In Chicago, Toyo Ito Reflects On 3.11 Earthquake

Midwest, Newsletter
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
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Home-for-All in Rikuzentakata. (Naoya Hatakeyama / Courtesy Toyo Ito & Associates)

Home-for-All in Rikuzentakata. (Naoya Hatakeyama / Courtesy Toyo Ito & Associates)

Japanese architect and 2013 Pritzker Laureate Toyo Ito visited the Art Institute of Chicago Tuesday, reflecting during two public lectures on how the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated his homeland changed his approach to design.

At 72 years old, the accomplished architect might be expected to rest on his laurels. But Ito said his entire approach began to change during the 1990s. “I used to pursue architecture that is beautiful, aligned with modernism,” he said through an interpreter during a talk with Korean artists Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho; Yusaku Imamura, director of Tokyo Wonder Site; and artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. Instead, he said, he began to ask what elements of a building make it livable.

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Grow-Life: A Metabolist Science Fair, or, Cross-Contamination

Dean's List, East
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
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Jesse Reiser's "SUPERJURY" (Feng Shen)

Jesse Reiser's "SUPERJURY" (Feng Shen)

After an earthquake and tsunami devastated the Sendai region of Japan on March 11, 2011, a lengthy recovery and rebuilding is underway. This is the basis for Nanako Umemoto and Jesse Reiser’s “SUPERJURY,” a collaboration between Princeton University, Tokyo University, Osaka Sangyo University, California College of the Arts, Tsinghua University, and Nagoya Institute of Technology. It explores large-scale reconstruction solutions which mediate between occasionally conflicting political interests of infrastructure construction, economic redevelopment, and memorialization of the site. Serving as inspiration was the utopian planning of Japanese Metabolism that addressed the destruction of WWII Japan, a situation similar to the devastation of the Sendai region. All parties convened at Princeton’s School of Architecture on Tuesday, May 15 for a “science fair” of their research findings and proposals.

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