The Berlage Archive: Toyo Ito (1999)

In this installment from the Berlage Institute, Toyo Ito opens a discussion on his traveling exhibition Blurring Architecture, the first iteration of which took place in Aachen. Explaining that architecture is often thought of as a very solid element, Ito meditates on the concept of distortion and shifts in contemporary ideas of architecture. Rather than considering architecture as static, he argues for an "ambiguous boundary" that is "not about form" but rather about the "conception of architecture." Considering the effects of the economy and politics on architecture, Ito pushes deep into philosophical notions of what architecture is and does, and how inquiry shapes the physical form of designs.

Ito explains the reasoning behind dividing the Blurring Architecture exhibition into six galleries. Interested in exploring the diversity of ways architecture is expressed, and the process behind the actualization of an idea, Ito focuses on Reproduction, Drawing, Simulation, Model, Photography, and Text. Throughout the lecture, the Pritzker winning architect weaves into the discussion different stages of various projects, including White U, Sendai Mediatheque, and the Health Futures Pavilion Installation for EXPO 2000 Hannover.

While explaining the thought process behind a drawing of the Sendai Mediatheque, Ito explains, "I think what I wanted to say here, I wanted to destroy the hierarchy which conventional architecture has." It is this subversive desire to shake the foundations of conventional ideas of architecture that underlies Ito's work and exhibit. Watch the lecture to learn just how Toyo Ito proposes to do so.

Don’t miss the other lectures in The Berlage Archive series:

ArchDaily has teamed up with the The Berlage to provide exclusive access to their newly digitized archive of lectures. The Berlage is a postgraduate international institute where some of the world’s most renowned architects, thinkers, designers, photographers and other professionals come to share, exchange and critically reflect upon their ideas. Over the last 23 years, The Berlage has built up an extensive archive of seminal lectures. Thanks to this partnership we can now share them with you. ArchDaily is committed to providing inspiration and knowledge to architects all over the world, so please look forward to monthly publications of these lectures during the coming year.

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Cite: Sadia Quddus. "The Berlage Archive: Toyo Ito (1999)" 13 Dec 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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