Innovative Construction in Japan

Modern Japanese architecture has been much admired in the West for its attention to materials, its refined construction details, and its ability to integrate traditional design principles into works that simultaneously push the forefront of technology. This lecture course looks in depth at significant works by modern Japanese architects, particularly those of the last quarter-century, analyzing both their detailed construction and the larger historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts in which they are produced. Individual buildings will thus serve as vehicles for exploring the relationship between design theories and construction technique.

Students will be offered three options for coursework: they may work in groups to develop two case studies of their own choosing, involving the production of analytical computer models; they may propose independent research papers, to be developed iteratively in drafts over the course of the semester; or they may participate in a semester-long team research project directed by the instructor (further details to be discussed in class). The course meets weekly on Fridays and is open to all students who have completed the following prerequisite courses (or their equivalents): GSD-6125 and GSD-6229.