Y-GSA Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture


Yokohama National University / Graduate School of Urban Innovation / Y-GSA

In April 2011, Yokohama National University established the Graduate School of Urban Innovation, a new graduate school that takes the city as its theme. This faculty, of which architecture is a part, is neither a faculty of engineering nor a faculty of art; it is the first graduate school in Japan to make the city its academic domain. Y-GSA is a specialized architectural and urban design course in the Department of Architecture and Urban Culture within this graduate school.

The city is an important issue that humankind must tackle in the twenty-first century; that is behind the establishment of the Graduate School of Urban Innovation. Two thirds of the world's population, or more than six billion people, are expected to live in cities or towns by 2050. In developed countries, a concentration of the urban population is taking place as the overall population shrinks. In mature societies, to formulate sustainable cities of the future is to search for answers to problems such as social problems arising from aging populations and declining birthrates and environmental problems of which global warming is the best known. In developing countries, on the other hand, rapid increases in urban populations accompanying economic growth and changes in the industrial structure are generating serious problems such as deficiencies in social infrastructure and the foundations of everyday life as well as environmental destruction. In these regions there is demand for future urban designs responsive to the emergence of megacities.

Against this background, representatives of fields related to urban hardware-that is, architecture and urban infrastructure-and fields related to urban software-such as urban management and culture-collaborate in teaching and studying issues confronting the contemporary city and training highly skilled experts.

In 2012, the Institute of Urban Innovation of Yokohama National University, Yokohama City University, Yokohama City, and Yokohama Arts Foundation together started "Yokohama Creativecity School" for carrying out research on themes related to the creation of urban culture and urban design. Various research and educational activities (e.g. symposia, exhibitions and public lectures) will be undertaken by Yokohama National University including Y-GSA at "Yokohama Creativecity Center (YCC)," the center of this school.

Photo of YCC
Yokohama Creativecity Center

Graduate School of Urban Innovation

Master's Course Department of Architecture and Urban Culture Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Culture
Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture
Yokohama Graduate School of Culture
Department of Infrastructure and Urban Society Graduate School of Infrastructure and Urban Society
International Graduate School of Infrastructure
Doctoral Course Department of Urban Innovation  

Graduate School of Urban Innovation Website : http://www.urban.ynu.ac.jp/index.html

Coordination of Architectural Classes with Y-GSA

In the Department of Architecture of Yokohama National University, Architectural Design (AD) is conceived as a skill that serves as an interface with society and actualizes the contents of three loosely-connected research fields covering both software and hardware: Architectural Theory (AT), Urban Environment (UE) and Structural Engineering (SE).
Y-GSA is a special program for training architects to be established in the graduate school by Architectural Design (AD). Y-GSA will be able to carry out practical projects with extensive support provided by Architectural Theory (AT), Urban Environment (UE) and Structural Engineering (SE).


AT (Architectural Theory)

The objective of Architectural Theory is to study ideas and theories on which the concept of architecture rests, within a temporal and spatial framework.

Satoshi Ono
study of historical Japanese architecture and its techniques; research and planning for conservation and restoration of traditional Japanese folkhouses (minka).
Kazuoki Ohara
study of the built environment for an aged society and planning of social and health-care facilities; study of environmental behavior; planning and study of museums and eco-museums.
Yasuhiro Fujioka
planning and design research on sustainable collective housing environments and communities; research into and practice of methods promoting participation of children in architectural planning and design.

UE (Urban Environment)

The objective of Urban Environment is to study the physical and social environments of human beings.

Minoru Takamizawa
urban planning system and theory; community planning and development (machizukuri): living and built environment.
Taku Nohara
urban design, urban planning, spatial planning, community development and design
Kazuo Fukai
comfort conditions of floor heating system considering floor contact temperature; prevention of moderate temperature burns; improvement of summer indoor thermal environment by roof planting.
Satoru Sadohara
future prospects for safe and environmentally-friendly cities in an era of declining population using GIS.
Satoshi Yoshida
development of methods and support systems for making buildings, districts and cities designed for low-energy consumption and CO2 emission.
Ineko Tanaka
energy-saving architecture and environmental movements,development of residential environment education programs,environmental planning for architectural structures and cities.

SE (Structural Engineering)

Research and proposals necessary for the safety, security and maintenance of function of cities and the realization of better architectural spaces are being carried out in the field of Structural Engineering.

Masaya Kawabata
design and analysis of structural systems using double membrane and spatial structures.
Yasuhisa Tagawa
steel structures; steel-concrete composite structures.
Yuka Matsumoto
fracture of steel members; proposing structural design methods.
Akira Tasai
qualification for collapse condition of reinforced concrete buildings; new ideas for seismic rehabilitation techniques.
Koichi Kusunoki
reinforced concrete structures; development of building health monitoring techniques.
Toru Eguchi
approaches for extending the life of built environment, such as refurbishment of buildings.

Background to Establishment of Y-GSA

This university, which has developed in Yokohama, a center of industry and the place where the Meiji-period policy of "civilization and enlightenment" began, prides itself on having a free, pragmatic and international atmosphere. With respect to architectural education, the university has emphasized education in architecture and the arts since it was still known as the Yokohama Institute of Technology and Professor Junpei Nakamura (who was later designated a "person of cultural merit" by the government) played a key role on its faculty. The university has educated many excellent architects and has always been slightly different in character from the architectural departments of other universities. It carries on that tradition even today; education and research in the Department of Architecture at Yokohama National University have been praised for the importance placed on design, the advanced experimental character of many efforts, the maintenance of an open approach to education and research, and the international activities of faculty and graduates.
In 2001, the architect Alejandro Zaera-Polo, the winner of an international competition for the Yokohama International Port Terminal, was invited to teach a six-month studio involving the urban study of Yokohama. Design faculty members subsequently continued efforts to provide a practical studio education. In 2007, the Yokohama Graduate School of Architecture (Y-GSA) was opened to provide a practical, innovative education in architecture. Y-GSA, a program intended to play a leading role in the development of architects, is an extension of those past achievements.