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Re: <eyebeam><blast> Itsuko Hasegawa, Tokyo

Carlos Basualdo wrote:

> The local, then, would not be an essence not a fatality but
> more of a pro-tension, the promise of a more elaborate experience
> of the present.

> In this sense there will not be a clear opposition between the global
> and the local, but instead there will be delays involved in the
> mediation between a society and its possibilities of reflection
> on itself.

An essay a number of years back by Kenneth Frampton discussed a split
between a local and a global design mentality as critical regionalism (I
think that is the term) and sited mid-century Californian architect
Bernard Maybeck as an example; designers who use local materials and are
influenced by local cultures to produce their work, and did so in
obvious opposition to the popular modernistic styles of the time (which
was a dialogue about universality). Another example might be FL Wright's
low, long Praire style buildings, influenced in part by the flatness of
the landscape around him.

Hasegawa, Ito and other contemporary Japanese architects may not be
reacting to material and landscape quite like Wright and Maybeck. It's a
different world. And there is certainly less of a split between the two
extremes. Both Hasegawa and Ito have tried to speak about a global
situation formally. For instance, this was my interpretation of
Hasegawa's use of a gigantic globe as the center-piece of a large
outdoor expo, as well as Ito's glowing cubic house and cylindrical
tower. But their work, and this I have only noted tangentially through
photographs, also seems to maintain a greater attention to the smaller
scale: the human inhabitant. As the interview touched on, the local
events drive the particulars of the spaces. The global drives the big
bold photographic moves. Perhaps the mediation is between the media
image, the image that must be provided, the image that travels the
world, and the physical user, the actual rather than virtual audience
that must be provided for.

Mark Watkins neophyte architect

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