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Lecture by Kengo Kuma

© Takumi Ota
On November 19 Japanese architect Kengo Kuma will be giving his lecture “After 3/11”. The architect will talk about how he minimizes architecture, especially since the 2011 natural disaster, in order to help the world transit toward small things.
Watch the lecture:

“Minimize”- The World is Moving Toward Small Things  
It was always a natural disaster that directed the course of our civilizations, but the great disaster of 3.11 differed from any other catastrophes since the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. Nature was desperately forceful as never before. However “strong” or “rational” the structures were, the tsunami flattened Tohoku coastline in seconds. The nuclear accident that followed further revealed the inability of “big and strong” architecture. In front of radiation, concrete or steel meant nothing, even though nuclear energy was a solution for our desire since the Lisbon tragedy, to become bigger, stronger, and more efficient. Now that such a process collapsed on itself, we have to start from scratch. Even before 3.11, I had already been fed up with massive concrete and steel buildings, and began to design a number of small works of architecture. You can build them on your own with nearby materials and be totally independent from strong powers – or rather, dependent solely on the nature. Now I sense that the whole world is shifting toward small things. We are no longer passive creatures who are spoon-fed from a giant yet unreliable system. Each individual starts to nest by him or herself and get energy on his or her own. A new relationship is being formed between people and the world. In the lecture I will discuss how I “minimize” architecture to help this transit.   

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