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Project Japan, Metabolism Talks... Paperback – 28 Sep 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 684 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen GmbH; 01 edition (28 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9783836525084
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836525084
  • ASIN: 3836525089
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 4.2 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Rem Koolhaas is a co-founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Having worked as a journalist and script writer before becoming an architect, in 1978 he published Delirious New York. In 1995, his book S,M,L,XL summarized the work of OMA and established connections of contemporary society and architecture. Amongst many international awards and exhibitions he received the Pritzker Prize (2000) and the Praemium Imperiale (2003). Hans Ulrich Obrist (born 1968) is a curator, critic and historian. He is currently Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Obrist is the author of The Interview Project, an extensive ongoing project of interviews.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book - an incredibly well researched and indepth analysis of Metabolism. It is refreshingly full of plans, diagrams, photos and archive material (all clearly laid out). There is also an enjoyable commentary from Rem Koolhaas alongside the interviews (including a very personal and heartfelt review of Kisho Kurokawa by Charles Jecks) - I thoroughly recommend this.
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Format: Paperback
Tells the fantastic story of the "last avant-garde in architecture", the deeply influential Japanese metabolism group through a series of interviews putting the movement into context. The interviews are done mostly by Koolhaas and Obrist.
Supplemented with pictures of the relevant projects, it tells the grand story of metabolism in and excellent and interesting way.

Sometimes, you wish for more facts about specific projects. There are also some shortcomings in graphical design i.e. hard to read texts due to color and placement close to the spine. This and cheap paper stops it from being a five.

However, it is an absolute must for anyone interested in Japanese architecture.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shipped to Spain, faster than expected. The book is a bit too specific and literal (mostly interviews) but as always, Koolhaas texts are sharp and revealing. Anyway, the subject itself and the selected projects are interesting enough, although they're not really analyzed but shown as the architectural context of the designers who are interviewed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars As good as it was 30 Sept. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Acceptable quality, thanks.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Overdue 17 May 2012
By James Ferguson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Metabolist movement in Japan seemed consigned to the dustbin of history until resurrected in this amply illustrated book that gives the movement a greater width and breadth. Not surprising to see Rem Koolhaas behind the project, as his work owes a substantial debt to this movement. More importantly, Koolhaas provides wonderful interviews and insights on its leading proponents, including the dapper Kisho Kurokawa, who gave us such novel projects as the Nagakin Capsule Tower, downsizing units to less than 10 square meters (100 square feet).

Of course, a movement like this could have only been spawned in Japan, which was looking for new ways to deal with the post-war housing shortage. Kenzo Tange was the godfather of the movement, and would have a major impact on international architectural design. The movement also gave us Arata Isozaki and Fumihiko Maki, among other leading architects. While the designs looked very futuristic at the time, they were based on traditional planning principles. I would have liked to see a bigger format like Taschen has done on other topics, but the wealth of material will reward those interested in Metabolism.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A neccessary book for the blasé sons and daughters of the architectural noughties 28 Feb. 2012
By nomadic architect - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great collected history of a truly radical movement caught into, and trying to steer,a rapidly changing society.
This book is neccessary for architects right now: The thorough archiving and indexing of an avant-garde movement reminds us that architects once fearlessly and courageously embraced the transformational qualities of architecture. It really makes you lament the absence of such a strong contemporary agenda to react to-I can't imagine all those pritzker prize winners actually consolidating their respective intelligence into a cohesive idea like the metabolists did.
It's a massive and dense volume though-I havent been able to finish it yet. It is very well illustrated and is bound to provide inspiration, almost too dense to go through all at once.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a thorough beauty 27 Feb. 2012
By anonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
an incredible, ambitious collection of all things metabolist- materials from every possible source from friends, lovers ti colleagues from the past and present. a great handbook for aspiring and practicing architects to see how one generation succeeded in an architecture/ media/ policy/ masterplanning mash up that still holds as one of the most legendary group efforts to this day.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book that does justice to its subject matter. 27 Aug. 2013
By Jeff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Going into this book I knew very little about the metabolist movement in architecture. I found that the format of quickly alternating interviews and history pieces kept me engaged and interested as a reader. Well-chosen photos and graphics illustrate the text tastefully. The interviews with metabolist architects were great, and managed to not only record the important history and facts about metabolist architecture, but also gave insight into the personal lives, career development, and group dynamic of these Japanese architects who all contributed to the movement in different ways.

As a designer I can relate to the metabolist's desire for architecture to play a role in solving the many complex problems in a rapidly changing world. Only by working together to advance the architecture profession in Japan were they able to achieve some level of success. With the focus today so much on the individuality of each famous designer, it is refreshing to read about this not-so-distant movement that happened because of a group of individuals working toward a common way of thinking. I have not come across any other books that describe the process of a movement taking shape quite like this book does. It goes to great lengths to provide as many viewpoints as possible from the people who were there when it happened. It is an architecture book that is also about how these architects interacted with their world to promote their vision.

It feels like a large amount of respect and care went into the making of this book. Rem Koolhaas and Hans Ulrich Obrist clearly knew that the metabolist movement in architecture has tremendous historical importance and a serious lack of recorded historical documentation. They did a wonderful job compiling and presenting all the information in this book!
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