Genetic Engineering

Metabolism, the City of the Future
September 17, 2011–January 15, 2012
Mori Art Museum

Metabolism was a Japanese movement that took off in 1960 when a loose-knit group of architects and designers—including Fumihiko Maki, Kiyonori Kikutake, and other disciples of the architect Kenzo Tange—distributed their manifesto, Metabolism 1960: Proposals for a New Urbanism, at the World Design Conference in Tokyo. These idealists wanted to fashion architectural projects like strands of DNA and they proposed floating cities, podlike buildings, and futuristic urban scenarios, many of which took shape during Japan’s rapid growth. In September, Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum will mount Metabolism, the City of the Future, a major exhibition on the movement, with objects from 100 projects. Highlights include the 1970 Osaka Expo World’s Fair and Kisho Kurokawa’s seminal Nakagin Capsule Tower, a dwelling space of 140 concrete pods (right). The Metabolists’ visionary ideas should appeal to today’s architects and planners and also make any sci-fi buff proud. Paul Makovsky

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