• The Photographic Construction of Japanese Architecture
    Ari Seligmann
    Thames & Hudson, 2026
    Ari Seligmann

Shuji Yamada, “Toyo Ito's Hotel D,” built 1974–77, Nagano, Japan, 1978. Black and white photograph. Courtesy Shuji Yamada

The Photographic Construction of Japanese Architecture examines key figures and the evolution of architectural photography in Japan as a platform for considering universal and particular issues in photographic constructions. Throughout the book, international understanding of Japanese architectural production is broadened by examining those responsible for framing architectural developments, including Japanese photographers such as Yoshio Watanabe, Chuji Hirayama, Akio Kawasumi, Osamu Murai, Yukio Futagawa, Tomio Ohashi, Kiyoshi Takai, Shuji Yamada, and Mitsumasa Fujitsuka. Also explored, is how that framing—both within individual photographs and collectively within media outlets—shapes our reception of architecture. This hybrid historical and historiographic study investigates the discursive construction of Japanese architecture through photography, illuminating the photographers behind the lenses and elucidating the ecologies of agents and processes that are projected onto, and encoded in, the photographic objects that global architectural audiences consume. Ultimately, the publication reframes Japanese architecture through its images and their producers and also contributes to expanding perspectives on photography and its roles in mediating architectural knowledge (re)production.

Associate professor Ari Seligmann is associate dean of education for the Art, Design and Architecture Faculty at Monash University. He is an architectural critic, historian, and designer examining contemporary Japanese architecture and relations between architecture and media. He regularly lectures and publishes on the historiography and representations of Japanese architecture. He is author of the inventive survey Japanese Modern Architecture 1920–2015, Developments and Dialogues (Crowood, 2016) and editor for the first Handbook of Japanese Architecture (Amsterdam University Press, forthcoming 2025). He publishes in prominent journals such as Architecture and Culture, Architectural Theory Review, Fabrications, and the Journal of Architectural Education. He has produced a number of exhibitions on Japanese architecture including Materiality in Japanese Architecture (Berkeley, 1997), A/cute Tokyo (Los Angeles, 2009), and Ryoji Suzuki Material Experiences (Melbourne, 2016). Rather than reinforce tropes and canons, his work seeks to expand perspectives on how we understand architecture.