Dezeen Magazine

Klein Dytham Architecture at Gallery MA

Tokyo practice Klein Dytham Architecture have sent us images of an exhibition of their work that was on show at Gallery MA in Tokyo, Japan, earlier this year (thanks to Jean Snow for pointing out our earlier error!)

Conceived around the theme of the number twenty, the exhibition was designed by the architects themselves.

In the basement gallery and courtyard, photographs of the studio's work are displayed on illuminated signs normally found outside restaurants in the city.

The upper floor of the gallery housed twenty models of their projects, laser-etched into 12x12 cm acrylic blocks in a process normally used to make souvenirs.

Each is lit from below on a rotating turntable in the black-painted room.

More about the exhibition here.

Here's some more information from Klein Dytham architecture:


Presented by Gallery MA, Japan’s most important architecture gallery, this exhibition was conceived around the theme of the number twenty. Twenty is a special number for KDa. Not only is it their twentieth year in Japan, the 20 slides and 20 seconds format of Pecha Kucha Night has taken it around the world, and it is also the number of years between the rebuilding of the shrine at Ise. Most importantly, it represents 'seijinshiki' or ‘coming of age’ in Japan.

The exhibition occupied all of Gallery MA’s two floors and courtyard. The key to KDa’s design for the exhibition is their fascination with the things the find around them in Tokyo; materials, objects, and ideas that are often invisible to the Japanese because they are so ingrained in the culture.

The lower gallery is filled with the mobile ‘kanban’ signs found in the street outside most of Tokyo’s bars. Topped with flashing lights and a big ‘this way’ arrow, the signs display back-lit photographs of KDa’s projects. These signs have also been used in the courtyard adjacent to the gallery, blurring the distinction between in inside and outside and making the gallery space feel bigger. Here, one ‘kanban’ sign has been placed on top of a wall enclosing the courtyard – visible from the street below, it announces, “Klein Dytham, in here!”

Most exhibitors fill the upstairs gallery with models. Once again finding inspiration in the things around them, KDa instead employed a 3D-printing technique usually used by the makers of inexpensive Perspex souvenirs found at local tourist hotspots such as Tokyo Tower. They took the largest Acrylic blocks that the manufacturer could deal with (12cm by 12cm), and had twenty of their projects modelled using the technique. The laser-produced models display incredible detail, and have a remarkable visual quality: when viewed from the side the models reveal prefect elevations; viewed from above they reveal the plan; and from any other angle they present X-ray views through the whole building.

Displayed in a black painted room, the models are not static – lit from below, each is displayed on a slowly rotating turntable. The models stand on four L-shaped walls that each form the back of a comfortable seat covered in black shag-pile carpet. Here, iPod Touchs are available on which visitors can listen to a recent lecture by Astrid and Mark and scan through a library of photos of KDa projects.