• Length:
    5 Weeks
  • Effort:
    3–5 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
    Add a Verified Certificate for $59 USD

  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Intermediate
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Prerequisites

No special prerequisites, although some knowledge of modern architectural history could enrich the course experience.

About this course

First, we'll begin from the year 1868 with Japan's emergence as a new nation. Its new and increasingly Western-style capital city of Tokyo grew upon the foundations of a far smaller seventeenth-century town called Edo surrounding a feudal castle. Before long, changing building methods and materials foretold a different age. By the turn of the twentieth century, a strong contrast between the old-style, low, wooden, Japanese structures and up-to-date modern buildings, first distinguished by red brick and later by industrially produced materials, was clearly visible to any and all.

We'll discuss the intensive process of Westernization set in motion by Japan's imitation of European and American lifestyles. From that angle, we'll see how architects began to seek out their own version of early twentieth-century Modernism. As a starting point, Japanese practice followed the novel rational and "functionalist" innovations of the Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier and the stripped-down and up-to-date approach of Walter Gropius, director of the famous German art school known as the Bauhaus. Meanwhile, Japan had embarked upon educating its own architects, who were no longer the older skilled master carpenters trained on site.

A distinct, if frequently eclectic, style evolved with a few younger Japanese seeking experience abroad. Our course seeks to discuss and illustrate the roots of Modernist building in Japan over approximately three quarters of a century in Part 1.

What you'll learn

  • How Japanese architecture came to differ from that of the West
  • A brief cultural history of Japan in the modern period
  • Greater understanding of the works of several prominent Japanese designers
  • Materials and design methods used by architects in Japan
  • Overall goals and constraints affecting early Japanese architects

Meet your instructors

David B. Stewart
Specially Appointed Professor
Tokyo Institute of Technology

Pursue a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain $59.00

View a PDF of a sample edX certificate
  • Official and Verified

    Receive an instructor-signed certificate with the institution's logo to verify your achievement and increase your job prospects

  • Easily Shareable

    Add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn

  • Proven Motivator

    Give yourself an additional incentive to complete the course

  • Support our Mission

    EdX, a non-profit, relies on verified certificates to help fund free education for everyone globally