Embassy of Japan in New Zealand



Struggling Cities: from Japanese Urban Projects in the 1960s


The Atrium, Faculty of Architecture and Design, Victoria University of Wellington, 139 Vivian Street
Monday 9 July 2018 - Friday 17 August 2018
9am - 5:30pm, Monday - Friday

About this exhibition

Arata Isozaki Cities in the Air 1960

Year of Production: 2010

Concept of Exhibition:

Taking as its point of departure the various experimental ideas on the city that flourished in Japan in the 1960s and using a combination of diverse media — from architectural scale models to photographs and slides, along with animations and other audio-visuals — this exhibition examines various circumstances of Japanese and other cities up to the present day, and identifies in particular the distinctive aspects of those circumstances as they are manifested in present-day Tokyo.

Venue: The Atrium, Faculty of Architecture and Design, Victoria University of Wellington, 139 Vivian Street
Opening Hours: 9am - 5:30pm, Monday to Friday
Duration: Monday 9 July 2018 - Friday 17 August 2018
Admission: Free

Next destination after Wellington:
  • The University of Auckland - Creative Arts and Industries Student Centre, School of Architecture and Planning (Monday 10 September - Friday 19 October)
  • ARA Institute of Canterbury - Kahukura Building, Department of Engineering and Architectural Studies (Thursday 1 November - Friday 14 December)


Foreword by Naohiko Hino, Architect and supervisor of the exhibition

Kiyonori Kikutake, Tower shape community

What is a city? There can be no single answer to this question. For over 5,000 years cities have developed all over the world. In each, a unique material culture and lifestyle has formed to reflect local conditions and history.

In the 20th century, influenced by modernization, cities changed themselves by rather stylized methods. A mesh of modern urban planning covered cities. As if to replace their local culture, cities were rationalized to fit the modern social system, planned according to an ideal based on an archetypal European city. This rapid urbanization caused drastic change to cities and forced governments and cities to adapt to new conditions.

In the 1960s Tokyo became a megacity. The population reached 20 million and continued growing rapidly. Newspapers were filled with articles about the problems caused by modernization: traffic congestion, pollution, housing shortages and sinking ground. In order to find a way out of these critical situations and to renovate the city, Japan mobilized industrial productivity during a high growth period of its economy. In response to this increase in momentum, architects announced quite ambitious urban projects through mass media.

Show more

Japan Foundation - Travelling exhibition

Since its founding in 1972 the Japan Foundation has conducted a comprehensive and worldwide program of activities with the aim of promoting international understanding through cultural exchange in three areas: arts and cultural exchange, Japanese-language education overseas, and Japanese studies and intellectual exchange.

Among the diverse fields of cultural and artistic endeavours pursued in Japan, Japanese architecture in particular has attracted growing international attention in recent years. Many Japanese architects are active in various parts of the world and bilingual architectural journals published in Japan enjoy wide circulation abroad.

Recognizing the opportunity that this situation presents, the Japan Foundation is sponsoring “Struggling Cities: from Japanese Urban Projects in the 1960s,” an international travelling exhibition on the theme of Japanese architecture and the city.

Show more


Hosted by: