also featured works by the Tainan-based architectural firm Open United Studio, one of the exhibitors at the Aichi Triennale Following the presentations by the three panelists I'd like Mr.

Taro Igarashi to make some remarks. Watanabe earlier. The term originated in the Meiji period, when historian and architect Chuta Ito translated the English word "architecture" into Japanese. Japan had of course experienced an influx of architectural culture since way before the modern era. The Japanese have for centuries absorbed the latest wooden building technologies from the Chinese continent and the Korean Peninsula, adapting and refining them to suit their own needs and interests.

In the meantime, we have a situation where the contemporary Japanese architecture that Mr. Watanabe called Kenchiku is making a strong presence in the international architectural scene. Japan is now sending numerous architects abroad to work on projects all around the globe. The presenters all cited the integration of inside and outside space and the diminished boundaries as characteristics of Japanese architecture. If I may add one more, it would be the aspiration for buildings of extreme thinness and slimness in spite of the country's earthquake-prone geology.

If you really think about it, however, the ideal of modernist architecture must have also been to depart from the masonry construction the building structure of piled up stones and bricks of the pre-modern era and create light, open space free of walls.

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Embracing, and going beyond the much-discussed similarities between traditional Japanese architecture and modernist architecture, one could argue that contemporary Japanese architecture has accomplished modernism's overarching goal in the most extreme sense.

And I'd like to ask this question to the presenters--is this slim and light orientation perceived as a characteristic of Japanese architecture by overseas viewers? GADANHO: American and European architecture has been influenced by the extreme transparency and lightness in Japanese architecture, so, yes; these qualities are recognized as its feature.

There are two ways to interpret these extremities: the first is that they arise from economic needs and the second that they result from artistic experimentation. The socio-economic concerns run in parallel to the aesthetic pursuits, a phenomenon found throughout the world. People often ask me to give an example of the most interesting modern architecture in the United States. But interesting in what sense, I wonder. Should a piece of architecture be assessed from the economic dimension or for its experimental and innovative character?

Pdf magazine japan architect

The likely answer is "Both. And that is exactly the kind of environment that fosters innovative changes. What is interesting in Japan is the area in between. On the one hand you have a radical approach that has the feel of a typology experiment or that takes minimal space to the extreme and on the other you have a more moderate approach.

Sou Fujimoto is the prime example. HSIEH: The acceptance of Japanese architects in Taiwan can be attributed partly to historical circumstances but also to the high quality guaranteed by the made-in-Japan brand and the sensitivity to natural environment. Elegant curves and the duality of approaches mentioned earlier strike a chord with the Taiwanese.

You can say Japanese architects are fantasy makers. Igarashi mentioned earlier, Japan is prone to natural disasters? It is divorced from the Western belief that buildings are meant to last. In the capitalist society we live in, many things are temporary. The temporary elements in Japanese architecture will become increasingly relevant. I was most impressed that almost all of them had been involved, one way or another, in reconstruction efforts or some type of project in the Tohoku region.

Some had worked on a collaboration project with local artists; others had joined in the effort to re-make existing communities.

These developments represent architectural renaissance. A great opportunity presented itself in the aftermath of a crisis, and in the midst of it all architecture gets to re-create itself.

And climbing to a socalled "roofgarden" of the pavilion at the top, what do you look down onto the huge exhibition ground is nothing but steel, concrete and plastic. One wonders whether all of this will end into better cities and better life.

Magazine japan pdf architect

At first glimpse the pavilion does look like featuring a bracketting structure, even though in steel and 69 high; but is it? Embarassingly enough, there seems little left at the China Pavilion of the ancient skill and ingenuity, — and above all —, the elegance and grace of the art of bracketing with over years of history. Guenter Nitschke. Photos of China Pavilion from various newsmedia on the internet.

Tokyoites will be able to experience a small Urban Heat Island not only with their skin directly but also by the sight of a huge black object, i. There is no mention in a recent interview with the architect Toyo Ito in the Japanese Shinkenchiku Magazine why he chose black for his external continuous surfaces. There are very few examples of single pieces of architecture let alone groups of buildings which are completely black; I only know of one group in India at a particular resort and therapy center.

The visual effect is amazing. It has to be added, that in this case all the building are under huge trees and thus shaded and not exposed to much sun directly. Surprizingly enough, the buildings nearly disappear to human perception! Perhaps, but this is a perhaps, Toyo Ito wanted to make his building to visually disappear and not to add to the overall mess of the surrounding townscape.

And here a scientist's comment on the use of the color black: Dr Hashem Akbari, a physicist from the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in California, believes that by making urban areas more reflective, greenhouse gases can be offset.

Also rooftops and pavements could be painted paler colours to reflect, rather than absorb, more of the sun's energy. Unlike in earlier times, in one immediately feels tempted to ask what about green roofs which were stipulated for new buildings by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government by local bylaws already some years ago in order to counter the overheating of buildings and the annually rising summer temperatures in midtown Tokyo.

Or what about green facades to balance the lack of green spaces on the ground in the inner city. Or else, what about shading devices on the facades, or provision for natural ventilation during the beautiful times of the Japanese spring and summer. One has the impression that all these important and nearly life-saving considerations for the future seem to have been sacrificed here to an apriori personal idea of wishing to create an unusual solid huge black object.

First, a few remarks regarding the structural aspects of this project. As visible on the section, one enters the main lobby and performance hall directly on the ground floor, and has to descend to a second hall in the first basement. Toyo Ito created a single continuous surface to envelop the building. This leads to the unique wall-roof-line with a tent-like silhouette.

Externally, it has its predecessor in similar tent-like looks of Scharoun's Philharmonie Hall in Berlin of the early 's. Strangely enough and quite differently from Scharoun's Hall, Toyo Ito's main hall does unfortunately not make use of the tent-like shape of the roof also internally as Sharon did, but gave the main audience hall just a flat roof with a suspended ceiling.

This play with circular light sources is also applied to the interior illumination devices, too. All this looks very attractive indeed, but practically, especially on the staircases, these low lights are bound to blind older people with the mildest forms of cataracts.

Second, some remarks concerning the wider urban design aspects of this project. Here we come to the blindest of all blind spots in the urban architecture of Japan, both by individual or institutional architects, from the 's on.

The energy emanating from an isolated artifact by a single individual architect — however brilliant the design may be — will never match the energy emanating from an artifact create by a consensus of a community or by respecting and cooperating with a wider urban context.

Look at good traditional examples of urban place-making in many European cities. History shows that isolated objects of corporate or individual architects' egos, or their combined ones tend to simply look grotesque in a very short time. Japan also created very few examples of the second stage of architectural sensitivity, that is, of SPACE-MAKING, where the inner and outer spaces of a project are given equal attention and design effort.

The spatial Kakophony of Shinjuku in the center of Tokyo adds up to not more than a haphazard staccato of individual monuments to corporate greed, each one trying to outdo its neighbour. Third, finally, a few remarks concerning the ethical aspects behind this type of architecture in our times, and in Japan in particular.

Daylight & Architecture Magazine

Obviously the practice of architecture has always been and is more than a professional occupation for mere personal profit and reputation; I believe, it has indeed a strong ethical dimension, too.

We have arrived at a point in human history where nature itself starts teaching us that the exploitation and consumption of natural resources has its limits, limits already visible on the horizon. Go to Beijing and try to enjoy a single day of unpolluted weather. They all together are the main form-givers of our present built environment intellectually and in terms of form. After forty years of teaching at such departments I have to confess, I have not seen one department which seriously teaches design techniques and planning strategies to prevent global warming and waste management.

After all Co2 is a waste product, and a very costly one. Every newspaper by now nearly every day carries an article of doom on the subject of climate change. All this seems to fall on closed ears with living Japanese architects who are mainly busy with individualistic and anachronistic bravour pieces in the Beaux Arts tradition and who manage to turn a deaf ear to that voice of the earth itself.

Listening to all the information and warning about climate change one realizes that everything in architecture has to be rethought and redesigned up from the doorhandle and the watertap onwards, but not for decorative purposes or as expression of individualistic artistic whims, but for reasons of human survival in an age of ever increasing global deterioration due to excessive CO2 emissions from our buildings, factories and means of transport.

How buildings are heated, ventilated and cooled will have to be radically reviewed together with their structural design to ultimately measure up to a zero carbon environmet. Even the car industry has finally gotten the message, why not architects and construction firms. The age of subjective art and architecture, an architecture of waste and vanity, has to come to an end. A new awareness about sustainable design of our urban enviroment has to be born among our citizens, the planning and architectural profession, and last and most importantly, the educational institutions at all levels.

Let us remember all of us are sharholders on and of this planet. Architect Toyo Ito's latest design was not singled out for any personal reasons. It just stands representative of what has been termed here an urban architecture of waste and vanity. After years of inaction and after years of denial, I plead to all of them to use their tremendous architectural and professional skills to incorporate the latest technologies to reduce greenhouse emissions and to use clean energy and waste saving devices in order to protect our environment, transform our economy, and to build a sustainable future even in cities.

It is, for instance, already legally impossible in Germany to even cut a soingle tree in your garden arbitrarily without having to pay a penalty for it, equal to the costs for the replacement and raising of a new tree for it somewhere else.

Japanese society will soon probably be forced to use legal means to reduce CO2 emissions 1 , to use renewable energy sources 2 and energy saving structures 3 , as are increasingly enforced in European countries. Architecture in this country has to confront climate change headon like the car industry was recently forced to do.

A governmental oversight commission could work as a whatchdog organization to decide whether a new project follows or brakes the new laws of design for a sustainable environment.

Pdf magazine japan architect

If it doesn't cost anything to emit CO2, it won't change behaviour. One could also imagine a second state examination on subjects of sustainable architecture and urban planning being required for general architectural licensing.

In the UK a socalled Green Building Council already called for a code to set targets for a zero carbon enviroment including energy, waste and water performance. According to this code all new or existing buildings would have to undergo environmental impact performance checks. Perhaps, something like an open revolt against our present usual wasteful urban architecture and their creators might be necessary.

A similar revolt is presently taking place in the medical realm in the USA. A new proposed law , Bill , in the State of California would require doctors by law to provide patients with information of alternative methods of healing heart disease, the killer number one in the US. If this bill was passed then doctors in the future would be legally bound to tell their patients that there are methods like diet, exercise and therapy which can successfully cure heart diseases for next to no expenses, which their established high-tech methods can not.

This would end the present useless medical tortures and expenses heart patients are made to suffer in order to line the pockets of doctors, medical universities and health insurance companies. The result would be that the State of California could save billions of dollars in medical expenses every year. Unsustainable architecture could be taxed out of existence. In my vision, — given a different attitude in the architect — the Za-Koenji project could very well have become a community theatre with the same facilities and for the same money, but in the form of a terraced green oasis within the existing context of concrete structures, where kids and their mothers would choose to play during the day.

With a single book, — namely Architecture without Architects published in — , Bernard Rudofsky reduced the majority of the artefacts of the Modern Movement to nothing but a huge mind-trip. That by itself was quite a feat accomplished by one person, but unfortunately not very inspiring or helpful for the future. His book remained a collection of exotic and nostalgic images of an Age of Innocense, because it missed an important point: however much we may be attracted by such images of a more primitive way of building, we cannot go back in evolution.

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At present, we are more and more surrounded, invaded, yes, often mesmerized by an architecture, which could be summoned up as grotesque outputs of the egos of relatively few brand name star architects. The architecture of this new group of architects does already exists but it is neither well recognized nor well published. We are too much dazzled by the present propaganda of globally spread super-structures — here I refer to both corporate offices, hotels or museums all designed seemingly without financial limits, and also to the anonymous trash of consumer architecture.

So far a term proper or catch phrase for this new type of architecture is missing. What I am hinting at here, is an architecture without ego as against an architecture of unsustainable consumption, mere vanity and pure waste. It definitely does not belong to the well-known common breed of post-modern and post-bubble architecture of Japan any longer. We pass or use his buildings quietly without being disturbed. The outside of the buildings is more hinting at the work of a refined artisan than brand-name architect of our days.

What a relieve! And still his architecture is unique and new. Where are the traces of the ego of the architect here, one askes. The design problems we confront today in the Age of Globalization are not so much related to a choice between an architecture of ever increasing universal global character versus an architecture of local sense of place, — to paraphrase Kenneth Frampton concerns —, but to a choice between an architecture of, or without ego, — and here I include the ego of individual architect as well as corporate and national egos.

It is questionable whether absolute energy hogs like the national TV tower in Beijing or other bravour pieces of skyscrapers and corporate headquarters — notwithstanding their dominating political and economic power in our societies — should uncritically be accepted as the most important visual landmarks of our urban silhouettes.

Should an architect just play the role of a hore in the process of environmental abuse, or ever increasing cycle of our throw-away culture and hunger after aesthetic novelty? Our world is slowly converted into a life of Hungry Ghosts of Buddhist lore with ever quicker rates of production and consumption of anything glittering and new, and ever less feeling of any contentment. Mankind relax, one wants to wish to ourselves!

Look at nature, there everything is constantly new, individual, original and ever refreshing. Not even two fallen leaves are the same. We seem to have forgotten, the truly new seems to arise automatically whenever there is freedom from the xerox-copying machine of the ego, and that not only in architecture. The truly creative mind, — neither struggling simply for novelty nor being enslaved by a nostalgia for the past will forever play the role of a hollow bamboo, — to use an ancient Chinese metaphor.

Taking up what I mentioned about a certain quality of non-ego in Arai's new buildings and a reference to — not at all imitation of — the Kyo-Machiya, the traditional Kyoto urban dwelling, he admitted in an informal interview to two main strains of inspiration: one is related to the actual physical site of Seika University which gently winds itself up a valley in the northern mountains of Kyoto.

Arai wanted to follow that movement presented by nature itself with his new buildings. The site came with certain restrictions in terms of height, color, and roof-form, since it is part of the fuchi-chiku of Kyoto, a special preservation zone of green encircling the north, west and east of the old city of Kyoto.

So the buildings had to be low. The other inspiration has come from the structure and spatial delicacies of the traditional urban dwellings in Kyoto. There are the latticed windows and verandhas which constitute their facades and in reality very efficiently filter light, air and visibility. Another characteristic feature of the traditional Kyoto townhouses are their narrow interior courtyards, the tsubo-niwa.

The space requirements of the program for Seika's departments of Manga, Visual Design, Hanga and Western Painting were so large, that the buildings became too deep for enough light and ventilation. This led Arai to incorporate interior courts, somewhat narrow and high, for the lower part of the complex, prodiving a highly conmplex sense of place within the buildings.

The slightly odd shapes of the buildings beyond this chain of interior courtyards, that is, on the side opposite the street, become individual structures of their own, with facades suggesting buildings higher than they really are. This double inspiration brought about a pleasant break with the conrete boxes with holes as windows, which is the basic building type of which Seika Campus abounds so far. Whether Arai's buildings live up to recent new standards of a sustainable and eco-conscious architecture, in terms of carbon emissions and renewable energy, is clearly beyond this appraisal here, but his architecture would surely grow even more on us if it had been incorporated.

It re-kindles one's faith in the architect as a socially conscientious professional and skillfull artisan. Photos courtesy of Prof. The above view of Halong Bay — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — summarizes Vietnam of today: unspoiled scenic beauty, low-tech architecture and slow-speed boats, all managed by an honest communist effort to come to terms with an invasion of a global economy. Since ancient times Hanoi has been a city structured by lakes and rivers, plenty of urban green and surrounded by an area of loosely interwoven trade villages.

Hopefully Hanoi will not learn from the models of the modern Western city-planning nor imitate modern Western city-center redevelopment with its centripetally increasing building height and population density. So far, Hanoi has carefully preserved a urban structure and growth pattern in the form of a inverted pyramid, with lowest height of buildings in the center and density and height increasing towards the perimeter. If this pattern could be retained, strengthened and translated into architectural poetry, the whole modern planning world could learn from it.

Hanoi can be roughly described as a city in three layers. The central area of Hanoi is formed by the huge Hoan Kiem Lake and the original old 36 Streets or Quarters towards its north, laid out around the 13th century. The buildings stand mostly on very narrow deep plots from two to five stories high.

The succeeding layer is characterized by rather wide tree-lined boulevards, surely one of the golden eggs French colonial rule left behind. These boulevards have wide pedestrian sidewalks, and their 19th and early 20th century architecture is very European in flavour, but built on far wider plots; they often have front gardens. On the whole one is not oppressed by too much architectural ego, so to say.

The buildings are mostly from five to seven stories, naturally with the exception of modernist towerblocks like Hilton Hotel. The outmost third layer is marked by more recent and rather haphazard growth around ancient villages. If there is a common architectural denominator to indigenous or regional Hanoi architecture, then it is this type of building.

It follows you on your drive from then on right up to the old 36 Quarters of old Hanoi. The developing countries in East Asia, and therefore also Vietnam, try to survive in a very schizophrenic context in the moment: one the one hand they themselves wish and they are pushed internationally to develop as quickly as possible, — and that is the carrot side if the situation; it is speeded up by the massive influx of international money; on the other hand, they are urged not to pollute their environments and use sustainable development policies in industry and architecture and urban planning.

And that is the stick of the present situation. The developed societies warn them from their own recent experience against further pollution and unsustainable growth, but simultaneously crave their cheap labour and build up manufacturing capacity. Strolling through the Old Quarters north of Hoan Kiem Lake one realizes suddenly what Lawsonification has done to our central city, Japan included.

These centrally computer-controlled and externally architecturally identical garagelike stores for groceries and other daily necessities, — Lawson, 7 and 11, and others — open twenty-four hours and staffed by part-timers in shifts, have practically eradicated the old pa-and-ma variety of groceries and to a great degree monotonized streetscapes of our inner cities.

In old Hanoi this old variety and complexity of multi-use architecture mixed with owned housing still exists. Naturally, one could easily miss the noise and danger of the ever-present motor-cycle, or have at least their exhausts cleaned up; but the motor car would probably destroy the whole spuke even quicker.

Perhaps, and this is my fear, this unique architecture and atmosphere nursed by the very owners of each plot will probably disappear here fairly soon, too. Yes, Mori does claim his redevelopment schemes of super high-rise architecture contain diverse urban functions and uses, but all at one point on top of each other, designed and controlled by just one huge financial outfit, and ultimately owned by some anonymous shareholders who sit in Florida or on the Bermudas.

There should be no misunderstanding, I am not suggesting to enshrine the architecture of these old 36 Quarters of Hanoi, far from it, I suggest to learn from it in a social and architectural sense.

No modern academically trained architect today could or even would want to continue the complexity of this street architecture, created by the thousand hands and minds of the anonymous dwellers there over a couple of decades, yes, centuries.

It is true critical regional architecture marked by a subtle balance between the social, architectural and economic goals and needs of a particular society. More than urban architecture, it is a kind of urban nature. It has grown over a long time, and it constantly renews itself organically, even though in very small steps and jumps. But I wish to emphasize that everyone from this globe who travels to Hanoi today will end up next day in some coffee or restaurant or boutique of the old city.

It has a transnational and transracial attraction. Development of the individual human or of whole cultures mostly occurs in three stages: it starts with an urge to fulfill basic material needs, like food, shelter and love, and is followed by the urge to satisfy aesthetic needs such as, with cultural luxuries and pleasures which come with riches and power. Spiritual needs mostly — there are exceptions in history — arise in the human being after the fulfillment of the previous two.

Neither individuals nor civilizations can probably take a shortcut, even though — as we witness in East Asia in the moment — the speed of material and aesthetic development seems to increase exponentially in recent history. Spiritual voices from the East Asia are mute so far.

So, for the Westerner, going to Hanoi makes us aware of what we have lost in our cities, and what we should help the Vietnamese to treasure, keep and nurture.

As for modern product design, one feels that a similar climax in minimalism had been reached by a steel table, 9. It was the brainchild of Ishigami Junya, a young architect from Tokyo. Yes, both structures even though at different scale are light and thin alright, but do they convey grace?

The trend towards lighter and more diaphanous structures in human architecture and product design started ages ago, it did not coincide with the rise of the modern movement in the early 20th century, nor is it presently just a fashion in Japan.

Perhaps it does not appear just accidentally at this point in wider human history. It can be understood as an unconscious artistic expression of a particular stage in the evolution of human consciousness when it developed a growing awareness and desire to express transparency.

According to him the archaic phase showed the human being still very much in unison with nature, in the magical phase there appears a first emergence of an awareness of a self differentiated from nature; in the mythical epoch an early verbal mind is developed, and at the mental phase of evolution, basically our modern time, the human being acquires a fully fledged ego in opposition to his body and nature as such. In the fifth, or what Gebser called the integral phase of evolution, the human being experiences wholeness, unison with everything.

To Gebser this means that from here on the previous levels of consciousness have become transparent to the human being. Naoshima: transparency with glass Naoashima: superflat Does this increasing inner sense of unity, transparency and lightness perhaps also express itself in an urge to make our external creations also lighter and more transparent?

Should they become more graceful? Yes, definitely, but to be precise not in a sense of levitation and ultimate disappearance but perhaps more in a sense of grace balanced by gravity. To illustrate what is meant here by balance of gravity and grace, and by transparency in some of the best human design, here an image from ancient China — also just a roof floating over a viewing spot in Guilin, and an image from Japan — the interpenetration of rooms in a traditional Japanese townhouse in Takayama, a transparency achieved without the use of glass.

On this earth, — however much we may pretend in our creations or behaviour — we will never defeat gravity. And there is nothing perverse about weightlessness in space, but there is here on earth. Yes, recent space and rocket technology will influence our creations here in our architectural forms. These forms will not just be childish but definitely an expression of a change of consciousness.

Grace we find best at the two extremes of the immense spectrum of consciousness, in the realm of the unconscious, — a flock of cranes dancing — , or at the other end, in the superconscious or the holistic, — a Buddha statue, sitting on the crest of a lotus flower — perhaps the only image of a human being truly sitting and grounded, but nevertheless floating, a perfect balance between gravity and grace, no tricks.

Admittedly, such balance is difficult to enter into internally or to build externally. But the best of human creations have made it visible throughout the ages. These architects belong more to the guild of magicians than builders.

They only fox the eye of the beholder. Ishigami Junya: magic table We can make poems or build but intimations of a balance between gravity and grace. In summary: we may ask, is the Naoshima Terminal a structural bravour piece? Yes, definitely, but it surely does not disclose how this roof — looking like a sheet of white paper — is actually be held up.

Is it an architectural bravour piece? Visually, it comes close to the equivalent of a architectural floating carpet of Arabian magic tradition. Functionally, open on all four sides, it probably fulfills its required program; experientially, our critique with such post-Miesian openness and glassiness is: you approach it, you see it all and at once, and there will be nothing else left to discover and conquer the next time. Is it an environmental or ecological bravour piece: hardly.

One has the feeling that this building can hardly sustain itself energetically, forgetting about it producing extra energy. Guenter Nitschke photos of Naoshima Terminal from Shinkenchiku Magazine 12, , of trazditional Chinese roof by author, of Takayama townhouse by Kerstin Goedeke; for picture of the table by Ishigami Junya and comments by Thomas Daniell see: www.

From a Western biblical perspective one could say that the human being is punished for his original sin by the disease of time. Deep down he realizes that time cannot be healed, however, he discovered very early that it can be renewed. Tiwari from Nepal added to his New Years wishes last April. Present scholarship places its origin approximately into the middle of the 15th century. The designers and their intentions remain basically unknown. But Ryoanji, like no other extant traditional Japanese garden, has become a new paradigm of landscape design in modern times all over world, and even in Japan itself.

In a strange sense it survives by ever more clones and permutations. Closer looks, however, reveal that this garden must have recently undergone a major facelift which no Westener would have expected, or if he had been asked , would not have easily condoned.

Not only was the roof of the surrounding wall furnished with brand new shingles, all the rocks were washed down and thus denuded of their admired patina and very small and subtle moss which had settled there over hundreds of years and thus had become part of their particular beauty to us. Who knows whether the stones were not covered with some moss already at the time when they were actually set into the garden? Their original color and structure will irretrievably be lost.

The recent restoration in Ryoanji has nothing mystical, religious or ritualistic about it. It was just some partial repair or restoration within the garden, as is usual in the architecture and gardens of the West, too.

It was a purely physical act. After some time this restoration will have to be done again. By restoration, aging and decay, the disease of time, cannot be healed. Time will ultimately win. In this context it is notable that in India the name of the all-loving and all-devouring Goddess Kali derives from the Sanskrit kal meaning black, time, and death.

She is a personification of the disease of time in East Asia. Here a few famous examples of such repair and restoration work Japan: Katsura Detached Villa was completely disassembled and re-built from to , even though every visitor nowadays will be told that the present form is that of the middle of the 17th century. The much admired machiya, or wooden Kyoto townhouses, have always been subject to ravaging conflagrations in history and were quickly replaced, not as strict copies of the old ones but with reasonable adjustments and alterations.

Modern Japanese preservation policies of traditional single buildings or groups of buildings are out of tune with this traditional practice of restoration, repair and exchange.

The reason is, that these laws were based on European strategies and policies of preservation; but those were basically meant and formulated for stone buildings, and not for one- or two-storied wooden ones as existed in Japan up to the midth century. Time might not be able to be healed, but the human being from early on discovered that it can be ritually renewed. Probably mostly unknown to the rest of the world but in actual fact rites of renewal are still very pervasive in contemporary Japanese culture.

They inform the very form and content of Shinto liturgy and its ritual behaviour.