Japanese students ‘re-practice’ architecture from Flanders


Ghent architects helped students at the Tokyo Institute of Technology to transform their projects into designs for a Japanese society

Re-visit, re-turn

Two Ghent architects and the director of the Flanders Architecture Institute were in Tokyo last week to deliver a lecture on the relationship between architecture from Flanders and Japan. Architectural firm De Vylder Vinck Taillieu are the focus of an exhibition in the Toto Gallery in Tokyo.

The show, Variete / architecture / desire, features the firm’s key projects using models and drawings produced at a workshop at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The firm set up a study at the Institute into similarities and differences in the Japanese and Flemish approaches to architecture.

Students had to closely analyse 11 of the firm’s designs – the concept, style and practical purpose – and re-interpret it for Japanese society. Which aspects could they keep and which had to be abandoned and why?

The workshops delved into the architectural differences inherent in vastly difference cultures, producing 11 mirror projects. The project was dubbed a “repractice”, rather than research.

The show, which runs at the Tokyo gallery until 24 November, will travel to Flanders next spring and be shown at deSingel in Antwerp under the name Re-Practice, Re-visit, Re-turn.

Photo: Renovating a historical building on the campus of a psychiatric hospital in Melle was one of De Vylder Vinck and Taillieu’s key projects