WORKSHOP: Alchemy of Architecture Season 3

Date: 22 January – 23 December 2017 Venue:
Venue: JSURP PLACE (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)


It is one of Cinématic Architecture Tokyo’s experimental challenges focusing on a historical street in the middle of Tokyo. The concept of the project is asking what Architect’s essential nature to have for cities in history is as if an alchemist ‘transforms’ something into another valuable thing and ‘Alchemy’ also suggests for the participants ‘transform’ film into something else in the workshop. Setting historical Kikusaka street (chrysanth HIll) as the site, taking literature written by people used live with their traces, descriptions about the area and films located by ‘Orizuru Osen’ (The Downfall of Osen) 1935 by Kenji Mizoguchi, ‘Bangiku’ (The Old Chrysanth) 1955 by Mikio Naruse and ‘Sorekara’ (Ant Then) 1986 by Yshimitsu Morita as materials as well as novels by Soseki Natsume and Kenji Miyazawa and etc. The first season’s theme was ‘story-telling and construction’, the second season’s was ‘Projection’ and the third season’s theme was ‘Editing for the sake of expression’ as the series’s conclusion. We had eight sessions from January to December 2017. The participants found the materials and references in an emancipated way in the site. And the final expression after the transformation became a performance back in the site, the reproduction of the previous film and the building proposal.


In the season we referred to Kurt Schwitters’ architectural theory and Seigo Matsuoka’s editorial theory. In this workshop which emphasises drastic inspiration and challenging proposals rather than aiming to have excellent results, the participants and staff could be stimulated by each other by their thoughts and works of the experiment.


In the whole three seasons of the workshop, we had not only people from the architectural field but also artists from a British art academy, students from film school and art school, urban planners and people without creative experience with several nationalities like from Europe and Asia and skills then we witnessed the free, active, ambitious and artistic projects came out because of the mixed environment. We exchanged and shared sensibilities with more than 100 people for three years. We would like to appreciate Professor Pascal Shöning and Professor Ron Kenley’s kind support and suggestions far from France.


Special Thanks to:
Prof. Pascal Schöning (Former Unit Master in the Architectural Association School of Architecture)
Prof. Ron Kenley (L’école nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris-La Villette – ENSAPLV )

Supported by
Japan Society of Urban and Regional Planners

Workshop’s webpage