University of Tokyo - Department of Architecture

Shin Muramatsu

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Rapid urbanization and development of Asian region through the modern times affected its cities greatly and put urban life under constant transformation and modification. Through the studies on architecture and urban history, Muramatsu Laboratory is examining the role of historical architectural heritage for modern urban environment. We regard architecture as one of the elements of a complex system of urban life and encouraged to an interdisciplinary recognition of urban history through research projects and seminars. Field-work surveys, which are integral part of our work and often conducted in collaboration with international teams, are amplified with theoretical discussions on urban development and heritage preservation. We are hoping to impart the results of our surveys and theoretical studies to society and modern urban practices. The following are our current research themes:
1. Project on Cities and Civilization includes research on architectural and urban history in the cities of Jakarta (Indonesia), Samarkand and Bukhara (Uzbekistan), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), Melaka (Malaysia), Teheran (Iran), and others. This project includes studies on urban heritage in post-Colonial countries and architectural history of cities during the period of Cold War.
2. Project on Comprehensive Database on Urban Historic Environment Heritage is based on field-work surveys in the countries of Southeast Asia. Using oral history methods and filming we collect detail information on local residential and industrial urban environment heritage.
3. Project on Revitalization of Architectural Heritage in Industrial Zones includes research on industrial zones of Tokyo-Yokohama Bay area (Keihin industrial zone) in Japan, Bhopal in India, and Shanghai in China.
4. Community-Collaboration Project is based on an Urban Discovery program for school-children that our students lead in Uehara Elementary School (Shibuya-ku, Tokyo).