Lecture: What Was Metabolism? Reflections on the Life of Kiyonori Kikutake / Toyo Ito

This , brought to you by the Graduate School of Design, explores the Metabolism movement of the 1960s and its influence on Japanese Architecture through today.  Toyo Ito reflects on the life of Kiyonori Kikutake and the continued relevance of his works and ideas in today’s design culture.

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Edo-Tokyo Museum by Kiyonori Kikutake © naoyafujii

The Metabolists explored strategies for urban development, influenced in part by the social agenda of CIAM in Europe.  Like much of the design world in the post WWII climate, metabolists sought to design cities that on a large scale that were flexible and transformable.  They exhibited the notions of organic growth, much like the mat buildings by Aldo van Eyck, the Smithsons and even Le Corbusier in his unbuilt design for the Venice Hospital.

Nakagin Capsule Tower by Kisho Kurokawa © Arcspace

Kikutake was one of the first contributors to the first Metabolism pamphlet:  Metabolism 1960: The Proposals for a New Urbanism.  The work embraces the idea of cities in flux: constant change and impermanence.  Many of the proposals incorporated technological advancements not of their time and capsule-like megastructures that could grow and shrink according to demand and necessity.  Nakagin Capsule Tower by Kisho Kurokawa is one such example.

Nakagin Capsule Tower by Kisho Kurokawa © Arcspace

Despite the sometimes otherworldly designs, the ideas took hold and continue to inspire architects today.  Watch the video to learn more about Kikutake’s influence through Toyo Ito’s eyes.

Image via Flickr user naoyafujii.  Licensed by Creative Commons.

Cite: Vinnitskaya, Irina. "Lecture: What Was Metabolism? Reflections on the Life of Kiyonori Kikutake / Toyo Ito" 10 Nov 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 15 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=287150>

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