“TO CHANGE the Japanese government, you could begin by altering the seating arrangement in parliament,” says Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, one of the partners, with Momoyo Kaijima, behind the Tokyo-based Atelier Bow-Wow. Linking grand ambition to small-scale gesture marks the ideology of these architects who, like many of their colleagues, move through the realms of art and politics with as much relish as when they build houses. For them, architecture is about rearranging the ordinary so that moments of epiphany, strangeness, and beauty can slip into a home or museum like an uninvited but welcome guest. It is also their craft to allow such surplus to arise through an obsessive engagement with the most basic levels of architectural experience. “Even right now, the fact that we are able to keep on talking like this is due to the desks and chairs,” continues Tsukamoto in a dialogue the firm printed
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