In 1958, a group of young Japanese architects gathered for a barbecue to celebrate the completion of one of their revolutionary new buildings. This run-of-the-mill act of comradery – unthinkable among today’s relentlessly competing architects – led to the formation of a movement that would play a crucial role in the rebuilding and reimagining of postwar Japan: Metabolism.
Architect Rem Koolhaas – author of Delirious New York – and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist – known for his exhibitions and his “endless conversation” with hundreds of artists and thinkers, racking up 2,000 hours of interviews since 1990 – will discuss their new book Project Japan, part oral history and part documentation of Japan’s radical mode of nation building. In trialogue with Paul Holdengraber, Koolhaas and Obrist will explore the many lessons of Metabolism – the first non-western avant-garde movement – for today: how an activist state mobilized its best talents and meticulously planned the future of its cities, how the media adopted the architect as a serious agent of social change (rather than the hyped “starchitect”), how various disciplines – architecture, art, sociology, technology – collaborated to produce something new.
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