This seminar focuses on recent trends in Japanese architecture and design culture over the past twenty years that developed since the bursting of the bubble economy and the architectural excess it enabled. The course looks at architectural, urban, and aesthetic concepts that embrace the diminutive. Topics include the contemporary Japanese house, micro-urbanism, return to nature movements, and concepts of both the cute and monstrous. These are explored through a series of lenses that engage tradition, pragmatism, sustainability, gender, and nationalism. The seminar requires readings and class discussion as well as an independent research project that culminates in a presentation and a paper. Limited enrollment.