Daniel Urban Kiley Lecture: Toru Mitani


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Is there any essential difference between the detail design of landscape architecture and of architecture? It is very common to discuss detail design in the architectural realm, as evidenced by a number of research works and publications focusing on the rationality and logics of the wooden structure of traditional Japanese architecture that praise its beauty. On the other hand, it is not so easy to find any discussion of detail designs of the traditional gardens in Japan, because most focus on the semantics and symbolization of their style. For example, the stone formation in the dry garden has been explained from the viewpoint of Buddhist symbolization or sometimes of the spiritual representation, and not from the viewpoint of its functional, structural reason, in other words, as a matter of engineering.

Japan-based landscape architect Toru Mitani discusses these and other considerations with reference to the concurrent GSD exhibition featuring his ongoing work and collaborative projects with his firm ‘studio on site.’

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