SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

The Metabolist Imagination: Visions of the City in Postwar Japanese Architecture and Science Fiction

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED
The Metabolist Imagination
Will Gardner (Swarthmore)

Date: 20 January 2021Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 20 January 2021Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar

Abstract

In this talk, I will present highlights from my recent book The Metabolist Imagination: Visions of the City in Postwar Japanese Architecture and Science Fiction (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). This book explores how, in the wake of the destruction of Japanese cities in the Second World War, both architects and science fiction authors imagined alternatively utopian and apocalyptic futures for reemerging postwar cities. In particular, the book examines writings and architectural projects by figures associated with Metabolism, an avant-garde architecture movement formed in 1960, together with works by their contemporary SF authors, including prose writers Komatsu Sakyô and anime filmmakers Ôtomo Katsuhiro and Oshii Mamoru. In this talk, I will discuss how architects, authors, and filmmakers elaborated shared themes such as futurity, ruins, and apocalypse, as well as architectural and urban forms including megastructures, capsules, and cybercities.

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The Metabolist Imagination: Visions of the City in Postwar Japanese Architecture and Science Fiction

Speaker Biography

William O. Gardner teaches Japanese language, literature, and film at Swarthmore College. He is the author of Advertising Tower: Japanese Modernism and Modernity in the 1920’s (Harvard University Asia Center Publications, 2006) and numerous articles on Japanese modernism, science fiction, media, and urban culture.

Organiser: SOAS Japan Research Centre

Contact email: centres@soas.ac.uk