• Posted on: May 16, 2015
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Toyo Ito, Home For all

“My goal is not to reestablish the way of life that existed before the tsunami hit in 2011; it is to create a new social life for thenext generation in the aftermath of the catastrophe.” – Toyo Ito

Postcript, ToyoIto, (PDF) from Project Japan.

1) Take notes on Ito’s realizations about how architects have related to nature up to this point. What caused his change of opinion as a designer? How does he suggest that designers engage the natural world?  Do you agree?

2) What do you think of Ito’s idea that, “any proposal for tackling this issue, however visionary, should be an encouragementwith the possibility of a natural disaster always looming.”

3) How important do you think it is for designers to consider/encourage resiliency among people in their work?

4) Would you describe Ito as someone who designs for changing conditions?  What kind of design practices does he encourage and describe in the article?  (list at least three points)


1) Metabolists: A post-war Japanese architectural movement that fused ideas about architecture with those of organic biological growth (1959/1960)

2) Postscript: an additional statement at the end

3) Norm: something that is usual, typical, or standard

4) Viable: capable of working successfully

5) Introversion: the directing of interest inwards towards one’s own thoughts and feelings rather than towards the external world or social contact

Social Resilience: The timely capacity of individuals and groups–family, community, country, and enterprise–to be more generative during times of stability and to adapt, reorganize, and grow in response to disruption.  Source: | Threshold GlobalWorks


Ito offers a vision where:

Design accounts for change  (design is constantly affected by varying natural forces)

Design connects people’s lives to nature

Design engages reality instead of abstraction

The design vision is connected to real people’s lives and needs

Design encourages people — while acknowledging designs have limits

Designers can embody humility. He has moved beyond the illusion that technology and modernism were indestructible.  In reality, the resulting designs were actually quite fragile.

Jamie Kruse is an artist, designer and part-time faculty at Parsons School for Design. In 2005 she co-founded smudge, ( with Elizabeth Ellsworth, based in Brooklyn, NY. She is the author of Friends of the Pleistocene:

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