Networks of de-institutional Architecture: Tokyo


Spaces sheltered in between railways, expressways, bridges, and high-rises host the everyday activities of Tokyoites. Networks of De-institutional Architecture: Tokyo by architect Ivan Bonev tells stories about urban fishing, farming, camping, cooking, children’s games, commoning, and sharing within communities in the biggest metropolis in the world. It draws an image of a less known face of Tokyo while revealing architectural design, behaviorology, and management of independent de-institutional common spaces and the networks they form.


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The idea of independence or de-institutionalization of common activities and common spaces has been developed by philosophers and intellectuals like Ivan Illich, Henry Lefebvre, and Elinor Ostrom. Today, the independent spaces in the city are a practical expression of the early theoretical ideas from the beginning of the XX century. These spaces are spontaneous, as well as mindfully sought. They often emerge in response to crises, when citizen and professional collectives engage with political, economic, and social agendas implemented in their regular activities. Projects like community kitchens, shared libraries, alternative cinemas, experimental schools, independent cultural centers, interest clubs, craft workshops, common spaces illustrated architectural typologies which provided alternative platforms for direct sharing between people. This way, de-institutional architecture has proved as a sustainable model which allows people to practice shared activities together.

Networks of De-institutional Architecture: Tokyo is a research project by architect Ivan Bonev, conceived in Yoshiharu Tsukamoto Laboratory of Tokyo Institute of Technology between 2017 and 2019. The research project was further developed with the illustrator Victoria Paeva, architect Veronica Boneva, and architect Anton Kerezov during the summer of 2020.

The book Networks of De-institutional Architecture: Tokyo is a catalog of the exhibition of the same name from the autumn of 2020, part of the 31st Days of Japanese Culture in Bulgaria, co-organized between Transformatori Association and The Embassy of Japan in Bulgaria.

Transformatori Association will use 20% of the book sales to support independent common projects.

ISBN: 978-619-188-534-3

Additional Information

Weight: 450 gm

Size: 16.5 x 24 x 2.4 cm

Additional Information
Weight 0.45 kg
Dimensions 17 × 24 × 3 cm