In a 2002 interview with Sputnik Observatory, Kagoshima architect Takasaki Masaharu, author of “An Architecture of Cosmology,” discussed his exploration of the relationship of energy, man, Earth and the elements, and why the symbol of life is shaped like Zero.
SPTNK: How do you define architecture?
MASAHARU: Well, architecture is made up of opposition from nature. It means that god created nature, and human creates architecture – so architecture itself is an artificial object on the Earth. What I suggest is to regard that architecture as the second nature, and what I work on is to recreate it and make it close to our Mother Nature. I call it “environmental animism.” For instance, this building was made of concrete which is solid, inorganic material. What I do is to put animate element, which is like humanistic energy, historic or symbolic thing into this concrete material, so that it ends up working for human.
SPTNK: Please describe the meaning and details behind your work, Zero Cosmology?
MASAHARU: I call the cube “Zero Cosmology.” Among Japanese conceptual history, Indian Civilization was one of the major influential periods to Japan. We still use ideas, which are like “Mu” (zero) or “Ku” (space, emptiness) today. “Zero Cosmology” is a form that creates energy of “zero” inside of its space.
I call the antenna “Lotus” and this is about relationship of “Ten-Chi-Jin” (sky-ground-human). Normally when people seed in the ground, it grows up toward sky. I created this “Lotus” as a receiver of energy from the sky and also it is an object which connects between sky and ground. It is a lightning rod too. It is like a hand tries to hold the sky. I designed the shape as a symbol of life-producing unlimited energy. That’s why it shapes like Zero. It is “Micro Cosmo.” Zero is immeasurable. Immeasurable means that it doesn’t belong to Ten (sky) nor Chi (ground), it’s in-between. That’s why it has to be floating as if there’s no gravity (weight). Zero should be released from gravity.
SPTNK: Why is geometry so important to you?
MASAHARU: I always investigate between space and shape by using geometry. And then I try to find another new geometric pattern within the investigation. Each geometric shape works differently on people’s feeling, just like how a circle and a square give us a feel. I always think how it works upon them. I rather focus on how it works psychologically than physically. For example, soft and round shapes communicate for children and elders because they feel as if they are from those shapes.
SPTNK: What is the significance of the statue of man reaching up to the skies in your work?
MASAHARU: The consciousness which is parted from land is very important. I don’t think that people who live on high floor of a skyscraper have same perspective as people who live on ground level. Because they (referring to people who live on high floor) are totally parted from ground, so their consciousness is as well. They are rather familiar to the sky.