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Tokyo Skin: the inherent, symbolic relationship between bastard architectures.

Part 2 Dissertation 2003
Nick Solomon
University of Bath Bath UK
This dissertation examines the phenomena of Tokyo's so-called "bastard architecture" or DA-ME architecture. This architecture is traditionally regarded negatively, but this study sets out to question this understanding.

Instead, it views DA-ME architecture as an elemental part of Tokyo's nature or character. It is vital to read this dissertation as a raw collection of Tokyo's primary bastard qualities ( - not as a collection of trend induced images).

Like a vital supplement rather than a monumental protagonist, DA-ME architecture offers a critical role of interaction in Tokyo's large, yet still village-minded environment. For Tokyo to retain its charismatic and adaptable environment, it is therefore necessary for DA-ME not to be made redundant by new forms of urban living such as high-rise towers, nor for it to be criticised as depreciating the urban form of the city.

Nick Solomon


This dissertation is a perceptive, lively and well illustrated study of Tokyo's urban condition, and in particular of DA-ME architecture. The student has experienced this architecture at first hand, having lived in Tokyo for a number of years, and manages to convey something of this experience and of the priorities of a culture very different to that of the western city. Issues of "history", advertising, urban form and consumerism are dealt with great perception, and the text manages to remain focused and clear. The presentation of the work compliments the subject matter to a commendable degree.

2003
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