Tokyo Study Abroad Seminar: Tokyo – Catalysts for Change

This Course is for students in the Toyko Study Abroad Program.

"Tokyo – Catalysts for change" is an invitation to having an insight into the contemporary Tokyo by understanding what is effecting changes in the city and how these changes are responded to by architects. We will look at a number of known and unknown works of design by young generations of architects, but primarily as a means to elucidate the link (or disconnection) between architecture and the social context.

In most of the seminars, a guest speaker is invited to present a selection of architectural design or urban masterplan works, and discuss in what way attempts were or are being made to address social changes; or to think together how a non-architectural discipline could help solving social issues in collaboration with architecture or urbanism. Eventually, a range of Tokyo’s catalysts for changes, such as shrinking, mobility, fundamental changes in lifestyle, work style, or value of sharing will emerge as the backdrop of architectural thinking and practice today, which will formulate a platform for criticizing the recently built or planned works of redevelopment, housing, public space or shopping space in Tokyo.

The seminar series also provides an opportunity to have dialogue with emerging or established architects in Tokyo, while also enhancing interaction with the students and faculty of several graduate schools of architecture in Tokyo and Yokohama.