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Architecture Talk Series 2023


Cities and Urban Living in Japan 1868-2025

The Architecture Talk Series brings together renowned academics and scholars of Japanese architecture and urbanism. Held over four weeks, these seminars present an overview of representative examples of buildings and designers which prompted a radical phase of change in the construction of larger cities, new modern buildings and infrastructures in Japan, from the Meiji Era to the contemporary period.  

The various seminars will look chronologically at the evolution of the urban landscape in the Japanese city and its interplay with the transforming culture, social structures, and people’s lifestyles. These are impacted by contradictory forces of innovation and change versus conservation and stability, along with the difficult task of binding past traditions and memories with future ambitions and values.  

Elaborating and discussing the different aspects of the transformation of the Japanese cities, each talk will highlight the fundamental changes of the built environment which accompanied the radical and often turbulent process of westernisation/modernisation of traditional Japanese culture and society since the late 19th Century. 


The speakers will investigate and present selected architectures and projects in their historical background spanning four periods: From the end of Edo feudal Period to the beginning of the 20th Century; the phase of modernisation of Japan till the End of the Pacific War 1900-1945; The Post-war reconstruction and the rapid urban and economic growth in 1945-1979; From the years of the so-called “Bubble” to the contemporary period 1980-2023.  

Masaki Koiwa, Waseda University
Ken Tadashi Oshima, University of Washington
Raffaele Pernice, UNSW Sydney
Julian Worrall, University of Tasmania

Curator and host:
Raffaele Pernice, UNSW Sydney

Please note that the in-person talk event will also be available via Facebook livestream on the JPF Sydney Facebook page.


March 2 (Thursday), 2023
6:00pm-7:30pm AEDT
45min talk + 30min Q&A
Free; bookings not required

Attend onsite, in-person or watch online.

Watch online

Video via Facebook.
No account or login required.
Check link for a video from 6pm on the day.

For onsite attendance, find us at:
The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008

Free; bookings not required

(02) 8239 0055

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