Kazuo Shinohara was a deeply influential figure in postwar architecture in Japan best known for his individual houses, but he remains little studied today, especially outside Japan. Shinohara connected traditional forms and an investigation of modernist tenets with the high-tech and information technology moments yet to come. What was his attitude toward history, and how did he use history in developing his ideas and projects? David B. Stewart will reply to these questions and attempt to situate Shinohara’s approaches in their proper context.
The What is/was history for… ? series searches for answers to the question, what role can history play in architecture practice? The CCA invites historians to reflect on the approaches to history of significant historical architects, and contemporary architects to reflect on their own approaches to history. It expands the conversation begun in the exhibition Besides, History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen.
David B. Stewart has taught at the Tokyo Institute of Technology since 1976. He is the author of books including The Making of a Modern Japanese Architecture: 1868 to the Present (Kodansha International, 1987) and the monograph Kazuo Shinohara: Centennial Hall, Tokyo (Edition Axel Menges, 1995). Before relocating to Tokyo, he was a member of the editorial staff of L’architecture d’aujourd’hui. He is also the author of the edX massive open online course Modern Japanese Architecture: From Meiji Restoration to Today, produced by TokyoTechX. Its fifth module is devoted to his long-time friend and colleague Kazuo Shinohara.