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Machine Age To The Age Of Life Cultural Studies Essay

Eurocentrism which average modernization has been the pride of the West and the dream of the remainder of the universe. Modernization meant Westernisation and mechanization. The modern architecture born in the machine age was an effort to rule and command non-Western states. Therefore, Kisho Kurokawa began the metamorphosis motion as a challenge to this machine age. In 1959, he stated that the age was switching from that machine age to the age of life. Basically, the age of machine is the age of homogenisation where the age when architecture styles tend to be a cosmopolitan international manner whereas the age of life in resistance is the age of diverseness and pluralism.

This anticipation is bit by bit being realised in the last few old ages of 20th century. The indispensable difference between life and a machine is a machine has eliminated all gratuitous ambiguity, being constructed wholly on functional and rational principals whereas life is a streamlined construction, everlastingly making a dynamic balance.

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Since 1959, Kisho Kurokawa has systematically worked towards architecture of the age of life. Metabolism and mutualism are going keywords of the age of life. From the Metabolism motion of the sixtiess through his chase of such thoughts as intermediary zones and ambiguity, Metamorphosis and the doctrine of Symbiosis, he has ever consciously employed the cardinal words of life systems, biological science and ecology, which are cardinal to his purpose of transforming the age of machine into age of the life. Symbiosis emphasizes on the being and liberty of parts, subsystems every bit good as subcultures.

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Metamorphosis is the mutualism of times and mutualism of heterogenous civilizations and infinites. Symbiosis of times is in the manner that the yesteryear, nowadays and the hereafter are at an equal distances. In architecture, metamorphosis can interpret as architecture of alteration and growing, a sustainable and ecological architecture.

MBA ( 2007, October 17 ) , KLIA dan Kisho Kurokawa, Retrieved 19 October,2010 from hypertext transfer protocol: //


Kisho Kurokawa was born in Kanie, Aichi in 8 April1934. He studied architecture at Kyoto University, complete his unmarried man ‘s grade survey in 1957. After that, he continues his survey at University of Tokyo and alumnus with a maestro ‘s grade in 1959 under the supervising of Kenzo Tange. He so went on to the physician of doctrine but later dropped out in 1964.

Since 1959, for 40 old ages, he had created architecture that has presented a challenge against the Age of Machine rule from the age of Machine rule and moved towards the architecture of age of life rule. In 1960, he cofounded the Metabolism Movement with associates with his co-workers, Fumihiko Maki and Kiyonori Kikutake whose members were known as Metabolists. Their design aim was to bring forth a self-end system by using the rule of metamorphosis. It was successful and they received congratulations for the Takara Cotillion Beautillion at the Osaka World Espo 1970. The group was dismantled shortly thenceforth.

About his architecture at metamorphosis, tradition may non look to be present, but underneath the difficult tegument of the surface, his work so Nipponese. However, it is hard to claim that the modern engineerings and stuff he called on was inherited from the Nipponese tradition and that the traditional signifiers of Nipponese architecture can be recognized in his modern-day concrete or steel towers. Kisho Kurokawa specifically referred to the four factors ; materially, impermanency, receptiveness and inside informations in his treatments of new wave Nipponese Architecture.

Kisho Kurokawa is non merely a superb designer, but besides a really enthusiastic pedagogue for the following coevals. Every twelvemonth, he lectures at universities all over the universe. Kisho Kurokawa wrote extensively on doctrine and architecture and lectured widely. He wrote that there are two traditions built-in in any civilization ; the seeable and unseeable. His work, he claimed, carried the unseeable tradition of Japan. Kurokawa ‘s book Philosophy of Symbiosis was foremost published in 1987 and this book was awarded the 1993 Japan Grand Prix of literature and was revised in 1996. The book so has been translated into English and was citied excellence by the AIA in USA in 1992. Besides, the book is besides selected by RIBA in UK as one of the 10 most first-class books in 1993. In the same twelvemonth, Michael Blackwood Productions, an American production company produced Kurokawa ‘s documental movie: Kisho Kurokawa which was broadcast in several states. In 1994, the Art Institute of Chicago named their art gallery the Kisho Kurokawa Galley of Architecture.

He is survived by his married woman, Akayo Wakao who is a popular movie actress that besides ran successfully for Parliament and two kids from an early matrimony. His girl, Kako Matsuura is an artist whereas his boy, Makio Kurokawa is a lensman.

Kisho Kurokawa was the president of Kisho Kurokawa Architect & A ; Associates, which established 8 April 1962. The chief office of his endeavor is in Tokyo with subdivisions offices in Nagoya, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur, Astana, Beijing and Los Angeles. The company is registered with the Nipponese authorities as a “ First Class Architecture Office. ”

Kurokawa ‘s architecture evolved from the Nipponese tradition, and the context of his work has the beauty of Nipponese aesthetic. His architecture emphasized on maintaining traditional construct. Kurokawa specifically referred to the four factors in the construct of unseeable, including materiality, impermanency, receptiveness and item in his treatments of new wave Nipponese Architecture.

His committees over the old ages included the Sony Tower in Osaka ( 1976 ) , the National Ethnological Museum in Osaka ( 1977 ) and the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art ( 1989 ) . In the United States, he got merely one undertaking which was the Sporting Club at the Illinois Center in Chicago ( 1990 ) whose the facades are in a slender grid like form. Besides that, in a salutation to Chicago, he topped the edifice ‘s towers with windmill-like sculptures. In 1990, he besides mapped out a maestro program for Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan which inventing a system of additive districting instead than a radial urban nucleus. In the same twelvemonth, Kurokawa besides designed the Chinese-Japanese Youth Center in Beijing. In 1998, he designed a new wing of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Kisho Kurokawa died of bosom failure on October 12, 2007, at age 73.

His awards include Takamura Kotora Design Award in 1965, BCS ( Building Constructors Society ) Award in 1977, Manichi Art Award and BCS Award in 1978, Mandara Bulgarian First Order, Bulgaria and BCS Award in 1979, BCS Award in 1983, Gold metal from Academy of architecture, France ; Annual Furniture Design Award for High Back Chair in Edo Series and “ Schoner Wohnen “ West Gemany in 1986, Public Architecture Award, Prize for Excellent Work for National Ethnological Museum, Japan ; Richard Netra Award from Califonia State Polytechnic University, USA ; Decorated Commandeur de l’Ordre du Lion de Finlande, Finland in 1988, Decorated Chevalier de l’Ordre diethylstilbestrols Arts et diethylstilbestrols Lettres by the Ministry of Culture, France ; expansive prix with Gold Medal at The Fifth World biennale of Architecture, Sofia, Bulgaria and BCS Award in 1989, Award of Architecture Institute of Japan ; Public Architecture Award, Prizes for Excellent Work for National Bunraku centre in 1990, BCS Award in 1991, Japan Art Academy Award ( Highest Award for Artist and Architect in 1992, BCS Award in 1993, AIA Los Angeles Pacific Rim Award ( foremost awarded ) USA World Best Architecture 1997 Award in 1997, Public Architecture Award, award for first-class Work for Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama/Wakayama Prefertural Museum in 1998 every bit good as Decorated with Order of Cultural Merit by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and so on.



Metamorphosis is an Eastern, chiefly Buddhist construct. At its base is the doctrine of Symbiosis. Symbiosis was a catch phrase besides employed by Shiio Benkyoof the Zojoji temple in Shiba. The doctrine of mutualism aims the mutualism of clip and infinite.

From Kisho Kurokawa position, Metabolism is based on two chief rules which is diachronicity and synchronism of infinite. Diachronicity or can be called as the mutualism of different clip periods and the procedures and alterations that a animal undergoes as it lives and synchronism. This motion will merely accomplish when this renewing procedure can be introduced into architecture and metropolis planning. The theory emphasizes that a work of architecture should non be frozen after it completed whereas should be apprehended alternatively as a thing or as a procedure that evolves from past to show and from present to future or this past to show to future procedure can alleged three clip periods. The metabolist motion do non except any peculiar clip period but to show the yesteryear, present and future in a individual architectural infinite, sing every point in clip as equidistant from the perceiver. The equal distances placed between human and the yesteryear, nowadays, future provides architecture with a broad assortment of motives but it besides presents certain jobs. One of the obvious jobs is the function of designer. The designer is the 1 who should take a positive function in the procedure of work in the growing and alteration of his plants after its initial building. However, the life of the designer is necessarily shorter than the life of his plants. Therefore, it must come in into a discourse with society and be modified at the manus of those who use it. The diachronicity of Metabolism clearly assents to the participants or residents. This construct of the ‘self-end ‘ system was an of import current in his work in the latest 1960ss and early 1970ss. Two rules were worked in the Nakagin Capsule Tower which are the architecture has the capableness of renewing and altering the work in response to the hereafter, and that architectural signifier can be modified depending upon the manner the infinite is used. The doctrine, by contrast, sought to exceed the Western resistance between adult male and engineering, and began from the premise that adult male and machine could populate in mutualism.

Metabolism besides expresses the aesthetics of Nipponese civilization called “ provisionality ” . The thought is all the stuffs being will travel to destroy. This construct is comes from the Buddhist construct of “ transience ” . Therefore, Nipponese tradition does non set much importance on the stuff itself because they know that every beings can non stand everlastingly, but the spirit and the relationship of architecture and its environment can make that. Some illustrations sort of Nipponese cultural characteristic still exists in Nipponese society include the consideration of life and decease as holding the same value, the aesthetics of hara-kiri of the samurai every bit good as the aesthetic of loving cherry flowers falling in attractively. The sense of aesthetics and doctrine can be inherited.

The 2nd rule of metamorphosis which is the synchronism of infinite or in other words, the mutualism of heterogenous civilizations and infinite. Before the coming of Claude Levi-Strauss and Structuralism, there are different degrees of development and hence there is assorted civilizations of the universe. The civilization of French in highest degree followed by American civilization, so Nipponese, so the civilizations of the less developed and developing states of Africa and the Middle East. The American economic expert Rostaw ‘s theory of the phases of economic development offered apparently nonsubjective support for the position of the universe order. Therefore, to equalize the distance of different civilization, synchronism offer a challenge which alternatively of confirming the structural linguistics that each civilization as holding its ain distinguishable character that can at the same clip be linked to every other civilization in a individual planetary construction. Kisho kurokawa see this rule of Metabolism as the paradigm displacement from internationalism to interculturalism.

Besides analyzing architectural during 4 old ages in Kyoto University, Kisho Kurokawa studied consciousness in the Buddhism of India, set up in the 4th century, as a root of Tamaiki ( co-living ) Buddhism. The Tamaiki Buddhism is the most of import mention point of his Doctrine of Symbiosis. In Buddhism, human agony is said to be caused by two things which include hungering and ignorance. Carving attach to things and the psychotic beliefs that arise from that fond regard. Ignorance can be defined as non to cognize what our existence is, what our ego is. When person thinks that they are populating wholly on their ain, they being to cleaving to ain life and fear decease or in other words, this is called hungering arises. The chesty attitude that person knows everything there is to cognize is based on ignorance. The flight from those two sorts of agony is called release, and that flight is based on grasping and populating the construct of mutualism.

Kurokawa defined the term of Symbiosis as encompasses resistance and contradiction which refer to new, originative relationships through competition and tenseness. Besides, he besides defined the term as refers to a positive relationship in which the participants try to understand each other, despite common resistance, refer to relationships that flicker a degree of creativeness impossible for either portion to accomplish entirely every bit good as is an synergistic relationship of spring and take. As the doctrine of mutualism comprise assorted dimensions: the mutualism of history and the present ; the mutualism of the portion and whole, nature and adult male ; the mutualism of different civilizations ; the mutualism of art and scientific discipline ; and the mutualism of regionalism and universalism.

In ancient times, abstract geometrical signifiers such as pyramids, cones, squares and circles symbolised a vision of the existence transcended regional civilizations. Therefore, it can be said that abstract geometry got two significances which are possesses a catholicity that different civilizations can portion every bit good as it besides has distinguishable historical significance through intervention, arrangement, engineering, and the stuffs applied. By using the abstraction of twentieth century with the iconography of history and the cultural individuality of jogs in a cosmology of civilization, Kurokawa is try to undertake the philosophical challenge of Abstract Symbolism.


Kurokawa ‘s architecture evolved from the Nipponese tradition, and there is a Nipponese aesthetic in the context of his work. His architecture emphasized on maintaining traditional Nipponese construct unseeable, particularly materiality, impermanency, receptiveness and item. Kurokawa specifically referred to these four factors in his treatments of new wave Nipponese Architecture.

( I ) Materiality

Nipponese ever tried to research and utilize the natural colorss and textures of the stuffs that needed in concept in a edifice. The designs were largely avoid the use of unreal colorss whereas use natural colorss and textures of the stuffs own as the stuffs already have their ain natural beauty. Nipponese belief and take advantage on the natural stuffs and this belief influence Kurokawa to care for all the stuffs. Therefore, his edifices ever use Fe and aluminum with concrete coating.


Kisho Kurokawa feel that during World War II, about much of the metropoliss in Japan being destroyed. Since Japan normally use natural elements like lumber in their edifice, there were all being burnt into arches and wholly disappear. In the same clip, Kurokawa explain that Japan about every twelvemonth hitted by natural catastrophes and this cause the edifices in the metropoliss being continuously destroyed. Kurokawa stated that “ an uncertainness about being, a deficiency of religion in the seeable, a intuition of the ageless. ” The thought of Kurokawa is to construct the edifice to a more like “ temperory “ construction that can be removable, adaptable and interchangeable.this construct influnce Kurokawa emphasizes his work more to open system which include clip and infinite.


Receptiveness can be perchance said that as a “ tradition ” . Since Japan is a little contry with more developed state like China and Korea as neighbor, the Nipponeses have to do uninterrupted efforts to larn others state or foreign civilization every bit good as set up good relationship with the larger states to avoid the little state like them being attacked. This construct of receptiveness makes the Nipponese to develop their state from a farming island to an more imperial state. The Nipponese alteration by non merely absorb the political system and promotion from China, but besides learn the western cognition and techniques. Kurokawa besides use this construct in his design but at one point, he tried to happen his ain individuality. In early phase, he followed the Modern Movement manner that learns from his lector, Tange, Isozaki and their equals. Kurokawa followed the manner until at the point which in 1960 ‘s, he form a little group of designers with his co-worker which they called themselves as Metabolist. These groups of designer believe that in the new epoch, life is non presented and they want to happen out new solutions.


Nipponeses emphasizes more on the item in their building where the procedure of working is from parts to whole edifices but non from whole to parts. As an illustration, the connexions in Nipponese house was ever crafted carefully. Therefore, Kurokawa besides use the same construct and besides concentrate his work in the item of connexions and coatings of the edifice.


Randy ( 2008, December 24 ) , The Futuristic Nakagin Capsule Tower, Retrieved 19 October,2010 from hypertext transfer protocol: //

Post Second World War Japan bared panics so terrible that a extremist attack to the rebuilding of its society every bit good as its metropoliss was needed. Tokyo suffered 98 % devastation of its edifice and houses, a dramatic procedure of retracing the metropolis were needed. Nakagin Capsule Tower or called Nakagin Kapuseru Tawa is the first realization of the construct of modularization. It is located in Shimbashi, Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the merchandises of Kisho Kurokawa. In the early 1970ss Kurokawa explored the usage of industrial engineering to develop living capsules: archetypal life capsules which could be fabricated to vie with the cost s of traditional lodging building methods of the clip. Kurokawa was able to preassemble these capsules when working with transporting container industries and have the box like elements delivered to site. He intended that the capsules to be replaced every 25 old ages at any point doing no break to the remainder of the edifice. Each of the capsules was to be upgraded every 25 old ages so that to give the flexible construction a life anticipation of 200 old ages.

Nakagin Capsule Tower was designed in 1970 and the building started in 1971 and done in 1972. The site country is 441.89mA? , constructing country is 429.51mA? and entire floor country is 3091.23mA? . There is a basement degree and eleven and 13 floors in each severally tower. The nucleuss are made of steel frame and reinforced concrete. From the cellar to the 2nd floor, ordinary in situ concrete was used and light weight concrete was used on the upper floor.

The Nakagin Capsule Tower was completed as the motions ‘ influence was get downing to decline. The tower was originally conceived as a Capsule Hotel to supply economical lodging for business communities working tardily in the cardinal Tokyo during the hebdomad. The tower is fundamentally composed of 140 concrete cods or called capsules which are 2.5mx2.5mx4m each capsule plugged into two interrelated circulation nucleuss where a ego services cafe at the land floor and offices in first floor.

Plan of Nakagin Capsule Tower

Lewism A tectonic Notebook ( 2007, May 21 ) , Nakagin Capsule Tower, Retrieved 19 October,2010 from hypertext transfer protocol: //

The inside of a capsule

Precast concrete was used for the floor home bases and lift shafts in order to do early usage of the stairway. The building form allowed two yearss of steel-framework followed by two yearss of pre-cast concrete, doing the stairway wholly operational by the clip the model was finished. By integrating the frames, tracks and anchor index boxes in the precast concrete elements on site building of the lifts was reduced. The 140 capsules that are hung on the concrete towers are indistinguishable, prefabricated steel cells incorporating assorted public-service corporations by using prefabricated coops.

Detail of system fall ining capsules to shaft

Lewism A tectonic Notebook ( 2007, May 21 ) , Nakagin Capsule Tower, Retrieved 19 October,2010 from hypertext transfer protocol: //

Inside the tower, each capsule is every bit compact as a infinite capsule. A large porthole window dominates the far terminal of the room, with a bed tucked underneath. The capsules were designed to suit the person as either an flat or studio infinite, and by linking units they could besides suit a household. Complete with contraptions and furniture, from audio system to telephone.Part of the design ‘s entreaty is voyeuristic. The portholes evoke mammoth spyholes. The large size of the window, coupled with the little graduated table of the suites, exposes the full internal capsule or flat to the metropolis outside. Many of the midlevel units look straight onto an elevated expressway, so the residents are about face to confront with people in go throughing autos. During first-come-first-serve hr, when there is traffic jam, the drivers can indicate to the window or moving ridge at the residents.


In the first phase, there is a lift shaft in the Centre of the tower in each block. The lift shafts are circled by associating many staggered degrees. It is constructed of precast reinforced concrete. The edifice and the stepss can be used merely after each floor is put ining and include constituents for the running of the lifts.

After that, there are besides service risers which are in fact exterior fives on the lift shafts concealed by the affiliated capsules.

There are 140 one-room capsules in the tower. The capsules including inside informations like rug and bathroom fixtures were prefabricated in a transportation container mill. They are welded lightweight steel-truss boxes. The capsules were clothed with galvonises ribbed steel panels, a coat of rust bar pigment and a calendered spray of kenitex which is an imperviable weatherproof plastic with estimated 20 twelvemonth life span.

The capsules so brought by big trucks from the assembly works 450km off in Shinagawa. The capsules were reloaded onto smaller trucks before weaving their manner into downtown Tokyo.

In concluding phase, the capsules were lifted by Crane and bolted with four high-tension bolts to the lift nucleus. They were all attached in 30 yearss.

William Harbison ( 2009, August 20 ) , Architecture undertaking: Will Make, Recover 5 October,2010 from hypertext transfer protocol: //


There are some issues behind this Nakagin Capsule Tower. First of wholly, the thought of metamorphosis is slightly synonymous with antiphonal coherence. However, this does non intend the capsule tower is needfully responsively cohesive. The capsule tower does non successfully map as its theory suggests. Its core failure is its inability to metabolize. The edifice designed to turn and alter has non even responded to its decease sentence, allow entirely pre-programmed life rhythms. The capsules must be replaced in order to turn out that the tower is feasible. The capsules in the tower were intended to be replaced every 25 old ages. But now, it has been 38 and the capsules are get downing to disintegrate. Besides that, due to the tower design, merely the top capsules can be removed. Therefore, to replace a tower capsule requires taking all capsules above it foremost. Furthermore, there are non any capsules providers. It is impossible to replace the sculpture separately. The destruction was approved in 2007. The capsules aged 35 old ages that clip, 10 more than planned. However, the tower still stands thanks to planetary support for the iconic metabolist construction. In the hereafter, the capsule tower can non stay as it is now. The edifice has two options which are completely destruction or have the capsules replaced. The edifice ‘s destruction would be a acrimonious loss. The Capsule Tower is non merely gorgeous architecture ; it is the crystallisation of a far-reaching cultural ideal. Kurokawa is at mistake here by non enabling the capsules to be separately replaced, hence 140 strata-owners must hold for anything to go on presently.


Kisho Kurokawa is a great designer that brings out the thought of metamorphosis. The theory emphasizes that a work of architecture should non be frozen after it completed whereas should be apprehended alternatively as a thing or as a procedure that evolves from past to show and from present to future or this past to show to future procedure can alleged three clip periods. Besides that, his theory besides include equalize the distance of different civilization. The Nakagin Capsule Tower was an advanced chef-d’oeuvre by architectA Kisho Kurokawa. Capsule replacing is a major construct of the capsule tower but so far it has non been realised. If this architectural artifact is to be responsively cohesive the capsules must be separately mutable. Once single metamorphosis is established any maker may provide their ain capsules. This would supply non merely the ability to alter but besides an interesting mix of capsules eventually able to carry through the construct of stand foring the person. Based on The New York Times, 2007, the occupants of Nakagin Capsule Tower voted in favour of destruction. Even that the edifice has been listed for the World Heritage, since 1996, by the International Committee of Docomomo International, the tower still standing merely deficiency of financess for destruction. However, it can be said that the theory of Kisho Kurokawa is being knocked down. The construct is great with merely four bolts and bolts in a different prefabricated capsule, but it ne’er happened if the units non replaced. It can besides be said that the design has failed with the active collusion of the client who has ne’er maintained the edifice. The edifice has two options which are completely destruction or have the capsules replaced as it is non safe to be used after 38 old ages and non even a capsules being changed.

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Machine Age To The Age Of Life Cultural Studies Essay. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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