AA Visiting School Osaka
March 13-24, 2019
For Takenaka Corporation – which is engaged in a wide variety of design and construction projects, from traditional buildings to offices and houses – the craft of carpentry is the foundation of its 400-year history.
Wood crafting techniques and tools have been handed down for generations in Japan, where wooden buildings and parts hold deep meaning. It is often thought that technology will soon supersede human labor. But there are many metaphysical concepts that machines can’t learn. Seasoned carpenters have advanced techniques and knowledge about traditional buildings, wooden design and construction, while the younger generation has experience and knowledge of robots, advanced fabrication technology and the virtual world. Takenaka Corporation, as Japan’s leading design and construction company, seeks to create new building techniques by joining these two generations.
With the cooperation of the Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, in this workshop we will study the domains of both the traditional and the cutting edge (through lectures and model creation, as well as practical wood manufacturing workshops). We will visit real-life examples of traditional architecture (the Tōdai-ji Temple, the Hōryū-ji temple, and others). After gaining a good understanding of historical values, we will design and construct small wooden pavilions, while considering how new technologies can support and use traditional architectural culture. Through this workshop, we will learn the importance of not only the form of traditional wooden buildings, but also their structural ingenuity, systems of measurement, rituals and ceremonies, the value of ornamentation, and more.
Prominent features of the workshop and skills developed
Through this workshop, you will learn about Japanese wooden traditional buildings, from history to realization, understanding through lectures and hands-on workshops. Skills on how to structurally analyze complex structures through specific software will be developed as well as how to move from model to realization thanks to the introduction to traditional and advanced machinery. Practical hands-on skills will be part of the learning process as the last part of the visiting school includes design, assembly, and construction of the pavilion.