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Lessons from Japan: a look at Century Housing System

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conference contribution
posted on 2017-08-31, 11:55 authored by Robert Schmidt III, Toru Eguchi, Simon Austin
Japanese traditional wooden houses are a good example of system architecture. Originating from Chinese temple construction, the housing is based on the distance between column centres known as a ken. Both the widths and depths of all spaces were multiples of this standard unit and formed the frame of reference for the remaining components – timber structure, tatami mats, doors, and even furniture. Modern housing moved away from this type of construction in an effort towards mass production. In the mid-70s, when the number of houses surpassed the number of households, a shift occurred from focusing on quantity to quality, and the emphasize returned to a more systemic approach in the context of the industrialized era inspired by a systems approach to schools in the UK (CLASP) and the US (SCSD). [Continues.]



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Managing Complexity by Modelling Dependencies - Proceedings of the 12th International DSM Conference


361 - 373


SCHMIDT, R., EGUCHI, T. and AUSTIN, S., 2010. Lessons from Japan: a look at Century Housing System. IN: Proceedings of 2010 12th international Dependency and Structure Modelling conference (DSM'10): managing complexity by modelling dependencies, Cambridge, Great Britain, 22-23 July 2010, pp.361-373.


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