Symposium at MOMA でのシンポジウム,日本の構造化された血筋

At MOMA museum of modern art in NY, a symposium titled “structured linage” was held to discuss about Japanese structural engineers. The tile is a pan around. a few prominent engineers, researchers and architects from England, Belgium, US and Japan gave lectures and panel discussion for a full day. Apprenticeship is seen everywhere technique and philosophy propagate to next generation, so we wondered the reason why the word “ structured” is used, because we could not figure out well more than the effect of pan of “structure”. We speculate the maintaining of lineage in Japan is focused and become purpose, instead, in other countries it is a simply a method where culture is succeed and the method becomes a good outcome. Of course it is not a symposium about structure design but not sociology it is natural not to dig in too deep.

先日ニューヨーク近代美術館 MOMAのオーディトリアムで日本の建築構造家の系譜をテーマにしたシンポジウムが一日かけて行われた。おりしも上の階では建築家伊東豊雄さんの教え子たちの展覧会が開催されていて、そのテーマに共鳴していろ。副題は「日本の構造デザインに学ぶ」とある。技術や思想が先達から後継者へ受け継がれるのは日本に限らずヨーロッパでもどこにでもある構造で、ここに構造化されたと謳うからには、日本の構造家の系譜には何か特殊なものがあるのだろうか?ベルギー、英国、米国の研究者によって様々な観点から、まるで家系図のようになっている日本の構造設計界の系譜が説明された。構造家の血筋が構造化されているというのはシャレで、言葉が掛けられているのだけれど、構造化の部分にはあまり焦点が当たらなかったように思われた。わざわざ題になっているのは、西欧の系譜が文化伝達の手段、そして、その結果として現れるのに対して、日本の徒弟制度では、血筋とそのスタイルを絶やさないように維持すること、それ自体が強く意識されるからではないだろうか?当然西欧のそれに比べて厳格で、構造そのものが目的化しているのではないか?と想像した。日本ではそれは建築に限らず、あらゆる分野に浸透している心理構造なので、取り立ててどうということはないのだけれど、海外では特殊なことに見えるかもしれない。もちろんここでは、良い側面だけが注目されていた。文化的背景について掘り下げられないのは文化についてのシンポジウムではないから当然だけど。


Actually structure of apprenticeship is very common over almost every social aspect in Japan not only fields of arts. Every new comer or entrant to any groups are obedient to existing members, school sport club is a extreme example, harassment abuse of by senior onto junior is daily bases. Any design firms and business companies have similar mentality at a certain extend. You find your organization is unhealthily hierarchical and want to move to different place but you cannot find alternative because they have the similar structure, the worst case is they will consider you must have had a problem at former organization, and they will think you will create the same problem among them. Probably why these structure design firms had/has been able to create great design is their priority is creating new thing not other things to maintain the organization. probably a good aspect of Japanese apprenticeship worked very well additionally, which is senior guides junior. Nobody questions that chronologically ordered hierarchy It may not be structured in the western apprenticeship.



Later we talked with one of the central figure of this event Mutsuro Sasaki who is one of the most innovative structural engineer. He says his stuffs leave the firm after 5years working. He wants keep his office small and 5years should be enough for smart disciples to learn everything. He naturally thinks it is his roll to educate and raise new structure engineers. The graduates will inherit similar culture for the next generation. Thus linage is automatically structured.

Any way 5 years is so generous. To build a real building requires enormous amount of process, new staffs have to be taught mouth by mouth. For many firms this is a major investment until the staff does not need that full instruction. Probably many firms would say 5yeas cannot compensate the investment in 5 years. Although he does not seem to think educating new staff is an investment.


それにしても、5年とは気前が良い。建物の設計は膨大な過程を経ることになるので、新所員には手取り足取りで教え込むことになる。そんなに面倒なら、自分がやった方か早くて確実。それでも会社が給料を払いながら、そうするのは大変な投資となる。5年で出て行かれては元が取れないと、少なくとも他の分野の会社は考えるのはないだろうか?しかし、彼の頭の中には 社員の教育を投資と見る考え方が無さそうに見えた。


By the way, as the symposium goes to the end, we gradually realized the speakers share an idea about their stance. On the process of designing, engineer should not be a passive consultant who just makes architect’s temperamental design buildable, instead dialogue with architect will inspire both, then the out come will be creative and really beautiful. It is the same idea we posted before!