Four Facets of Contemporary Japanese Architecture: Humans

This is the fourth course in the “Four Facets of Contemporary Japanese Architecture” series, which focuses on the fourth facet: humans. Economic miracle, environmental problems, bubble economy and its collapse, information technology and globalization, earthquakes, population decline, pandemic... The nearly 60 years between the two Tokyo Olympics, 1964 and 2021, was a turbulent time for humans in Japan. During this period, how has architecture changed? And what happened to humans that architecture was supposed to have supported? This course on “Humans” will review the works of those architects who have attempted to conceptualize humans through their architecture and examine the changes over the last half century as well as the issues for the future. Hiroshi Hara, Toyo Ito, Osamu Ishiyama, Kengo Kuma, Satoko Shinohara, and Sou Fujimoto visit their buildings to discuss the ideas behind their respective works.

Supported Language(s): Japanese, English



KUMA Kengo

University Professor
Office of University Professor, The University of Tokyo


Associate Professor
Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

The title and affliation listed are profile when the course was created.

Instructors' Voices

In this course, you will learn about:

  • Development of contemporary Japanese architecture since the 1964 Tokyo Olympics
  • Features of works of influential Japanese architects
  • Unique technologies used for contemporary Japanese architecture
  • Present concerns and potential future directions for contemporary Japanese architecture


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