Pictures of the Floating Microcosm

New Representations of Japanese Architecture

A unique insight into the design process and representational methods of contemporary Japanese Architects, featuring works by Kazuo Shinohara, Toyō Itō, SANAA, Atelier Bow-Wow, Junya Ishigami, and others.



Olivier Meystre

1st edition

, 2017

Text English


240 pages, 122 color and 96 b/w illustrations

20 x 27 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-054-1


The success of any architectural project depends on the architect’s ability to depict it. Conveying architectural ideas as drawings, pictures, or models is both a critical part of the process and one that can tell us much about the design itself in a particular time or place. Over the past two decades, major new trends in architectural representation have emerged in Japan, which have gained widespread attention in the Western world.

Pictures of the Floating Microcosm considers these trends and takes readers through their development to the present day. Olivier Meystre undertakes a critique of the design tools and mediation techniques that have been employed and reveals the very special ways of conceiving an architectural project, drawing on a wealth of new research and interviews with contemporary Japanese architects. His book is a fascinating testimony of an entire generation of architects’ complex approaches, where all attributes of space are questioned and redefined while a strong undercurrent of tradition continues to have pivotal influence.


Edition française

Autoren & Herausgeber

Olivier Meystre

 is an architect and works as studio director and lecturer at EPFL in Lausanne, specializing in questions of architectural representation. He researches as visiting fellow at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

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Junya Ishigami, Row House,Tokyo 2008 © Junya Ishigami

SANAA, Project Grace Farms, New Canaan 2012 © SANAA

Toyō Itō, White U, Nakano 1976 © Toyō Itō

Junya Ishigami, KAIT Workshop, Kanagawa 2007 © Junya Ishigami

Ryūe Nishizawa, Hiroshi Senju Museum, Karuizawa 2013 © Ryūe Nishizawa

Kentaro Kurihara, Miho Iwatsuki, Forest House in the City 2012 © Kentaro Kurihara

Junya Ishigami, Row House, Tokyo 2005 © Junya Ishigami

Hideyuki Nakayama, My Vision for Tokyo, 2009 © Hideyuki Nakayama

Hideyuki Nakayama, O House, 2010 © Hideyuki Nakayama


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