Click on the pictures to view the books on Amazon.

2012: Made in Japan: 100 New Products

‘Made in Japan’ is a simple phrase, but one full of meaning. From kettles and cutlery to chairs, Japan creates some of the most innovative, elegant, whimsical and well-made objects in the world. Combining high aesthetic standards with cutting-edge technology, many of these designs turn everyday items into functional works of art that would look as good in a museum as on a kitchen counter. Made in Japan surveys 100 of the country’s recent design triumphs, among them furnishings, utensils, gadgets, clothing, office equipment and even a silent guitar. While the book features mainly mass-produced objects, it also includes one-off prototypes and limited-edition items that are immensely popular in Japan. Created specifically for the Japanese consumer, these products reflect the way people live, work and play in a country that prizes highly both exceptional craftsmanship and industrial perfection.

2010: New Architecture in Japan

This informative and beautifully illustrated book showcases projects of all types, sizes and budgets from the last decade in Japan, and includes museums, private houses, schools, shops, hospitals, airports and chapels. Both cutting-edge, emerging young practices – such as Sou Fijimoto and Junya Ishigami – and established, internationally known architects – among them Toyo Ito, Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma and SANAA – are featured, as are international practices working in Japan (such as Rogers Stirk Harbour, Foster + Partners and Herzog & de Meuron). Stunning images by leading architectural photographer Edmund Sumner are accompanied by accessible critical texts and drawings. This illuminating survey is essential not just for architects and designers but also for anyone fascinated by Japan’s unique – and increasing – influence on architecture worldwide.

2008: Hitoshi Abe

Born in 1962, Hitoshi Abe is widely considered to be one of the most interesting young architects working in Japan today. After obtaining his Master’s degree at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, he worked for Coop Himmelb(l)au in their Los Angeles office before obtaining his Ph.D. from Tohoku University and setting up his own practice, Atelier Hitoshi Abe, in 1992. Since then, he has won a wide variety of commissions in Japan. He was identified as one of the key emerging talents in contemporary architecture in 10 x 10, published by Phaidon in 2000. He has also taught at several architecture schools, including the Tohoku Institute of Technology and the University of California Berkeley, and, in 2007, he was made chair of the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California Los Angeles. Abe is the youngest person ever to hold this position.Abe’s architecture is characterized by complex spatial arrangements and a sensitivity to the surrounding environment and the people who will use the building. His Kanno Museum arranges the rooms of the exhibition space around each other in a complex of angled walls and irregular shapes that stem from an abstract geometric concept. The result is a sequence of dynamic rooms that are dependent on each other for their form. In his Miyagi Stadium, Abe shows an awareness of the surroundings, incorporating the structure of the stadium into the contours of the hill, echoing the physical form of the hill in the curves of the stands. Abe’s bold architectural plans and ability to master an impressive range of building types mark him out as one of the most promising architects working today.

2005: Modern Japanese House

Modeled on the format of Modern House, Modern House 2, and Modern House 3, Modern Japanese House is an overview of recent domestic design trends in Japan and features an array of projects from a variety of architects, both known and new to the international architecture scene. The projects are divided into five chapters – Tiny Houses, Inside/ Outside, Multi Generation Houses, Work/Play, and Vacation Houses – that reflect the issues particular to residential design in Japan. Architects featured include such familiar figures as Kazuyo Sejima, Jun Aoki, Shigeru Ban, Hitoshi Abe and Shuhei Endo, as well as lesser known practitioners such as Nobuaki Furuya, Hiroshii Nakao, among others.

1998: Japan 2000: Architecture and Design for the Japanese Public

Japanese architecture and design acquired international prominence during the boom of the 1980s. Japanese products were sold in record numbers throughout the world and, together with Japanese architecture, became synonymous with high-quality and aesthetics. “Japan 2000: Architecture and Design for the Japanese Public” has been written by Japanese and American architects and designers. In a series of in-depth essays, this lavishly illustrated book presents the architectural and design era of the post-boom 1990s in Japan to a Western audience for the first time. The architecture section focuses on the rapidly expanding public building sector in Japan today. Using some of the most spectacular examples as a basis for their analysis, the athors examine the Japanese government’s role in architecture as well as the historical background of postwar building. In the design section, roughly half the objects featured are award winners in the Good Design Selection System competition, which has done much to raise the standards of design in Japan and is a central theme to this volume. The other half of the objects result from collaborative efforts between industrial designers and traditional craftsmen and are not mass-produced. This reflects the growing concern in Japan to preserve traditional art forms and to revive, or redefine, a specifically Japanese aesthetic. Each section is accompanied by a series of colour and black-and-white illustrations, and future projects are also included.


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