“for its adherents, jujitsu is superior to all hard techniques because of a familiar philosophical inversion—the greatest hardness can only be achieved through its opposite. ‘the word ‘flexible’ never means weakness but something more akin to adaptability and open-mindedness. gentleness always overcomes strength.’ rather than an expectation of ever-increasing levels of energy to overcome a given situation, jujitsu requires a willingness to redirect energy and therefore to invent a response that suits the form of the attack.” – david kohn
23/07/2012 § 1 Comment
photography: will pryce
architecture: david kohn skyroom – rooftop pavilion (2010)
jujitsu urbanism might describe a 21st-century approach to contending with the potential energy of the contemporary city. rather than meeting problems of migration, densification, contraction, transportation and poverty with the kinetic energy of wrecking balls, piling, formwork and heavy lifting, an art of gentle energy redeployment could be adopted. the strength of the jujitsu analogy lies precisely in its violent origins. too often in urban debates, any notion of subtlety, flexibility or adaptability of technique is perceived as being ultimately weak—confirmation of the victorians’ greatness in contrast with our relative lack of backbone and, ultimately, an acquiescence to the inevitable decline of cities. jujitsu urbanism, on the other hand, having been informed by centuries of samurai warriors, is battle-proven to defeat head-on onslaughts.
a young hare
[title + text] today’s title and text comes from the quadern’s post of david kohn’s article jujitsu urbanism.
[images] today’s photographs by will pryce come from david kohn’s website.
[more flexibility] for previous mentions of flexible design on ayh, check out this post on tezuka architects kindergarten/park.