University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Martin Centre Research Seminar Series - 40th Annual Series of Lunchtime Lectures > Sustainability and the traditional architecture of Japan: cities that could revert to summer grass

Sustainability and the traditional architecture of Japan: cities that could revert to summer grass

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Abstract: This talk considers the traditional architecture of Japan from the standpoint of sustainability. With its preference for renewable biodegradable timbernot masonryas its principal structural material, the ecological credentials of Japanʼs pre-modern building tradition already seem excellent. However, alongside choice of materials is another aspect, arguably of equal significance, which can succinctly be expressed as “lightness of footprint”. It is this, together with a related propensity for recycling, which I want to highlight, demonstrating through the example of traditional Japan its compatibility with a high material culture.

Biography: Martin Morris was born in Cambridge in 1956 and studied architecture at Cambridge University (Dipl. Arch, 1982). Awarded a Monbusho Scholarship to study at the Faculty of Engineering, Tokyo University in 1983, he took his doctorate there in 1995. Since 1996 he has taught architectural history at Chiba University, Japan, as lecturer, associate professor and, since 2007, Professor. Research areas include: The house types of premodern Japan, comparative study of the history of architecture, settlement and landscape in East and West(focused on Japan and England), architectural conservation.

This talk is part of the Martin Centre Research Seminar Series - 40th Annual Series of Lunchtime Lectures series.

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