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Humanities 2018, 7(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020058

Revisiting Japan’s Fictional Gardens: An Ecocritical Reading of Nature Imagery in Contemporary Architectural Essays

Collaborative Architectures, Lisbon, Portugal
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 5 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 3 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism)
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Abstract

This paper inspects editorial production in the field of Japanese contemporary architecture, screening the contents of essays written during the last decade (2007–2010) by four selected authors in which a recurring interplay with nature-related subjects is noticeable. This analysis highlights the diversity and intrinsic individual originality of these books by relating their specific approach with the overall work themes of each architect and discussing the existence of a common ground among them. While investigating their philosophical and conceptual standpoints, the paper also attempts to contextualize these discourses both within the larger context of architectural theory—particularly of early postmodern ecological approaches—sustainable construction, and in the milieu of Japan, where an imprinted notion of harmonious coexistence between nature and culture has long been mystified from abroad and from within. By assessing its motives and influence and finally questioning the existence of a paradox amidst the multiple existing forms of paraenvironmental architecture, it is discussed whether these narratives and practices manage to communicate ecoliteracy with their audience. Architecture’s inherent traits as a visual, perceptive, and cognitive discipline to reflect contemporary environmental conflicts and encourage paradigm change are also highlighted. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecocriticism; architectural theory; contemporary architecture; Japanese culture; nature; ecology; sustainable construction; pastoralism; biophilia ecocriticism; architectural theory; contemporary architecture; Japanese culture; nature; ecology; sustainable construction; pastoralism; biophilia
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Vitorino, C. Revisiting Japan’s Fictional Gardens: An Ecocritical Reading of Nature Imagery in Contemporary Architectural Essays. Humanities 2018, 7, 58.

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