Utopia Across Scales: Highlights from the Kenzo Tange Archive

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) presents the first mono-graphic exhibition on Kenzo Tange in the United States: Utopia Across Scales: Highlights from the Kenzo Tange Archive. It is the first comprehensive exhibition on Tange anywhere in the world in more than twenty years. The exhibition will draw from the Kenzo Tange Archive in Tokyo and present, for public viewing for the first time, several original models and dozens of original drawings of Tange’s best-known works, including Hiroshima Peace Center, Kagawa Prefectural Government Building, and Yoyogi National Indoor Stadiums. The exhibition will also feature a visual essay on Tange’s visionary plan for Tokyo Bay in 1960, reexamining the role of housing, monumentality, communication, and scale in Tange’s architectural and urban thinking.

Utopia Across Scales was curated by Seng Kuan, PhD Candidate in Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, with support from the Exhibitions Department of the GSD, and the Special Collections Department.

Distillations: Gropius_Japan_1954In conjunction with Utopia Across Scales, the GSD’s Frances Loeb Library will mount a display of remarkable photographs that Walter Gropius took during his trip to Japan in the late spring of 1954. Also showcased will be a series of key historical texts and antiquarian objects, exploring the role of the West as an interlocutor in the discourse of tradition and modernity in twentieth-century architecture in Japan. Distillations is jointly organized by Mary Daniels, head of Special Collections at the Frances Loeb Library, Seng Kuan, and Yukio Lippit, the Harris K. Weston Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University.

Twenty-Five Years of the Kenzo Tange Visiting Professorship at Harvard. Also concurrent will be a retrospective display on the twenty-five-year history of the Kenzo Tange Visiting Professorship at the GSD, with an emphasis on student work produced under the guidance of the visitors. Since spring 1984, twenty-nine individuals or partnerships have been appointed to the Chair, including Alvaro Siza, Enric Miralles, Peter Zumthor, and Kazuyo Sejima. In addition, several current faculty members were also recipients of the Chair, including Rafael Moneo, Farshid Moussavi, and Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. In the fall semester of 2009, the Chair will be held by Valerio Olgiati.

—Seng Kuan, Curator