chapter  2
23 Pages

An initiative to pay attention to people – 1973–1986

WithShuichi Matsumura

The shift to the second phase can be described as a reaction to the negative situations that resulted from the mad dash towards modernity in the previous era, namely wars, destruction of the environment, and human disrespect for efficiency.

In Chapter 2, I address the concepts of “Vernacular” and “System.” The typical methodology of the first phase centered around proposing a prototype and then attempting to mass produce it. However, people had not only grown tired of this approach, but criticism of it had arisen as well. Within this context, the concepts of “Vernacular” and “System” began to draw attention. “Vernacular” was the idea of re-evaluating and learning from the daily lives of people and their local communities, factors which had been neglected by modernity. “System” encompassed the idea of utilizing the results of industrialization, while seeking to increase the degree of choice and possibility of participation in order for inhabitants to be more actively involved in the creation of the living environment.

In this chapter, the theories and practices symbolizing the turning point of the era and representing the shift to second phase of open architecture are introduced, such as the ideas of John Turner, the theory of Christopher Alexander, the ideas about contemporary folk houses from Katsuhiko Ohno, the ideas discussed in the Whole Earth Catalog, the alternative methodology of mass housing proposed by Nicholas John Habraken, and the achievements and practices of Mr. and Mrs. Eames. They opened the way to the third phase of open architecture.