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Metabolism, the City of the Future
Written by In the document   
Published: March 15 2011

Tange Kenzo, "Hiroshima Peace Center", 1955, Hiroshima, Japan
Photo: Ishimoto Yasuhiro
Image provided by MORI ART MUSEUM

World’s First Exhibition of“ Metabolism,”a Representative Movement in Japanese Modern Architecture History

Metabolism which sprang up in the 1960s remains the most widely known modern architecture movement to have emerged from Japan. As its biological name suggests, the movement contends that buildings and cities should be designed in the same organic way that life grows and changes by repeating metabolism.

At the World Design Conference of 1960, the Metabolism group – formed by architecture critic Kawazoe Noboru, architects Otaka Masato, Maki Fumihiko, Kikutake Kiyonori and Kurokawa Kisho, designers Awazu Kiyoshi, Ekuan Kenji, and others who had come under the influence of the architect Tange Kenzo – presented a manifesto entitled“, Metabolism 1960: Proposals for a New Urbanism.” The movement went on to involve numerous other architects such as Isozaki Arata and Otani Sachio throughout Japan’s period of rapid economic growth, and ultimately came to define this key moment in the country’s modern architectural history. Fifty years on, there is now increasing momentum for a reappraisal of the Metabolists’ grand visions of future cities, as an important pioneering example in assessing today’s cities.

This is the first exhibition in the world to provide such a comprehensive overview of the Metabolism. It highlights not only leading architectural and urban projects but also Japan’s postwar reconstruction urban planning which led up to Metabolism, particularly from Hiroshima Peace Park to art and design from that period are also introduced, as well as Osaka Expo ’70 – which in many ways was the culmination of the movement – and later international projects. The exhibition also represents an important opportunity to collect and archive valuable architectural documents and records, as many others have been lost in recent years. The 500 or more exhibits from about 100 projects include never-before-seen models, sketches, and plans owned by architects and other related people, archive film footage rarely viewed by the public, and 3D computer graphic images of future cities produced for this exhibition.

* The text provided by MORI ART MUSEUM.

Period: September 17, 2011 - January 15, 2012

Last Updated on September 17 2011

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