Metabolism, the City of the Future

Dates:17 September, 2011 - 15 January, 2012
Venue: Mori Art Museum

First presented as a manifesto in the 1960s in Japan, "Metabolism" is a theory of architecture contending that "buildings and cities should be designed and developed in the same continuous way that the material substance of a natural organism is produced." From the time of Japan's postwar redevelopment to its period of rapid economic growth, the theory gave birth to grand visions of future cities, encouraged the realization of much experimental architecture, and also provided the foundation on which many of Japan's contemporary world-renowned architects and designers could build their careers. It is the most widely known modern architecture theory to have emerged from Japan.

This exhibition is the first ever to pose the question of what significance Metabolism holds today. It draws on various documents and models to explore the thoughts and work of Tange Kenzo, which set the scene for the emergence of Metabolism, and the activities of the Metabolist architects and others during the 1960s up until Osaka's Expo '70, which in many ways was a showcase for the theory. It also represents an important opportunity to think about the necessity of archiving and preserving distinguished historical documents and records related to the movement.