Mar 24, 2008

Metabolist Movement

In 1959 a group of Japanese architects and city planners joined forces under the name the Metabolists. Their vision of a city of the future inhabited by a mass society was characterized by large scale, flexible and extensible structures that enable an organic growth process. In their view the traditional laws of form and function were obsolete. They believed that the laws of space and functional transformation held the future for society and culture.
The group's work is often called
technocratic and their designs are described as avant-garde with a rhetorical character. The work of the Metabolists is often comparable to the unbuilt designs of Archigram. The origins of the Metabolist movement lie at the end of the 1950s. After the fall of CIAM, which ceased its operations in 1958, the ideas of Team X were of great influence to young architects around the globe, also influencing young Japanese architects (i.e. Kisho Kurokawa). The World Design Conference of 1960 was to be held in Japan and a group of young Japanese architects were involved with the planning of the conference. Takashi Asada, Kisho Kurokawa, Noboru Kawazoe and Kiyonori Kikutake met and discussed frequently and began to think about the next generation of Japanese architecture. During the conference the Metabolist group presented their first declaration: Metabolism 1960 – a Proposal for a new Urbanism. Contributors to this work were Kiyonori Kikutake, Fumihiko Maki, Masato Otaka, Kisho Kurokawa and Kiyoshi Awazu.[2] The idea of Metabolism implemented in modern culture was, besides architectural, also philosophical. (to find out more..)


Nakagin Capsule Tower, Kisho Kurokawa, 1970.


Joint Core System, Arata Isozaki, 1960.


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