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Modern Japanese Architecture Focus of Lecture on January 29
Posted Sunday, January 21

Join the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center and AIA Northern Virginia on January 29, at 6:30p, for a lecture on Modern Japanese Architecture at The Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street, Alexandria.


The Hypospace of Japanese Architecture
A Lecture by Christopher Mead, Emeritus Regents’ Professor, University of New Mexico

A modern architecture for Japan was created from the ashes of Hiroshima. In a tragic paradox, the practical demonstration of modern physics at Hiroshima marks the historical moment when Western science and the Japanese understanding of space as an interval called ma –  間– found common ground in the idea that space and time are interdependent phenomena: the instant of 8:15am on August 6, 1945, when an atomic bomb leveled the center of Hiroshima in a flash of light, is where the classic dialectic in Western rationalism between universal space and linear time gave way not only to Einstein’s theory of relativity, but also to what Arata Isozaki identifies as “the undifferentiated state of time and space” recognized in Buddhist philosophy. The architectural development of this idea of hypospace began with Kenzo Tange’s Peace Memorial at Hiroshima.

Presenter:  Christopher Mead taught from 1980 to 2013 at the University of New Mexico, where he was a Presidential Teaching Fellow and Regents’ Professor with joint faculty appointments in the School of Architecture and Planning and the College of Fine Arts. From 2004 to 2009, he served as Dean of the College of Fine Arts. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from the University of California at Riverside, and both his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. A past President and now Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians, he has written and lectured widely on European and American architecture and urbanism, including books on the American architects Robert Venturi, Bart Prince, and Antoine Predock, and the French architects Charles Garnier and Victor Baltard. His monograph, Making Modern Paris: Victor Baltard’s Central Markets and the Urban Practice of Architecture received the 2015 Alice David Hitchcock Award from the Society of Architectural Historians for “the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture by a North American scholar.” He is currently coordinating an online guidebook for the Society of Architectural Historians, “Archipedia: New Mexico,” and is researching a book on Japanese modern architecture after the bombing of Hiroshima.

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