Citation

Designing Automotive Environments in High-growth Tokyo

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Abstract:

Motorization and urbanization punctuated the environmental history of Tokyo during the 1960s and 70s. The 1964 Tokyo Olympics, for example, not only drove the dramatic redevelopment of the urban environment, it also introduced high-speed rail and automotive expressways to Japan’s capital city. A new ring of elevated highways in Tokyo covered over preexisting rivers and canals, promoting the rapid growth of car ownership and announcing new challenges to the urban environment.

The automobile and its possibilities thus came to attract the attention of leading architects, photographers, and cultural critics at this time, as they imagined new configurations of urban space, community, and individual subjectivity. Bringing them together was a journal entitled Jidōsha to Sekai (The Automobile and the World). First published in 1967, the journal proved something of a salon where the place of automobility within the built environment of urban Japan could be designed, represented, and even contested. Contributors to the journal’s pages included Kurokawa Kishō, a proponent of the Metabolism movement in architecture, Tomatsu Shōmei, a prominent photographer, Kawazoe Noboru, an architectural critic, and Komatsu Sakyō, a leading science fiction writer. Drawing primarily on this journal, this paper examines how the environment in Tokyo came to be discussed in terms of mobility, in particular automobility.
Key to this discussion of automobility, the metabolism movement of architecture imagined built structures in an organic form, capable of metabolizing growth in an urban environment. Roads and the automobiles that traveled them played a critical metabolic function as the circulatory system of the city. Although Kurokawa Kishio and Kawazoe Noboru’s designs and theories remained largely unrealized, they illuminate how motorization and intense urban concentration coincided in the reconfiguration of Tokyo during the high-growth era by propagating a theoretical apparatus that approached the urban environment as a mobile environment.
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Association:
Name: ASEH Conference – San Francisco
URL:
http://aseh.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p680567_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Maxey, Trent. "Designing Automotive Environments in High-growth Tokyo" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Conference – San Francisco, Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel, San Francisco, California, <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p680567_index.html>

APA Citation:

Maxey, T. "Designing Automotive Environments in High-growth Tokyo" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Conference – San Francisco, Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel, San Francisco, California <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p680567_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Motorization and urbanization punctuated the environmental history of Tokyo during the 1960s and 70s. The 1964 Tokyo Olympics, for example, not only drove the dramatic redevelopment of the urban environment, it also introduced high-speed rail and automotive expressways to Japan’s capital city. A new ring of elevated highways in Tokyo covered over preexisting rivers and canals, promoting the rapid growth of car ownership and announcing new challenges to the urban environment.

The automobile and its possibilities thus came to attract the attention of leading architects, photographers, and cultural critics at this time, as they imagined new configurations of urban space, community, and individual subjectivity. Bringing them together was a journal entitled Jidōsha to Sekai (The Automobile and the World). First published in 1967, the journal proved something of a salon where the place of automobility within the built environment of urban Japan could be designed, represented, and even contested. Contributors to the journal’s pages included Kurokawa Kishō, a proponent of the Metabolism movement in architecture, Tomatsu Shōmei, a prominent photographer, Kawazoe Noboru, an architectural critic, and Komatsu Sakyō, a leading science fiction writer. Drawing primarily on this journal, this paper examines how the environment in Tokyo came to be discussed in terms of mobility, in particular automobility.
Key to this discussion of automobility, the metabolism movement of architecture imagined built structures in an organic form, capable of metabolizing growth in an urban environment. Roads and the automobiles that traveled them played a critical metabolic function as the circulatory system of the city. Although Kurokawa Kishio and Kawazoe Noboru’s designs and theories remained largely unrealized, they illuminate how motorization and intense urban concentration coincided in the reconfiguration of Tokyo during the high-growth era by propagating a theoretical apparatus that approached the urban environment as a mobile environment.


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