Evolutionary Productions (Tokyo Study Abroad Seminar)

The objective of this seminar is to exam the evolutionary development of Japanese craft culture and production processes through the lens of tools employed to investigate how architectural production process in Japan has transformed over time. As structure, materials, spatial possibilities and aesthetics of architecture continuously evolved and diversified, these advancements led to refinement of tools to satisfy desired outcomes, or vice versa – the tools also stimulated unforeseen outcomes which further pushed the progress of architectural productions and styles. The intertwined relationship between architectural outcomes and available tools, which are defined as hand tools, machines, gadgets, manuals, software, or websites (interface), are often ambiguous, and their hierarchical relationships are absent.
The recent proliferations of software-driven architecture exemplify the complex relationship between tools and outputs where the intention of design is less emphasized as materialization of ideas but rather a result of mathematical, or biological, computational processes. Roles and practices of architects have also evolved particularly in the recent introduction of digital fabrication tools where the role of architect assumes the responsibility of builders as design processes are directly shared with fabrication and construction processes.
This seminar’s ambition is to identify the issues addressed in the ever-changing architectural production process through a survey of Japanese craft processes and their tools ranging from involvement with hand, machines and computation. Various site visits will be made to see traditional craft techniques and ways of making everyday objects to construction processes.

Tokyo Study Abroad Seminar