COD Japan Conference 2011: Tokyo, Day One (Part 2)

For the second lecture on the first day we were honored to have Fumihiko Maki, Hon FAIA.   The title of his talk was Fond Project Memories

Before showing his work he gave his view of the world of architecture after 60 years of practice.  He noted that modern architecture has developed a common universal language, similar to how English has developed into a global language.  However, he noted that meaning, in architecture, was achieved through adding a layer of type and place to this universal language.  He also noted that each individual should have his own religion, and that art came from this.   However, in the end, he felt that while tastes will vary, what delights us (such as a cozy corner with soft light) is common to all of us.  I was touched by his admission that it is very hard to know where to begin on any project.

He summed up his overview with these observations:

Time and Architecture

Time offers a fertile ground for personal memories and experiences

Time is a mediator between city and architecture

Time is the final judge of architecture

Space and Architecture

Space accommodates a given function and generates new uses

Space has no differentiation between interior and exterior

Space, not form, fosters delight (venustas)  for people

“and that”, he said, “is the end of my academic presentation.”

Jim Childress, FAIA

(photos courtesy of Jim Childress)

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