CCW DESIGN LECTURE SERIES in collaboration with TrAIN Research Centre | Toshino Iguchi | ‘Avant-garde Design and “Metabolism” in the 1960s Japan’ |



Friday 9th March 2012 17:00
Lecture Theatre – Chelsea College of Art and Design
16 John Islip Street
(Atterbury Street entrance)

This event is free and open to all.
No Need to RSVP

The avant-garde movement in Architecture and Design called ‘Metabolism’ emerged in postwar Japan. It was at the World Design Conference (WoDeCo) in Tokyo in 1960 that a group of young architects and designers made an official declaration with their statement ‘METABOLISM/1960-The Proposals for a New Urbanism’. This Metabolist group proposed their ideas for a future city such as ‘Marine City’, ‘Tower-shaped Community’, ‘Mobile House’ and ‘Wall City’. They also presented the idea of a ‘triangular structure’ for the relationship between design and human beings that connects three elements at each vertex: nature; a human being; and society. This talk will revisit the idea of Metabolism, and discuss how we can re-evaluate it now after a half century has passed. It will also revisit the WoDeCo which addressed the theme ‘Our Century: The Total Image’, and assess what this conference brought to the designers at that time. Finally, the talk would like to extend the discussion to where this discussion on Metabolism might take us, and in what way this movement helps us to explore new ideas.

Dr. Toshino IGUCHI is a professor at Saitama University in the Faculty of Liberal Art and is Chair of the Design History Workshop Japan. Her research focuses on modernism and avant-garde art and design in Central Eastern Europe and Japan. Dr. Iguchi’s publications include Hungarian Avant-garde ‘MA’ and Moholy-Nagy (Tokyo: Sairyū-sha, 2000), Avant-garde Manifest: Central and East Europe Modernism (Tokyo: Sangen-sha, 2005) and Moholy-Nagy: Visual Experiments (Tokyo: Kokusho Kankō-kai, 2011). Recently, she has also curated the Exhibition: Moholy-Nagy in Motion which was held at Kanagawa Prefectural Museum, National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto and Kawamura Museum in 2011.