Friday, January 18, 2019

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 office 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. However, there are many metaphysical concepts that machines can’t learn. Carpenters have advanced techniques and knowledge about traditional buildings, wooden design, and construction, while the younger generation has experience and knowledge concerning robots, advanced fabrication technology, and the virtual world. Takenaka Corporation, as Japan's leading design and construction company, seeks to create a dawn of new building techniques by joining these two generations.

In this workshop, we will study the domains of both the traditional and cutting edge (through lectures and model creation, as well as practical wood manufacturing workshops), with the cooperation of the Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum, and 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 make use of 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/skills developed

Through lectures and hands-on workshops, participants will learn about Japanese wooden traditional buildings, from history to realization. In addition, 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 foresees design, assembly, and construction of the pavilion.

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