Hitoshi Abe Launches Distributed Urbanism At Rmit Gallery

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13th August 2010, 04:39pm - Views: 748

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Hitoshi Abe launches Distributed Urbanism at RMIT Gallery

Hitoshi Abe, regarded as among the most important architects of the current

Japanese generation, has launched Distributed Urbanism: Cities after Google

Earth, at RMIT Gallery. Edited by US architect and RMIT University senior lecturer

Gretchen Wilkins, the book asks what kind of urbanism does Google Earth


Since 2007, Hitoshi Abe has been based in California, where he is the Professor

and Chair of the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design. After

obtaining his PhD in architecture in1992, he set up Atelier Hitoshi Abe in Sendai,

Japan. He is known for work that is spatially complex and structurally innovative.

Professor Hitoshi is currently in Australia, where he has been speaking about his

work, inspiration and vision for design futures. “I’ve known Gretchen for a really

long time and it’s a real pleasure to launch this book at RMIT Gallery,” he said.

Distributed Urbanism investigates three important issues; how cities are changing,

how technology contributes to this change, and how architects are responding to

this change through new types of practice. Collectively these stories about cities

are a way to understand the technologies and practices that are currently shaping

contemporary urbanism.”

Ms Wilkins teaches in RMIT’s Urban Architecture Laboratory and is also co-

ordinator of the World Architecture Workshop. She became connected with

Professor Abe through their mutual interest in the way cities are changing when

she was Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan and Research Fellow at

the Japan Foundation. She published a monograph on Professor Abe in 2008.

“It is fitting that Hitoshi Abe launched this book at RMIT Gallery, as a contributor

and given his important work on the urbanism of Sendai, Japan,” Ms Wilkins said.

“Putting the book together was a process of experiencing multiple cities virtually

and understanding how open source free tools like Google Earth are used


Distributed Urbanism’s collection of essays and projects, both imagined and real,

compiles work by leading architects and theorists from a global perspective.

RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies said it was vital that the creative arts were

part of the ongoing debate about the way technology is changing the way we live.

“It is fitting that Distributed Urbanism was launched at RMIT Gallery, given the

strong ties with the University’s architecture School and our history of architecture

and design based exhibitions,” Ms Davies said.

For media enquiries: RMIT Gallery Media Coordinator, Evelyn Tsitas, (03)

9925 1716, 0418 139 015 or evelyn.tsitas@rmit.edu.au.

13 August, 2010

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