Decoding culture parametrically: Digital tea house case studies

Kaon Ko, Salvator John Liotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews the Digital Tea House, a workshop held at the University of Tokyo with the aim to build three pavilions for hosting tea ceremony. As first attempts on cultivating formal innovations resulting from digital design process applied to construction of tea houses, the works convey that parametric design can be a mechanism through which architects are able to produce new images of a tea house and renew its conceptual meanings, and that it can be a tool to retain architecture convergent with cultural values. The authors analyze issues addressed in the workshop that range from applications of computational design, interpretations of tradition, structural stability, to solutions for quick physical materialization within limited time and budget. This paper clarifies the following: First, that parametric processes are not contradictory to traditional cultural principles; and second, how traditional elements of the tea house were decoded and formally reinterpreted through parametric designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-338
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Architectural Computing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011


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