Project Japan: An Oral History Of Metabolism By Rem Koolhaas & Hans Ulrich Obrist
Having wandered the ruins of Hiroshima, Tokyo and other Japanese cities after WW II, The Metabolists – four architects, a critic, an industrial designer and a graphic designer – showed with the launch of theirmanifesto Metabolism 1960 how they would employ biological systems (aided by Japan’s massive advances in technology) as inspiration for buildings and cities that could change and adapt to the vicissitudes of modern life. Units could be added or removed from buildings like Kisho Kurokawa’s Capsule Tower in Tokyo as required; buildings themselves could be added or removed from cities at will in the cell-like master-plans of Fumihiko Maki.
Project Japan features a series of vivid, empathetic conversations, replete with surprising connections and occasional clashes between Koolhaas and Obrist and their subjects. The story that unfolds is illuminated, contradicted and validated by commentaries from a broad range their forebearers, associates, critics, and progeny, including Toyo Ito and Charles Jencks. Interspersed with the interviews and commentary are hundreds of never-before-seen images: master-plans from Manchuria to Tokyo, intimate snapshots of the Metabolists at work and play, architectural models, magazine excerpts and astonishing sci-fi urban visions.
Publisher: Taschen GmbH
Release: 28 Sep 2011.
About the authors:
Rem Koolhaas is a co-founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Having worked as a journalist and script writer before becoming an architect, in 1978 he published Delirious New York, a retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. In 1995, his book S,M,L,XL summarized the work of OMA and established connections of contemporary society and architecture. Amongst many international awards and exhibitions he received the Pritzker Prize (2000) and the Praemium Imperiale (2003).
Hans Ulrich Obrist (born 1968) is a curator, critic and historian. He is currently Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Obrist is the author of The Interview Project, an extensive ongoing project of interviews.
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