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Beyond Utopia: Japanese Metabolism Architecture and the Birth of Mythopia

Author/EditorNyilas, Agnes (Author)
ISBN: 9781138056039
Pub Date05/06/2018
BindingPaperback
Pages214
Dimensions (mm)234(h) * 156(w)
$88.90
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Availability: Available to order but dispatch within 7-10 days
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Megastructure proposals by the Japanese Metabolism group are commonly identified with the concept of utopia. Beyond this partial understanding, Agnes Nyilas suggests that rather than being merely utopian, the Megastructure of Metabolism represents a uniquely amalgam genre: the myth camouflaged as utopia. Although its Megastructure seemingly describes a desirable future condition as utopia does, it also comprises certain cultural images rooted in the collective (un)conscious of Japanese people, in accordance with the general interpretation of myth. The primary narrative of Beyond Utopia thus follows the gradual unfolding of the myth-like characteristics of its Megastructure.
Myth is dealt here as an interdisciplinary subject in line with contemporary myth theories. After expounding the mechanism underlying the growing demand for a new myth in architecture (the origin of the myth), Part I discovers the formal characteristics of the Megastructure of Metabolism to give a hint of the real intention behind it. Based on this, Part II is a reexamination of their design methods, which aims to clarify the function of the myth and to suggest the meaning behind it. Finally, Part III deals with the subject matter of the myth by disclosing the meaning unfolding in the story, and suggests a new reading of Metabolism urban theory: as an attempt to reconsider the traditional Japanese space concept.

Megastructure proposals by the Japanese Metabolism group are commonly identified with the concept of utopia. Beyond this partial understanding, Agnes Nyilas suggests that rather than being merely utopian, the Megastructure of Metabolism represents a uniquely amalgam genre: the myth camouflaged as utopia. Although its Megastructure seemingly describes a desirable future condition as utopia does, it also comprises certain cultural images rooted in the collective (un)conscious of Japanese people, in accordance with the general interpretation of myth. The primary narrative of Beyond Utopia thus follows the gradual unfolding of the myth-like characteristics of its Megastructure.
Myth is dealt here as an interdisciplinary subject in line with contemporary myth theories. After expounding the mechanism underlying the growing demand for a new myth in architecture (the origin of the myth), Part I discovers the formal characteristics of the Megastructure of Metabolism to give a hint of the real intention behind it. Based on this, Part II is a reexamination of their design methods, which aims to clarify the function of the myth and to suggest the meaning behind it. Finally, Part III deals with the subject matter of the myth by disclosing the meaning unfolding in the story, and suggests a new reading of Metabolism urban theory: as an attempt to reconsider the traditional Japanese space concept.

Agnes Nyilas was an Assistant Professor at Sugiyama Jogakuen University in Japan. She received a combined BArch + MArch degree in architecture from Technical University of Budapest, Hungary and a PhD in architecture from Nagoya University, Japan. Her research interests ranged from architectural design practice to the history and theory of architecture and urban design, with a special focus on modern and contemporary design theories.

Table of Contents Acknowledgement Foreword Author's Preface INTRODUCTION: The origin of the myth - THE AGONY OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE PART ONE: THE UTOPIA OF MEGASTRUCTURE (The myth camouflaged) Megastructure Proposals by Kiyonori Kikutake Megastructure Proposals by Kenzo Tange PART TWO: The Function of the myth - CITY AS 'LIVING SYSTEM' Introduction to Part Two Properties of 'Living systems' in Kikutake's and Tange's Megastructures Properties of 'Living systems' in Kurokawa's Megastructures Properties of 'Living systems' in Kawazoe's discourse PART THREE: The Subject Matter of the myth - CREATIVE TRADITION "Overcoming Modernity" The "tradition debate" in Architecture Traditional Japanese conception of urban space DENOUEMENT Appendix Postscript

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