Chrysanthemum Show Opening Lecture 2019

Friday, November 1, 2019
Campus Center Carroll Room

Space for Well-being: Japanese Spatial Concepts in Gardens and Architecture

by Yoko Kawai

Friday, November 1, 2019 at 7:30 pm, Campus Center Carroll Room
followed by a reception and preview of the Chrysanthemum Show in the Lyman Plant House and Conservatory
Free and open to the public

Why do we feel contemplative in Japanese gardens and architecture? Can our physical environment foster our mindfulness and well-being? Yoko Kawai, lecturer at Yale School of Architecture and co-founder of Mirai Work Space, discusses the mind-body-space relationship found in Japanese gardens and architecture that is instrumental to mindfulness. Japanese spatial concepts like ma (in-between-ness), utsuroi (transience) and yugen (the unknown) are examined as key concepts. Tea gardens and teahouses are introduced as traditional examples from which we can learn for the contemporary mindful environment.

Yoko Kawai, PhD, is a lecturer at Yale School of Architecture. Her mission is to create “space for well-being” by utilizing the Japanese spatial concepts. She co-founded Mirai Work Space Alliance in New York to bring this idea to contemporary workplaces. She is also the cofounder and principal of Penguin Environmental Design in Hamden, CT, which focuses on incorporating landscape into architecture. Its works include a residential project that received CTC&G Award in 2015 and a Japanese garden at Frost Valley YMCA in 2014. Yoko has published articles in various scholarly journals, including Journal of Green Building and Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering.


Yoko Kawai