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1945-1979: Architectures of the Rapid Growth in Japan

Presented by Raffaele Pernice
February 23, 2023

The presentation will cover the period from 1945 to the late 1970s and will provide an overview of relevant ideas, architectures and urban planning schemes developed by key architects (Kunio Maekawa, Kenzo Tange and the Metabolists to name a few). These will be covered in the context of Japan’s post-war reconstruction and fast-paced urbanisation of the period and in relation to the international architectural and urban discourse. 

The talk will look at several important projects, from new civic buildings and residential types to futuristic utopian mega structural schemes, designed expressly to respond to the urban infrastructural developments and mass housing problems of post-war Japan during unprecedented economic growth, massive urban expansion and strong technological progress. The talk will also give an account of the transformation of Japanese society, its people and built environment in a phase of turbulent but fundamental change.  


Topics to be covered

  • Post-war reconstruction in Japan, and rapid economic growth and urbanisation of Japanese cities 
  • Example of Modernism in Architecture in 1950-60s (Maekawa K., Yoshizaka T., Tange K.) 
  • Urban projects and megastructures: building big (the Metabolists, Tange) 
  • Events and consumerism: WoDeCo 1960, Tokyo Olympics 1964; Osaka Expo 1970; Okinawa Ocean Expo 1975 
  • The cost of growth: pollution, oil crisis and political turmoil (1960-1970s) 


Raffaele Pernice
Raffaele Pernice is an architect and Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Urbanism at the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), Australia. He received a PhD in Architecture from Waseda University in Tokyo and a M.Arch from the University IUAV of Venice, Italy. Dr. Pernice’s research concentrates on modern and post-modern urban and architectural theories and history, with a focus on the contemporary urbanism of Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. He has been recipient of several competitive international grants and fellowships from the Japan Foundation, the MEXT (the Japanese Ministry of Education), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), among others. 

This is the third of four events in the talk series, Transforming Cities, Buildings, And Culture.



February 23 (Thursday), 2023
6:00pm-7:30pm AEDT
45min talk + 30min Q&A
Onsite & online via Facebook Live (FB account not required)

Free; bookings not required


Find out about the Architecture Talk series.

Learn more

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


(02) 8239 0055

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