First, assistant professor and expert of Japanese architecture at the Royal Danish Academy, Alex Hummel Lee will give a lecture on Japanese architecture in the 20th and 21st centuries. This ‘tour de force’ will offer an opportunity for the Copenhagen audience to get more familiar with the broader context and background for some of the themes and practices represented in the exhibition Make Do with Now. Although modern Japanese architecture may appear as a unidirectional movement, beneath the surface, it contains a richly varied pattern of warring oppositions and factions, a local microcosm of distinctive currents of fierce rivalries and loud debates. The Japanese concept of architecture itself has divided the discipline into two tone-setting contrasting facets – the technical one with the architect as building constructor and the artistic one with the architect as auteur. That development started with a dramatic upheaval when, after more than 200 years of isolation from the outside world, Japan suddenly had to open up the country in the 1850s and catch up with the neglected centuries of inspiration from the West. It became the basis for a modern Japanese culture that took over the concept of architecture without its roots and which can still seem to stand outside and reflect itself in international developments. In the lecture, the Japanese architectural discipline is first presented from its infancy in the 1870s and as part of the culture up through time until early modernism. Then, currents in Japanese modern architecture within the last 100 years are outlined through a family tree populated by the most essential central figures.
After the historical lecture, architect Yutaro Muraji from CHAr, one of the young Japanese offices featured in the exhibition, will be present through a live connection. He will react to some of the themes presented by Alex Hummel Lee in his lecture and then speak about how his practice tries to build off / rethink the context they have inherited. In particular, CHAr’s work has much to do with the specific history of post-war urban development in Japanese cities. Moreover, he will present CHAr’s methodology and reflect on how they practice architecture beyond the traditional scrap-and-build approach. Thus, rather than demolishing and building within short-term timespans/intervals (like the famous case of the Ise temple being rebuilt in 20-year cycles), they renovate the existing structures according to changing societal needs and natural crises.
Tickets: 30 kr. or free for CAFx Community members
'Make Do With Now' Event Programme:
6 October 16–19:
Exhibition Opening: Make Do with Now – Meet the Curators and Drinks
CAFx invites you to the opening of the exhibition Make Do with Now: New Directions in Japanese Architecture with drinks and introductions by the curators from Swiss Architecture Museum.
13 October 18–00
Kulturnatten: Generation Transformation
An evening of transformation with Pihlmann Architects.
25 October 16–17
Renovation 2.0: Site visit to Ørsteds Haver with LOKAL
Join the architectural office LOKAL for a site visit to their prize-winning renovation of the façade of Ørsteds Haver in Frederiksberg, taking the renovation of a 1960s 'eyesore' building to a new level.
26 October 16.30–18.30
Japanese Architecture between Tradition and Transformation
How does the ‘Generation Renovation’ of younger Japanese offices relate to the traditions and history of Japanese architecture?
2 November 16.30–18.30
Salon Transformation: New Values of a New Generation in Danish Architecture
Join us for an exploration of how younger Danish architects make do with now, transforming and renovating the existing structures rather than making grand gestures from scratch.
16 November 16.30–18.30
Architectural potentials in a resource perspective - Panum & Kappel studio visit and lecture
The young architectural office Panum & Kappel invites you to a studio visit at their Vesterbro-based office, where they will tell about their circular construction principles, showing models of radical transformation experiments exhibited at Utzon Centre's recent Super Danish exhibition.