What I’m Reading: Made in Tokyo

Although this work is already a decade old (an eternity in Tokyo’s tear-it-down-and-build-it-up construction culture), it’s entirely new to me.  Written by partners in the Tokyo-based architecture firm, Atelier Bow Wow (I couldn’t have made that up), Made in Tokyo catalogs a range of anonymous buildings that provide a range functional programs without making reference to architectural form or discipline.  These structures, explain the authors, are “not concerned with the issues of scale, cultural worth or history, which architecture has depended on to date.  They appear out of greedy utilitarianism.”  They are thus labeled, “da-me architecture,” or “no-good architecture,” a term of equal parts affection and disdain.  The authors further suggest that understanding and appreciating these nameless da-me architectures is necessary to reveal the true and experienced nature of Tokyo’s built environment – more so than any architectural megastructure masterpiece.  

Click here for the Made in Tokyo website.

 

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