Matter in the Floating World

It seems that Japan contains a higher number of internationally significant architects and designers relative to its geographic size than anywhere else in the world. Japanese designers regularly implement radical experiments in new materials and building systems that successfully address imminent energy and resource challenges. These technological achievements are combined with an acute awareness of the ephemerality of materials as well as an engagement with the “floating world” of changing cultural behaviors and shifting societal patterns.

In Matter in the Floating World, Blaine Brownell travels to the offices of twenty leading material and design innovators in Japan, including Tadao Ando, Shigeru Ban, Kengo Kuma, and Kazuyo Sejima, to find the connections between materiality and transience in their work. The dialogues in Matter in the Floating World are organized into four sections: lightness, atmosphere, flow, and emergence that embody various approaches to materiality and evanescence in Japanese architecture and design.

The Plain Dealer
“Japanese architects, some trained in the United States, continue to experiment with new home building materials and using familiar materials in new ways. Their thoughts and homes are spotlighted in Matter in the Floating World.”

“Brownell sought to find how today’s daily inundation of new materials has affected this thoughtful approach. The discussion is carried out with text and stunning photographs that help illustrate his main points.”

“A favorite… full of personal and professional insight.”

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