polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

On Tokyo and ‘No-Good’ Architecture

"Photographic books amplify a desire for an architecture which simply can't be found in our surroundings. In such a situation, then suddenly architectural design holds no interest anymore; the future appears depressing. If we can't try to turn 'disgusting' buildings into resources, then there is no reason to particularly stay in Tokyo. Surely we can start to think about how to take advantage of them, rather than trying to run away. Shamelessness can become useful. ...

"The buildings we were attracted to were ones giving a priority to stubborn honesty in response to their surroundings and programmatic requirements, without insisting on architectural aesthetic and form. We decided to call them 'Da-me Architecture' (no-good architecture), with all our love and disdain. Most of them are anonymous buildings, not beautiful, and not accepted in architectural culture to date. [...] We thought that although these buildings are not explained by the city of Tokyo, they do explain what Tokyo is."

Momoyo Kajima, Junzo Kuroda and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, from Made in Tokyo, 2008

This is part of a collection of quotes related to cities. They don’t necessarily reflect our views, just topics of interest. We welcome you to add others.

Credits: Photo of Tokyo by Min Li Chan.