Matter in the Floating World
Conversations with Leading Japanese Architects and Designers
Publication date 7/19/2011
7 x 9.5 inches (17.8 x 24.1 cm), Paperback
256 pages, 425 color illustrations
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Available for online reading at ebrary.com (subscription or short-term rental required)
It seems that Japan contains a higher number of internationally significant architects and designers relative to its geographic size than anywhere else in the world. Japanese designers regularly implement radical experiments in new materials and building systems that successfully address imminent energy and resource challenges. These technological achievements are combined with an acute awareness of the ephemerality of materials as well as an engagement with the "floating world" of changing cultural behaviors and shifting societal patterns.
In Matter in the Floating World, materials guru Blaine Brownell (author of the bestselling Transmaterial series)travels to the offices of twenty leading material and design innovators in Japan, including Tadao Ando, Shigeru Ban, Kengo Kuma, and Kazuyo Sejima, to find the connections between materiality and transience in their work. The dialogues in Matter in the Floating World are organized into four sections'lightness, atmosphere, flow, and emergence that embody various approaches to materiality and evanescence in Japanese architecture and design. There is also a companion website that includes samples from the book as well as exclusive online interviews.
Blaine Brownell is an architect, author, educator, and former Fulbright scholar. He earned a B.A. in Architecture with a Certificate in East Asian Studies at Princeton University in 1992, and a Master in Architecture from Rice University in 1998. Brownell is considered one of the preeminent scholars of advanced materials for architecture and design.
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"A favorite... full of personal and professional insight."
"Brownell sought to find how todays daily inundation of new materials has affected this thoughtful approach. The discussion is carried out with text and stunning photographs that help illustrate his main points."
The Plain Dealer:
"Japanese architects, some trained in the United States, continue to experiment with new home building materials and using familiar materials in new ways. Their thoughts and homes are spotlighted in Matter in the Floating World."
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