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Toyo Ito’s Counterproposal for Urban Development

The architect reflects on how his interaction with the city has changed since the bubble era and envisions an alternative urban design for Tokyo as a “place for all.”
Toyo Ito interviewed by Mohsen Mostafavi
  • 1.

    Toyo Ito, “A New Architecture Is Possible Only in the Sea of Consumption,” originally published in Shinkenchiku (November 1989): 201–204. The English translation appears in Doryun Chong et al., eds., From Postwar to Postmodern, Art in Japan 1945-1989: Primary Documents (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2012), 357–362.

  • 2.

    A series of three experimental works named URBOT-001 through URBOT-003 were the first works by Ito, built or conceptual, published in the year he set up his office. The three pieces made the feature article in the November 1971 issue of Toshi Jutaku, a popular magazine that brought experimental designs and research to the forefront. The first page was a collage aligning numerous capsules for living, with URBOT-003 representing Ito’s vision for the future of Tokyo. URBOT-001 was built in 1971 as Aluminum House.

  • 3.

    Yatsushiro Municipal Museum, 1991.

  • Toyo Ito is an architect and principal of Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects. In his innovative works, Ito constantly seeks ways to redefine and engage architecture in society. His honors include the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Biennale and the 2013 Pritzker Architecture prize.