The small single-family house emerged in the post-World War II period as one of the most emblematic contributions by Japanese architects to international modernism. The talk examines how architects such as Tange Kenzo, Seike Kiyoshi, and Shinohara Kazuo managed to internalize principles of the Existenzminimum from Europe and mediated anxieties of populism and cultural tradition as expressed through Japan’s rural farmhouses. (Image credit: Takashi Homma)
Seng Kuan is project associate professor of architecture at the University of Tokyo, where he directs the International Architectural Education Platform. He also teaches regularly at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Seng has published extensively on Japan’s postwar architectural culture, including Kenzo Tange: Architecture for the World (2012) and Kazuo Shinohara: Traversing the House and the City (2022). He was formerly the chief editorial advisor to a+u and currently serves on the management board of TOTO Gallery MA in Tokyo.