24 December 2020


co+labo radović      wishes you a Happy New Year


 co+labo radović Darko lecture@Oris 20x20: a sensei, on the making of Japanese architects

06 December 2020

co+labo radović      Davisi Boontharm's talk completes TAUD 2O2O special lecture series    

co+labo 2O2O special lecture series - which included Rafael Balboa, Tamao Hashimoto, Ryoko Iwase, Katsuhito Komatsu+Midori Oshima, Tetsuo Kondo, Toshiki Meijo, Satoshi Sano, Takumi Saikawa, Takashi Takei and Sanja Žonja, discussions, and informed parallel programme of analysis and theoretical considerations by TAUD students - ends with Davisi Boontharm's discussion of East and South-East Asian shophouses and the ways in which theory can help explain that urbo-architectural type and its evolution through time. Davisi's lecture, thus "focuses on an ordinary urban typology, the shophouse, a mixed use (commercial/residential) and narrow facade building commonly found in many cities across the world. The differences come from local interpretations of the type in particular cultural and urban contexts. The contribution of shophouse to the urbanity of different cities in East and Southeast Asia is discussed. The special emphasis is on the shophouses of Bangkok, their history and the criticism of this urban form. The lecture ends with an discussion of the potential of this typology for the sustainable future of Bangkok".

05 December 2020

co+labo radović   Darko@Days of Oris 20x20 - some experiences from 12 years of co+labo  

Darko Radović was invited to talk at Days of Oris, an international architectural festival organized by fine Oris magazine from Zagreb, 
Croatia which champions good architecture for almost twenty years. As Oris summarises, the Days of Oris have been held regularly since 2001. Every year that event "gathers more than 2,000 participants architects and professionals from related fields. So far, more than 300 top experts and speakers from all over the world, have participated in the Festival. The world’s most prominent architects, winners of the largest architectural awards and recognitions, have had their lectures at the Days of Oris: Álvaro Siza, Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban, Alberto Campo Baeza, Juhani Pallasmaa, Peter Zumthor, Mansilla + Tuñon, Adam Caruso, David Adjaye, Steven Holl, Fumihiko Maki, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Kazuyo Sejima, Herman Hertzberger, Hrvoje Njirić, Smiljan Radić, Bevk Perović and many others (more about the previous Days of Oris at www.oris.hr). 
As 2020 is special in many ways, so is the jubilee 20 x 20 Days of Oris. The Festival program includes 20 lecturers and each of their lectures is 20 minutes long."


Darko has decided to, within the context which is going to be abundant with examples of architectural excellence, focus on architectural education, on his unique academic experiences in Japan and in particular on those from making and living co+labo radović

His 20 minutes short lecture is entitled "a sensei: on the making of Japanese architects". 

co+labo radović              New Keio Architecture Yearbook 2018-2019 in the bookshops             

Over the last three years Keio University students of Architecture and Urban Design have made tremendous effort to point out at an obvious fact – that although their university does not have a discrete programme in architecture and urban design, Keio excels in the fields of production of space, both in research and design. In 2018, with tremendous support from the then Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology Professor Kohei Itoh and we have started Comprehensive Design Workshop  – CDW, the project which would not only celebrate the 80th  anniversary of science and technology at the oldest university in Japan, but also help make that evident quality public. Following two excellent exhibitions in excellent exhibition space at Keio Hiyoshi Campus in 2018 and 2019, and a memorable event in July 2020 which brought together some of the key academics and practitioners from Japan and our worldwide partners. Central to those efforts was co+labo , with Darko chairing the project and members at all levels, form undergraduate students to Post-Doc fellows making the exhibition, students competitions, international visits, series of gest lectures and the concluding symposium come true. 
As an exclamation mark at the end of Keio Architecture CDW we have imagined and delivered an appropriately good publication. With generous support of Sogo Shikaku, which has funded and published our book, Keio Architecture Yearbook 2018-19 is now in the bookstores.
This book would be impossible without creativity and commitment of co+labo members  Satoshi Sano. Alice Covatta, Ivan Filipović , Sanja Žonja, Mei Morimoto, Shohei Yamashita, Keitaro Onishi, Mayuko Mikogami, Daisuke Kobayashi, Yukie Takasu, Yumi Ishii, Shun Kato, Norimi Kinoshita, Masahito Motoyama, Takuomi Samejima, Xuang Yang, Žan Krivec, Manca Košir, Amami Iwata, Motomi Matsubara, Junpei Kawamoto, Shinichi Nishibori, Hiroki Shigemura, Muxi Yang, Yuki Mori, Koki Suzuki, Akitaka Suzuki (who took this photo in Yaesu Bookstore) and Ayumu Magome + contributors from other laboratories who participated in design workshops and other activities presented in the Yearbook. 

Following academics and practitioners, friends and partners Keio Architecture have contributed to this issue: 

Fumihiko Maki, Yoshio Taniguchi, Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban, Gabriele Masera, Leonardo Chiesi, Manuela Grecchi, Matteo Ruta, Vladimir Lojanica, Ray Lucas, Ronan Paddison, Alison Young, Haide Imai, Vuk Radović , Davisi Boontharm, Neno Kezić , Tadej Glažar, Estanislau Roca, Motoo Chiba, Katsuhito Komatsu, Takumi Saikawa, Takashi Suo, Hiroyuki Ito, Tetsuo Kondo.

The volume also features Keio Professors:

Akira Haseyama (President), Eiji Okada (Dean, Science and Tachnology), Kohei Ito (Dean, CDW initiator), Darko Radović, Jorge Almazán, Tatsuya Kishimoto, Akira Mita, Toshiharu Ikaga, Hiroto Kobayashi, Ami Ogawa and other.

Big co+labo thank you to all!

Darko’s Introduction

Keio Architecture Yearbook 2018-2019 presents a selection of undergraduate and graduate projects from architecture and urban design studios conducted at Keio University in 2018 and 2019. Keio, the oldest University in Japan, still does not have a dedicated School of Architecture and Urban Design. Its twelve laboratories operating in the fields focusing at production of space are based within multidisciplinary schools which are located at distant campuses - Faculty of Science and Technology at Yagami, and Graduate School of Media and Governance at Shonan Fujisawa. Thus conceived, Keio Architecture functions as an international and collaborative Research, Design-Research and Education Hub, co-organized by participating laboratories, with an overarching aim to advance Architectural and Urban Design at Keio and within its international networks. Architecture was introduced to Keio Faculty of Science and Technology in 2000, with inauguration of Kazuyo Sejimaʼ s and Kengo Kumaʼ s laboratories. The next critical step was in 2010, with establishment of a semi-formal institutional framework of IKI - International Keio Institute for Architecture and Urbanism. Imagined and initiated by Darko Radović ,Kazuyo Sejima (Yagami) and Hiroto Kobayashi (SFC), IKI was launched at Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2010. Since that, it served as a platform for international research and design activities, involving professionals from Keio, various Japanese and international institutions of renown and global prestige. In 2018, Keio Architecture (following an advice by Fumihiko Maki) was announced, with a launch of architecture.keio.ac.jp web site and introduction of the key project - Comprehensive Design Workshop for the Athletic and Recreational Facilities of the Hiyoshi, Shimoda, and Yagami Campuses – CDW. The Workshop, initiated by Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology Kohei Itoh has evolved into a complex, heuristic design-research exercise in rethinking both those facilities and the broader quality of life and well-being within the Campuses and their neighbouring areas. This Yearbook presents work produced within CDW in studios coordinated by Professors (in alphabetic order) Darko Radović , Hiroto Kobayashi, Jorge Almazán, Shigeru Ban and Tatsuya Kishimoto; Visiting Studio Professors Katsuhito Komatsu, Motoo Chiba, Satoshi Sano, Takumi Saikawa and Tatsuo Kondo; and a number of Guests, from the world-known and up-and-coming academics. Reflecting the spirit of emerging Keio Architecture, not only the material presented here but the book itself, generously supported by SOGO Shikakugaku, was entirely designed and developed by our students.

CDW and this book are part of celebrations of the 80th Anniversary of the Faculty of Science and Technology at Keio University.  

03 December 2020


co+labo radović    aSAUD 2O2O: Davisi Boontharm on creative reuse and requalification    

Davisi Boontharm of Meiji University I-AUD and a prominent co+labo associate since the foundation of Laboratory Radović will present the latest in her pet research theme - creative reuse and requalification across urban and architectural scales. Davisi explains that her
 lecture "focuses on the significance of requalification in resource approach to sustainable city. It starts with criticism of the sectorial way of thinking about material objects and an inadequacy of instrumentalized ecological philosophy associated with such thinking and establishes the need for transdisciplinary approaches to the production of knowledge about the material objects and spaces.

She argues that sensitive requalification of existing resources and built environments generates novel and culturally attuned qualities. The discussion of several cases of requalification across scales portrays various degrees of complexity and demonstrates how those practices correspond to the more profound eco-cultural sensibility. Lastly, we examine the crucial roles of art and design in requalification, which have the capacity to celebrate the non-measurable values of objects and spaces. Seen as an active synergy between the culture of reuse and local creativities, requalification provides a workable alternative to the practices driven by dominant global, capital-led development agendas, which generate the unsustainable sameness across the world." 

26 November 2020

 co+labo radović  aSAUD 2O2O two special lectures by Heide Imai, from Senshu University

As aSAUD 2O2O moves towards the themes of cultural sustainability,
Dr Heide Imai of Senshu University, T
okyo has, in two consecutive lectures, presented two of here recent and current research preoccupations. The lecture entitled Gentrification, Revitalization or what: Changing Scapes, Spaces and Places in Japan" moved "beyond the general concept of gentrification, and ask how the ambiguity of urban change can be understood. Being rich in data coming from different urban spheres in Japan, which experienced decline, failure but also rebirth and revival, the case studies presented will allow the reader to develop a deeper understanding for the ongoing restructuring processes which happen around us, yet cannot be fully understand until we know how they affect the everyday life of the ordinary residents, users and visitors (often in contrasting ways). Some of the results are presented in the just published book “Creativity in Tokyo - Revitalizing a Mature City" (2020, Palgrave, left up) which offers a glimpse into the complex structure of necessary elements that provide physical and particularly socio-cultural support to the whole chain of creative actors in Tokyo. The book presumes that city creativity is equally influenced by financial support, accessible infrastructure (in terms of spaces, transport, digital technology), as well as sets of informal networks, services and tacit, locally embedded knowledge that provide basic layers of stimuli that are needed for creativity to fully develop. The future development of creativity and general development of a city depends not only on planning strategies of formal authorities but equally important appropriate inclusion of heterogeneity elements that are provided i.e. embedded within the local, informal, hidden context of micro city spaces." That lecture was followed by brief aSAUD discussion, and lead to the second talk (below) and results of Heide's long-standing interest in continuity and resilience of some traditional urban typologies in the metropolis, and in particular on roji. The material presented included references to her earlier book "Tokyo Roji "(2017, Routledge; left), and help open the final round of discussion.

23 November 2020

 co+labo radović  TAUD 2O2O guest lecture 8+9: Komatsu+Midori Aoyama & Ryoko Iwase  

The series of TAUG 2O2O guest lectures ends with final two talks.
co+labo alumnus Katsuhito Komatsu and Midori Aoyama of Fukei.Inc will talk about Integration of Scene and Architecture. They summarise: "
We aim to create architecture from the unique landscape of the land. We believe that every site has its own unique landscape and context, and by launching architecture from it, projects have an inherent uniqueness that can only be found in that location. The context is a complex mixture of several elements, from which we extract elements of greater design strength and incorporate them into the design. Sometimes that element may be a sequence,  material, or a light environment. We believe that our design is unique to the land when we arbitrarily find elements in the context of the land.We learned this method from our mentor, Kengo Kuma. While working at Kuma Architects, we learned to experiment with many materials such as wood, aluminium, and paper, and to work with the engineers we collaborated with to incorporate the culture and technology of the region into our architecture. Oshima also studied Italian villas as part of her study to read the local context. Villas are not designed by themselves, but by keeping in mind the relationship between urban symbols (e.g., the cupola in Florence) and other villas and the sequence of views." In this presentation, Komatsu and Oshima-san will share some of that research with and also explain three architectural projects (above and left) - design based on the materials, views and activities of the land, where each of the projects is completely different in site, size and program.A very special lecture was left for the end of TAUD 2O2O series - Ryoko Iwase, of Studio Iwase who was co+labo associate and technical secretary in one of our most exciting research and research projects - Mn'M Measuring the non-Measurable 2011-14. Ryoko-san will use her riverside walkway project in Osaka (below) to present and discuss her approach to design and sources of inspirations.


19 November 2020

   co+labo radović co+labo's Samejima Taku@Todai on architecture and form + much more 

Following his presentation so
co+labo and TAUD 2O2O students at Keio, our Samejima-san continues the development of his theme with a talk at the University of Tokyo - by zooming into the themes opened and zooming out, to explore the widest horizons of his interests. He explains that, very much in tune with Darko's own gaijin fascinations and frustrations discussed and problematised within TAUD since its inauguration on 2009, he is going to argue how "t
he impossibility of the translation between 'Architecture' and kenchiku precisely lies in the matter of 'Form'. If kenchiku made its prior concerns on the problem of 間 (ma = space, atmosphere), or the interface between Interior and Exterior, or its harmony with the surrounding environment, 'Architecture' on the other hand, has been dealing with the matter of 'How to create buildings as a Form-Object?'." Samejima-san claims how "it is not an overstatement to say that History of 'Architecture', is precisely the History of Form. This can be seen in the continuous discourse on Form, from Brunelleschi, Alberti, Bramante to Palladio, Borromini, and even to Corbusier, Louis Kahn, Aldo Rossi and O. M. Ungers. Such discourse on Form can still be seen in the contemporary dialogue among architects in the US, continuous from Renaissance for more than 500 years." He promises that in his Todai lecture "I will talk about this 'Matter of Form', through my Graduation thesis done in co+labo, education at Yale, fFormal Analysis with Peter Eisenman, Studio curriculums, and by introducing some of the contemporary discourses in the US. Such topics will include 'Image-culture', 'Theories on color', 'Pop-Post-Modernism', 'Primitive Forms' and 'Object-Oriented Ontology'. The discussion will elaborate this topic on Form in relation with contemporary issues such as 'Black Lives Matter' movement, the recent presidential election in US, and the age of Anthropocene and so on." For co+labo, this is a moment to cherish, a moment when one of our own takes off high, into the fascinating confluences of diverse architectural histories, theories and practice(s). Samejima-san's departure to Yale helped him enter the fertile fields of thinking about built environments which, to a careful observer and learner as he is, expose the limitations of both strong, but still regional Japanese ways, and of domineering, but still weak and insufficient "American" ways. The world of architecture is always richer and - what to say about the worlds of urbanism. At co+labo and at co+re we hope and we promise to wholeheartedly support discussions of the kind which Samejima-san brings back to his laboratory, and to his own intellectual world in the making.

16 November 2020

 co+labo radović TAUD 2O2O special lectures 6+7: Tamao Hashimoto and Tetsuo Kondo 

The series of TAUD guest lectures continues with presentations by two inspirational architects and long-standing co+labo associates - Tamao Hashimoto and Tetsuo Kondo. Tamao-san, after his successful work at Geidai, recently joined Nihon Fukushi University. In his work, he focuses on a notation of the city, based on the scale of the body/directness "explores a way for celebrating our everyday life. In this case, the celebration means kind of the representation, the mediation, and the configuration of architectural /urban space twisted together with our daily routine, which looks like same repetition but there are quite diverse and overlapped rhythm physically & socially." At the scale of the body/directness, in his own words, Tamao "mainly tries to deal with choreography of movement, as a key term for representing architectural/urban situation, and at the scale of the architecture, he is tying to mediate a series of territorial conditions with spatial configuration of architecture. And, at the scale of the city, even though it’s still conceptual, he keeps describing a series of eccentric, conflicted, and peripheral conditions of the relationship between physical and social structures of the city." In his practical design, Tamao has adapted a method of mapping the city, such as trajectory, time-geography, and personal space, onto residential design process (left). And, in his design-research, he starts to deal with facility of mental disability, "which might be key for figuring out hidden essential relationship between object, human, and design, without reducing purposive affordance. Since Modernism, specifically speaking, since Alexander Klein described the circulation of human movement inside of a house around 1920, by following Taylor system, the circulation of human movement has been kept as a static/linear relic of lived experience of everyday life. From the point of view for tackling those situations, this work tries to invent for notating conceived, perceived, and lived spatial experience onto the static/linear relic of that."

Tetsuo Kondo who, after seven years at SANAA, since 2006 runs his own Tetsuo Kondo Associates, will address TAUD students live, focusing on the theme of "Architecture and people" as addressed in some of his latest projects, such as Inujima Hoppy Bar and Shichigahama (below).

13 November 2020

 co+labo radović aSAUD 2O2O lecture 3: Matyas Gutai completes inspiring cycle of 3 talks  

aSAUD students have lived up to expectations, responding with interest and passion to the final in a series of excellent lectures delivered by Matyas Gutai, our Special Guest from Loughborough University. The final lecture reached crescendo by touching upon the largest, urban scales and detailing some probing examples of possible paths towards the more sustainable world. The ensuing discussion has not stayed at technical and spatial themes, but reached towards the associated philosophical issues, the questions of ethics of sustainable design, the dynamics of control and freedom, tradition and anti-traditionalism, and more.  That sets an excellent platform for successful completion of T
AUD 2O2O, provides students with much needed inspiration and courage not to be shy when entering their next project. Thank you, Maytas and we will continue this collaboration though co+labo and co+re networks.

09 November 2020

   co+labo radović TAUD 2O2O special lectures 4+5: co+labo's Takashi Takei+Rafael Balboa 

TAUD 2O2O series continues with presentations by co+labo's own Takashi Takei and Dr Rafael Balboa.

After graduating from co+labo in 2011, Takei-san joined Mt Fuji Architects Studio, and stayed working with Masahiro Harada+Mao ever since. The title of his TAUD 2O2O lecture is "design process of Hotel Siro - about concept". In his introduction Takei-san says how he approached this lecture as an OB, relatively close to everyone in and around co+labo , and talks about his personal experience with "engaging in design at an atelier based design office. I will talk about how exactly my latest project, Hotel Siro in Ikebukuro was developed.

The site is about five minutes of Ikebukuro station. The frontage is narrow, surrounded by a multi-tenant building and a love hotel. It is a corner facing north. From the situation of the site, one can feel psychological, more than logical connection with the city and the street. The planning evolved on under the concept of "hotel to stay in the city". The building was completed in April 2020, and the process consisted of ten months of design, an application and estimation period which took six months, and one and a half long construction period. What are the designers doing over that long period? In a shortest, we thoroughly consider and decide on "everything" that is related to design and usability. What we call basic design takes a quarter of the total work. The remainder focuses at a study and decisions regarding the dimensions, materials, and details of each part. That a concrete and very detailed work. We also, occasionally, negotiate with various government offices and agencies the interpretation of relevant laws and regulations.

While thinking about what kind of stance should be taken for this detailed and raw work, for us the "city" was consistently at the center. By standing by the keyword "hotel to stay in the city" we were able to keep direction and set pace in completing the project. From my personal position, rather than that of the staff member in a design office, I have been wondering if I needed such keywords when I was a student. Many work without their own design concept. That is hard to explain, but too many important things were there to spill out of the concept. In my case, this seemingly unanswered question has been heavily influenced by Mount Fuji's textbook, since the times when I was a student. I have also learned a lot from Jun Aoki’s writings.

In any case, the lack of an organised disorganized story is a problem, for both those who want be designers and those who don't. I hope that my presentation helps students in their thinking.

As our visiting research fellow in 2020, Rafael Balboa of Studio Wasabi was a regular speaker at
co+labo. His TAUD lecture broadens his already significant contribution to all undergraduate students of architecture at Keio's SD Engineering. Rafa's lecture is entitled "Studio Wasabi Architecture: recipes for a perfect flaw". He explains how 
The word is in romance with success”, was once the start of a talk session between its director Brett Steele and the American architect Mark Wigley about failures at the Architectural Association (AA)  Success in the creative fields (if not to say any other body of human knowledge) is in fact intimately entangled with failure. Almost in a masochistic fashion, architects struggle today submitting several ideas for competitions, in order to have very few of them built. In his book The Architecture of Failure how Modernism Douglas Murphy emphasizes the suppressed, ignored and denied failure in the way we design our cities”.
Today, the failure has simply become a common ground for anyone who attempts to innovate.
 Hence some fundamental questions arise. Is architecture repressed only in the built environment that we experience or rather in the very concepts and ideas that generates such environment? What is to learn in the cognitive process of creating something? 

Under such theoretical frame, the lecture will revise some of the un-built projects of our practice, creating a narrative around the sketches and preliminary ideas that lead to a final proposal. Moreover, it will elaborate on the lessons embedded in the creative process, addressing the thesis that it is only through failures that we can start to understand success, or better rephrased, redefining the very idea of failure in our contemporary material and intellectual culture."