William O. Gardner is Professor of Japanese language, literature, and film at Swarthmore College. His most recent work explores the intersection of architecture and science fiction in postwar Japan, which builds upon his earlier research on intermedial relationships in Japanese prewar modernism as well as postwar science fiction. His previous publications include Advertising Tower: Japanese Modernism and Modernity in the 1920’s and “The Cyber Sublime and the Virtual Mirror: Information and Media in the Works of Oshii Mamoru and Kon Satoshi.”
The Metabolist Imagination: Visions of the City in Postwar Japanese Architecture and Science Fiction
William O. Gardner
University of Minnesota Press
Rem Koolhaas and Hans Ulrich Obrist
This retrospective of the Metabolist movement features extensive timelines, photographs, and other documentation of their projects, together with interviews with Metabolist architects and their associates.
Lieven De Cauter
This thought-provoking set of essays examines the evolution of the modern city into an archipelago of enclosed, fortified, and networked spaces. Written soon after the 9/11 attacks at the onset of the Iraq War, De Cauter’s polemic critically repurposes the late 1960’s capsule theory of Metabolist architect Kurokawa Kishô.
This audacious disaster novel from 1964 imagines a double apocalypse: a global viral pandemic that wipes out all human habitation save for an international research colony on Antarctica, and an automated exchange of nuclear missiles between the newly depopulated U.S. and Soviet Union set off by a massive earthquake in Alaska. The novel experiments with multiple scales of narration from personal to planetary, including passages that are narrated from the point of view of the earth itself.