Term: Spring 2023
Section: 3
Class Number: 409
Credits: 3
Required: No
Elective: Yes

/ ARCH 409

Improper Japan (Japan)

Location(s): Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, Yokohama, Osaka 

The class will travel to Japan for several weeks to investigate what it means when a minor aesthetic term becomes a dominant aesthetic marker in a culture. We will investigate and expand the space between cuteness (kawaii), and its counterpart scariness (kowai) by collecting toys and props on our bullet train trip from Tokyo, to Yokohama, Kyoto, and Osaka. By collecting these various props, students will come to design a bath, wash, tea or udon house which complicates ‘proper’ narratives of space, time, identity, and purity. Class will take place from May 6 to May 22, for 17 days in Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Yokohama, Osaka) with the remainder of the coursework completed remotely.

  • Department permission required to enroll. Permissions are only issued to those students who complete the balloting process and submit a deposit per program directions.
  • This course is cross-listed with ARCH 506. Undergraduate students must enroll in the ARCH 409 section.
  • This course does fulfill the architecture (300/400-level) elective requirement for the BS in Architecture degree.




Adam Miller Leah Wulfman