Kazuo Shinohara. Traversing the House and the City
A landscape-format volume with a brown hardcover about the Japanese architect Kazuo Shinohara (1925–2006) illuminates his design practice through travel photographs from the 1970s and 1980s. A 34-page central section featuring two to six photos per page creates an almost filmic archive presentation, elegantly illustrating how Shinohara’s anthropological research flows into his architectural work. The photos, depicting a wide variety of construction forms and a number of street scenes from various continents, are assembled in accordance with formal criteria and with a complete absence of textual information. Both here and in the 15 text contributions with their relatively conventional illustrations, the layouts embrace the tradition of ‘Swiss’ grids. The associated problem, of how the grid can be justified in light of the content presented, remains as usual unsolved; but the modest design has the advantage that the presentation does not detract from the work. The unconventional format, the cardboard hardcover without a dust jacket and the embossed geometrical drawing as a title illustration create a harmonious unity. Thanks to its well-executed binding, the opened book lies perfectly on the table.