I want to be a shell. I want to be a shell. In the peaceful world I do nothing but opening and closing my shell. Nothing can be better than this. This is the "heaven of lazy people." Soon the time will come that everything will be done by machine. The only thing we have to do will be dreaming. It seems that I have become a shell, deep into all kinds of illusions. Suddenly I think of a wonderful plan. Yes, let's do it! I get up.
I want to be a god.
I want to be a god. I hear the voice from the heaven. I am a prophet. Well, maybe I am a god myself. I order architects to build four-dimensional "universal architecture," so the plan must be drawn in three-dimensional geometry. Who will draw it? Masato Otaka? Kiyonori Kikutake? Or Noriaki Kurokawa? But the architects can only build three-dimensional space. I am the only one who can grasp the four-dimensional space. So I deserve to be a god.
I want to be a bacterium.
I want to be a bacterium. Mad, dogmatic, and fanatic are the negative words put on me. But being a god is too insipid. Perhaps I stick too much to the image of "myself." I must cast away my self-consciousness, and fuse myself into mankind and solely become part of it. I have to reach the state of selflessness. In the future, man will fill the whole earth, and fly into the sky. I am a cell of bacteria that is in constant propagation. After several decades, with the rapid progress of communication technology, every one will have a "brain wave receiver" in his ear, which conveys directly and exactly what other people think about him and vice versa. What I think will be known by all the people. There is no more individual consciousness, only the will of mankind as a whole. It is not different from the will of the bacteria.
_ a poem by Noboru Kawazoe, an architectural critic and former editor of Shinkenchiku (New Architecture), published in 1960 as part of the Metabolist manifesto.
I will return to Metabolism and its protagonists in the next few days, but for now, I just wanted to post this essay. Today I visited Kenzo Tange's Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which had a great impact on me (images to follow shortly). I feel like this essay is somewhat representative of the feelings Japanese architects had during the post-war era, questioning their role in society and the future of mankind in general.