東京大学総合研究博物館 The University Museum, The University of Tokyo
東京大学 The University of Tokyo
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 Architecture of Shells

Greetings

At the Museum of Architecture, the Koishikawa Annex, the University Museum, the University of Tokyo, we are holding a special exhibition titled Architecture of Shells. Molluscs form their own shell and live inside it, so the shell can be considered to be an architectural structure for the mollusc. The aim of this exhibition is to show both the uniformity and the diversity of shell shapes from an architectural perspective. In addition to sectioned specimens which show the internal structure of more than 100 specimens of shells on an unprecedented scale, we are presenting shells collected from around the world. This exhibition is being held in the Koishikawa Annex, which has as its basic theme as an architectural museum the search for the “Architecture (construction principles)” in natural and artificial objects. We hope this Architecture of Shells exhibition, together with other exhibits at the Koisikawa Annex, will be an opportunity for you to discover architecture.
  
The University Museum, The University of Tokyo

Architecture of Shells

The spiral is one of those mysterious structures created by living creatures. A typical example is the snail, which grows extremely regularly. The growth of the shell is described using two keywords, “equiangular spiral” and “accretionary growth”. An equiangular spiral is a type of spiral with a growth pattern in which the shell expands while maintaining a constant angle in relation to the center of the spiral. Accretionary growth is a growth pattern in which, once a part is formed, it doesn’t change its shape or size but grows as shell elements are added to its surface. This would be equivalent to an architectural system in which a building is expanded by continuously adding roofs and walls.
Molluscs form their own shell and live in them. Therefore, the shell can be considered to be an architectural structure for the mollusc. When a shell is viewed at a high magnification, countless crystals can be seen to be regularly arranged, and we can understand how the mollusc is forming the shell as an architectural structure by stacking crystals in a way that is equivalent to laying bricks or blocks. The mechanism that controls the overall shaping of the shell as it grows these microscopic crystals is a mystery and a natural wonder.
The aim of this special exhibition is to show both the uniformity and the diversity of shell shapes from an architectural perspective, and we present many specimens of shells collected from all over the world. In particular, we have created more than 100 sectioned specimens showing the internal structure of the shells in a display that is on an unprecedented scale.
 
Takenori Sasaki(Associate Professor of Animal Taxonomy and Paleontology, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo)


Exhibition flyer (PDF, Japanese)
Exhibition handout (PDF, Japanese)  


Special Exhibition "ARCHITECTURE OF SHELLS"
Period: Saturday, October 26, 2019 to Sunday, March 15, 2020
Institution: The Koishikawa Annex, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo / Museum of Architecture
Location: 3-7-1 Hakusan Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan Access
Opening Hours: 10:00-16:30 (last admission at 16:00)
Closed Days: Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays (open on national holidays), and
December 28, 2019 to January 8, 2020. May closed irregularly.
Admission: Free of charge
Host Organization: The University Museum, The University of Tokyo
Contact: +81 (0)3-5777-8600 (Hello Dial)
Gallery Talk
 Date and time: 1) 13:30-14:30, Saturday, November 16, 2019, 2) 13:30-14:30, Saturday, February 29, 2020
 Venue: The Koishikawa Annex, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo / Museum of Architecture
 Guide: Takenori Sasaki (Associate Professor, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo)
 Admission: Free of charge. The prior application is unnecessary.
ARCHITECTONICA Seminar
 Date and time: 13:30-15:00, Saturday, January 18, 2020
 Venue: The Koishikawa Annex, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo / Museum of Architecture
 Guide: Takenori Sasaki (Associate Professor, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo)
 Admission: Free of charge. The prior application is unnecessary.

Exhibition Planners and Collaborators
Academic / Exhibition Planning: Takenori Sasaki (Associate Professor, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo)
Exhibition Design: Fumio Matsumoto (Project Professor, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo)
Koishikawa Annex: Eisei Tsurumi (Assistant Professor, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo)
 Akihiko Nagai (Project Reseacher, The University Museum, The University of Tokyo)
Sasaki Laboratory (Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science)
 (Department of Earth and Planetary Environmental Science, Faculty of Science):
 Kozue Nishida (currently belongs to National Institute of Technology, Ibaraki College),
 Kei Sato (currently belongs to Waseda University), Yusuke Takeda (currently belongs to Hokkaido University),
 Hideaki Sato (2nd year of Master's program), Tomohiro Yamaguchi (1st year of Master's program),
 Nagisa Nakaji (1st year of Master's program), Fuha Tanaka (4th year of Undergraduate)
X-ray CT Imaging: Yu Maekawa
Taxonomic Identification Assistance: Mitsuo Chino, Takeharu Kosuge
Collection Donation: Itaru Hayami, Shigetomi Kato, Kinya Mase, Shiro Kawaguchi, Eiji Tsuchida
Exhibition Preparation: Volunteers of the University Museum, the University of Tokyo
Exhibition Construction: Akashio



Toppage of Koishikawa Annex, the University Museum, the University of Tokyo