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  • Tange Kenzo and industrial design in postwar Japan

Teasley, Sarah, 2012, Book Section, Tange Kenzo and industrial design in postwar Japan In: Kenzō Tange Architecture for the World. Lars Müller Publishers in cooperation with Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Baden, pp. 157-175. ISBN 978-3-03778-310-8

Abstract or Description:

Tange Kenzō (1913–2006), Japan’s most famous architect, has been the subject of numerous publications. Yet his personal and professional connections with designers, intellectual engagements with design problems and ‘good design’ activism remain unstudied. Teasley’s chapter in this edited volume rectifies this oversight.
In detailing and analysing some of Tange’s most significant engagements with design and designers, Teasley expands our understanding of architects’ concerns and activities in post-war Japan. She indicates how, in post-war Japan, architects and designers communicated and shared common goals while seemingly separated by professional boundaries. She argues for approaches to architectural history that reject a narrow definition of ‘architecture’ and proceed empirically, incorporating ‘non-architecture’ practices, when found in the archive, into its narratives.
Teasley’s research examines Tange and other architects’ involvement in a number of interrelated artistic groups and design promotion projects in pre- and post-war Tokyo, ranging from independent artists’ organisations to an annual industrial design prize sponsored by industry and national media. Part of Teasley’s broader research interests, this essay draws on her comprehensive research into design journals of the post-war period, personal address books and diaries, photographs, factory visits and oral histories, to map and analyse the personal and professional relationships that existed between designers, architects and artists in mid-century Japan. It aims to articulate and assess the motivations and impact of architects’ participation in ‘good design’ projects specifically. Importantly, this essay includes part of the first English translation (by Teasley) of Tange’s main essay on design.
The chapter developed from an invited contribution to a workshop at Harvard University (2009) on Tange’s position in the political, economic, social, intellectual and artistic context of post-war Japan. A shorter version of the chapter, also refereed, was also presented at the International Committee on Design History and Studies conference in São Paulo, Brazil (2012).

Official URL: http://www.lars-mueller-publishers.com/en/kenzo-ta...
Subjects: Other > Eastern > T200 Japanese studies
Other > Historical and Philosophical studies > V300 History by topic > V360 History of Architecture
Other > Historical and Philosophical studies > V300 History by topic > V370 History of Design
School or Centre: School of Humanities
Copyright Holders: Sarah Teasley
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2012 17:49
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2014 12:20
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/979

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