Events Thinking of Place Illuminated from Japan

April 8th, 2024. 10:30~18:00 JST

NIRC, Room 217

How can we challenge the understanding of the relation between nature and culture that characterizes our time?
Over the past decades, developments in digital technology have gone hand-in-hand with, and contributed to, a changed economic structure – something that have been of decisive importance both for the building industry and the architecture profession. Around the world we see the same pattern: Cities are growing at a pace we have never witnessed before, and historic buildings are being demolished and replaced by new, instrumentally founded buildings with a very limited lifespan, often only thirty to forty years. The desire for profit has resulted in loss of nature and destruction of the landscape during the development of large residential and recreational areas and has also become decisive for the form of new buildings, and for historic building environments to be destroyed.
There is a connection between our understanding of the world and what we are making. The view of nature of the philosopher Tetsuro Watsuji (1889–1960) can be seen in the context of the view of nature of the Norwegian architectural thinker Christian Norberg-Schulz (1926–2000), who developed a “phenomenology of place” inspired by Martin Heidegger. Similar to Norberg-Schulz, Watsuji wrote about “climate and culture” influenced by, and also in opposition to, Heidegger.
In the seminar we would like to address the following questions: Is it possible, by viewing the concept of “genius loci” in the light of Watsuji's elaborations on “climate”, to contribute to a broader understanding of the meaning of architecture and place? If so, how can this be seen as a basis for what we build and design today, and also as a basis for safeguarding of the buildings and places of history?

Session 1: 10:30~12:00
10:30   Greeting and Information (Director/Institute fellows)
10:35   Introduction (Bendik Manum, Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
10:50   Speaker 1 (Gro Lauvland, Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
“Norberg-Schulz´s thinking of place illuminated from Japan”
11:30   Discussion
12:00  Break
Session 2: 13:30~14:30
13:30   Speaker 2 (Thomas Daniell, Professor, Kyoto University)
“Nature and Artifice in the Japanese Garden”
14:00   Discussion
14:30   Break
Session 3: 14:45~15:45
14:45   Speaker 3 (Inutsuka Yū, Associate Professor, Nagoya Institute of Technology)
“Architecture and Climate: From the Perspective of Temporality and Spatiality of Human Existence in the Works of Watsuji Tetsurō” (tentative)
15:15   Discussion
15:45   Break
Session 4: 16:00~17:00
16:00   Speaker 4 (Ōhashi Ryōsuke, Director of Kyoto Japanisch-Deutsches Kulturinstitut)
“Kitarō Nishida's Glimpse of Gothic Architecture”
16:30   Discussion
17:00   General Discussion