MAS Context Fall Talks 2022

The Aesthetic of Transience

October 25, 2022 at 6PM

Online talk by curator Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher and professor Ken Tadashi Oshima on the Nakagin Capsule Tower.


During this online event, Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design and head of the Department of Architecture and Design at SFMOMA, and Ken Tadashi Oshima, author and professor of architecture at the University of Washington, discussed the ideas of the Nakagin Capsule Tower, prefabrication in Japan, its enduring allure amidst the constant changes in urban Japan, and the efforts to preserve a selection of the original units.

Completed in 1972 by the architect Kisho Kurokawa, the Nakagin Capsule Tower was one of the few proposals realized through the architectural movement Metabolism in the 1960s. As a building attached with 140 removable apartment units, it embodied the future of urban living envisioned by Kurokawa at that moment in postwar Japan. Furthermore, the building was a reminder of a future that was never realized in society at large and stood as an architectural anachronism within the city of Tokyo.

This event is related to the exhibition 1972/Accumulations by photographer Noritaka Minami on display at the MAS Context Reading Room between September 22 and December 8, 2022.

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Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo. © Tomio Ohashi. Courtesy of Kisho Kurokawa Architect & Associates.