Review Of "Intercultural Architecture: The Philosophy Of Symbiosis" By K. Kurokawa

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Japan's global architect on a par with Arata Isozaki and a leader in the Metabolist Movement in the '70s, Kurokawa is also an avid reader and prolific writer. His latest book advocates multiculturalism for the new brave information society, under the banner of symbiosis, grounding it in Japan's indigenous syncretism, especially as manifested in the culture of the Edo period. Propping it with his wide-ranging interdisciplinary reading, East and West, old and new, in philosophy, economics, and sciences, from Mahayana Buddhism and the tea master Rikyu, to Arthur Koestler, J.F. Lyotard, and Jacques Attali, but ignoring fellow architectural theorists like M. Tafuri whose “bricolage” is akin to his own nonhierarchical “rhizome.” At times naive, as with dualism to characterize the Western civilization and Modernism at large, he nevertheless succeeds, if more with clever suggestiveness than with persuasive argument, to alert us to the need for a new multivalent world order. Throughout, he illustrates his ideas with his own buildings in beautiful photographs, which speak as articulately as his writing, leading up to the New Tokyo Plan 2025, which he discusses at length in the final chapter. Recommended for all libraries.


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