Design and Disaster: Kon Wajiro’s Modernologio


Kon Wajiro, “Household of a newly-married couple, Entrance and home office,” Modernologio, 1925

Co-curators: Jilly Traganou and Izumi Kuroishi
Dates: March 13-March 27, 2014

Lecture by Izumi Kuroishi
March 13, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Glass Corner (Room E206), Parsons East, 25 East 13th Street
Part of the Inside (hi) Stories Lecture Series, hosted by the School of Constructed Environments and the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons The New School for Design.

Lecture followed by the
Exhibition opening reception
March 13, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, 66 Fifth Avenue

This exhibition explores Kon Wajiro’s (1888-1973) visual observations of material practices in Tokyo after the devastating 1923 Earthquake, particularly drawing from his work Modernologio (kogengaku) and from his surveys of “barracks” (makeshift structures for earthquake recovery). The exhibition emphasizes Kon Wajiro’s urban ethnography, as well as its significance as a design-based methodology of recording material change in post-disaster conditions. Kon’s ethnographic drawings and photographs derive from observations of urban and domestic spaces in post-earthquake Tokyo, as well as from detailed recordings of people’s dress, body posture and movement. The exhibition also looks at Kon’s methodology as an educational resource, presenting student work produced in classes at Parsons and Aoyama Gakuin University, and hosting class workshops.


Stephanie Farah, Hayashi Natsuki, Anze Zadel , CommuniTea, Red Hook Festival (Parsons Student Project, Faculty and Photo: Jilly Traganou)

The exhibition was made possible through the generous support of the Japan Foundation, the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons The New School for Design (New York), and the School of Cultural and Creative Studies of Aoyama Gakuin University (Tokyo). Kon Wajiro works belong to the Kon Wajiro Archive of the Kogakuin University Library (Tokyo).