Lecture And...Yet Another Tokyo!


On Tuesday, 27 February 2018, at 6 pm in Oris House of Architecture, architects Darko Radović and Davisi Boontharm will deliver a lecture titled And... Yet Another Tokyo! The Extraordinary in the Ordinary.

Imagine a World City of tens of millions of inhabitants, where the streets have no names.
Imagine a huge city, where the streets have no sidewalks.
Imagine a metropolis with no crime, and where everyone behaves politely.
Imagine …
Or, you do not need to imagine… Just come to Tokyo, and experience all that by yourself.

Ordinary, dominant Tokyo does not open itself to strangers easily; let alone to casual visitors. Still, we have chosen to be(come) part of such Tokyo. We live and teach architecture here, for almost ten years now, as full-time, 1:1 scale, total foreigners. We enjoy what Roland Barthes described as the murmuring mass of an unknown language which here, indeed, constitutes a delicious protection, envelops the foreigner […] in an auditory film which halts at his ears all the alienations of the mother tongue. In Tokyo, we understood Perec. We have learned to observe. It, still, took us a while to accept that, sometimes, one simply can not understand. That recognition helps us to get closer to the essence of actual spaces and practices then our previous experiences and preconceptions could. co+labo radović, architectural and urban design-research laboratory at Keio, the leading Japanese university also helps.

The aim behind this lecture is to share some of the impressions of Tokyo, as lived by two improbable insiders.

One of the critical undercurrents which define Tokyo is an undisputable quality of architectural production. But, even true masterpieces here, somehow, simultaneously blend in and stand out against the overall grayness of the context. Immersed into the anonymous fabric of endless repetition, their bursts of pronounced identity act as local landmarks, providing cues in the city where streets have no names.

The lecture focuses at some extraordinary places, practices and moments within our ordinary, lived Tokyo. Visual explorations of the-extraordinary-within-the-ordinary in cities, captured in drawings and watercolour notebooks of Davisi Boontharm, both announce and unfold in parallel to the talk, aiming to invite discussion.

Darko Radović
Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Keio University, Tokyo. He has taught, researched and practised architecture and urbanism in Europe, Australia and Asia. At Keio, Darko heads co+labo radović, research laboratory which focuses at the concepts of urbanity and sustainable development across scales, in contexts which expose difference and offer encounters with the Other. He published in English, Serbo-Croatian, Japanese, Korean, Italian and Thai languages.

Davisi Boontharm
Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Meiji University, Tokyo. Her international academic career stretches from France via Thailand, Singapore and Australia to Japan. Davisi’s urban research includes focus on subjectivity and role of art in requalification, while her creative work expresses passion for cities. She published a number of books and research papers, and exhibits her artwork internationally.