This is an age of confusion as far as the man-made environment is concerned because society no longer has any unifying goal, no methodology has been developed as yet to deal with our problems, values are in a state of flux and new technology is constantly emerging. Pollution has become a growing public problem and is being given excessive emphasis in connection with the worldwide energy crisis. The outcome of all this is that environmental planning has now reached a crossroads.
In view of a situation like this, we must subject Western civilization based on science and technology to an agonizing reappraisal. We see the limits of functionalism, and we feel the necessity to reassess the man-made environment. We shall need more time before the new way out has been found. No constructive results can be expected without there being an integration between the material and the cultural components of the environment; that is to say, there must be a combination of production, distribution, management and administration and artistic creativity.
We architects will always be compelled to make proposals in the formulation of a concrete project. I believe that we must adopt as our model biological metabolism, working on the principle of renewal. In the planning of housing complexes, for example, I have sought to create a new urban environment by integrating the different floors of the buildings with the contours of the site, promoting an independent house representing a new kind of grouping within a network of passageways and containing semipublic tracts.
In the planning of Aquapolis for the Japanese Government Pavilion at the “International Ocean Exposition 1975” in Okinawa, I designed the structure as a module of a marine city, equipped with a sea-water distillation plant, water purification and circulation systems and installations for harnessing tidal and solar energy. Thus I designed Aquapolis as a self-contained biotope and as a floating structure that is secure, mobile and durable.
Japan is the second largest producer of steel, glass and cement in the world. It also leads in the fields of shipbuilding and motor vehicles, having achieved international standards of production capacity, skill and technical know-how. We in Japan, with our flexible life style, our highly developed aesthetic sense and cultural orientation, strengthened by our tradition, believe that we can proceed in the quest for a new and dynamic environment-which is my concept-in a new age.