Course Title : Architecture Communication

Code 10i017
Course Year Master 1st
Term 1st term
Class day & Period Thu 4th
Location C2-102
Credits 2
Restriction No Restriction
Lecture Form(s) Lecture
Language English
Instructor Esther Tsoi, Kiyoshi Takeyama

Course Description

English is the global working language of arts and science, as well as in international project collaborations. Japanese architectural design sensibilities are well sought after overseas. On the other hand, Japanese prominent developers and stores likes to employ international talents to provide a view outside the box, leading to game-changing solutions. Being able to lead a discussion in English with people from all backgrounds, as well as honing and communicating one’s unique Japanese sensibilities, would be an important skill to survive in a global changing environment.

In this class we will read and reflect upon a number of architectural essays, starting with Junichiro Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows. For the final presentation exercise, we may do role play. Taking up different roles of external forces: developers, residents, engineers, environmentalists, preservationists, government, contractors.... We may change viewpoints, debate and ask questions in class.


Students will need to read different texts and solve the related problems. Students are expected to be able to read, discuss and present architecture in English at the end of the class. There will be no final examination. Attendance, class participation and exercise completion is important.

Homework/ tests - 40% Presentations - 40%. Attendance - 20%.

Course Goals

Able to use fluent English for communicating and presenting architectural ideas.

Course Topics

Theme Class number of times Description
Introduction 1 Read In Praise of Shadows
From Shinto to Ando 1 Write and prepare to present own experience.
Presentation & debate 1 Read Construction History
Crystal Palace 2 Read Space, Time & Architecture
Ledoux 2 Read The Theater of Industry. Complete Exercise.
Discussion & Presentation 1 Read Beaubourg Effect
Pompidou Center & High Tech Architecture 2 Read Beaubourg Effect and complete exercise “Schematization”.
Image of the City 1 Read Mathematics of Ideal Villa
Development projects 1 Exercise: Villa design
Presentation and debate 2 Architectural project with social and technological issues.


Steen Eiler Rasmussen, Experiencing Architecture, MIT Press, 1992. Experiencing Architecture pdf
Gunter Nitschke, From Shinto to Ando, Academy, 1993. From Shinto to Ando pdf
Junichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows, Leet’s Island Books, 1997.? In Praise of Shadows pdf
Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City, Harvard-MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies Series, 1964. Image of the City pdf


Christian Norberg-Schulz, Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture, Academy Editions Ltd, 1980. Genius Loci pdf
Kenneth Frampton, Modern Architecture: A Critical History, Thames and Hudson, 1992. Modern Architecture pdf?
Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture, Dover, 1986. Towards A New Architecture pdf
Christian Schittich, in Detail Japan, Birkhauser, 2002.
Graphic Anatomy Atelier Bow-Wow, Toto, 2007.
Francis D.K. Ching, Building Construction Illustrated, John Wiley and Sons, 1991.?
Francis D.K. Ching, A Visual Dictionary of Architecture, John Wiley and Sons, 2011. A Visual Dictionary pdf
About me:
My essay Hand or Machine, 2012.


Independent Study Outside of Class

Web Sites

Additional Information