Pictures of the Floating Microcosm: New Representations of Japanese Architecture (out of print)
Depiction is quintessential to the conception of an architectural project. Its way of representation also provides insights into the architect's design process. This new book investigates new forms and paradigms of design mediation that have emerged over the last two decades in Japan. It unravels and highlights historical and theoretical aspects and analyses the evolution, convergence, and major trends in Japanese architectural representation. Drawing on rich published sources and new interviews with eminent contemporary Japanese architects, Pictures of The Floating Microcosm elaborates on six cross-functional topics to identify and examine the critical tools used in conception and representation of architecture in Japan today. The book offers an understanding of the underlying techniques and reveals hybrid array of digital and analog tools with a paradoxical objective of imparting a manual effect to a design's expression. It demonstrates how the treatment of light in images is characterised by overexposure and dispersion, and how the graphical limits are either diminished or diluted, giving an impression of a space with evolving outlines. It shows how a pseudo-naive expression of multiple images obliterates the orthodox hierarchy among the architectural elements and how viewpoints used transcend the Euclidean realism and produce an imagery seemingly floating in space. Finally, it looks at the genealogy of traditions, tracing lines of influence and how craftsmanship has changed hands from masters to their students. The characteristics of Japanese representation are testimony to the complex approach of local architects towards a project, questioning and redefining all attributes of space while the undercurrent of tradition continues to have pivotal influence.