Tokyo without architects

Jan Vranovský observes the “diagram of forces” in Japanese cities, full of unexpected combinations and details, formed spontaneously as a breathing architectural ecosystem. 

Jan Vranovský, Parallel World, Tokyo, 2016
Japanese urbanscape is the land of licensed engineers and prefabricated architecture, a striking paradox considering one of the countries with the highest amount of Pritzker Architectural Prize laureates. 


The resulting urban landscapes are full of unexpected, beautiful combinations and details, formed without intention, but rather emerging on their own as part of a living, breathing architectural ecosystem. It would be tragic to loose what D’Arcy Thompson called within the context of biology “a diagram of forces”: structures formed not of political or aesthetic doctrines, but rather by the purely public social, historical, economical and natural pressures. Honest architecture that fits its initial conditions, without any architect’s ego or stylistic constriction.

Jan Vranovský, <i>Parallel World</i>, Tokyo, 2016
Jan Vranovský, Parallel World , Tokyo, 2016
The lack of any facade design regulation, coupled with a number of historical and cultural specifics of the nation, including somewhat unique reinterpretation of functionalist architectural movement – which has been understood rather as a pure architectural utilitarianism, lacking greater social or ideological background that it was associated with in the western world – results in a specifically Japanese “vernacular in the technological era”. 
Jan Vranovský, <i>Parallel World</i>, Tokyo, 2016
Jan Vranovský, Parallel World , Tokyo, 2016
Jan Vranovský, born in 1986 in Prague, is a Czech architect, graphic designer and photographer, currently living and working in Tokyo. During his graduate studies of architecture and digital fabrication at The University of Tokyo, he started taking images of Japanese cities and urban phenomenons under the name “Parallel World”, with special interest in complexity theories and emergent systems.

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