VILLUM Window Collection are proud to present the exhibition ”Windowology: New Architectural Views from Japan” by the Tokyo-based Window Research Institute and curated under the direction of architect and critic, Igarashi Taro. Previously, this unique exhibition was shown in São Paulo, Los Angeles and London.

Learn more about the exhibition right here:


The exhibition showcases results of the research project “Windowology” which examines the meaning of windows in civilizations and cultures all over the world. Through themes the exhibition examines how windows influence our view of e.g. the environment, modern urban life, craftsmanship, architecture and literature. The exhibition was created by the Tokyo-based Window Research Institute and curated under direction of architecture historian and critic Igarashi Taro. Prior to being shown at VILLUM Window Collection the exhibition was shown at “Japan House” in Los Angeles, São Paulo and London.

Experience the Japanese teahouse's many different forms of windows which diffuse the changing light within a tiny space; how manga, as reflections of everyday life, reveal our relationship with windows; how craftspeople and windows are equal partners in the manufacturing process; the function of windows as devices of environmental control and how writers and artists see windows within their works.


The exhibition runs from 18 September 2022 to 15 August 2023

VILLUM Window Collection, Maskinvej 4, 2860 Søborg

The Window Research Institute is an incorporated foundation based in Tokyo dedicated to the development of architectural culture. The Institute advances knowledge concerning windows and architecture, through research grants, publications, and public events.

The research project ʻWindowologyʼ was launched by the Institute based on the belief that “windows represent civilization and culture”. Over the past 15 years, the institute has been accumulating research findings through conducting collaborative studies with universities and researchers both in and outside of Japan.

For more information and to follow The Window Research Institute:


The Japanese teahouse is a special architectural structure which features many types of window in a small space. Yōsuitei, which is also known as the Jūsansōnoseki (Thirteen-window sitting room), has the most windows among all existing teahouses. In the exhibition you can experience a full-scale, washi paper replica of Yōsuitei created by enlarging an original architectural plan (okoshi-ezu) from the 17th century.

An okoshi-ezu is a fold-up three-dimensional architectural plan which represents the spaces of Japanese teahouses and was used by tea masters and carpenters when reviewing and developing designs for teahouses.

In traditional Japanese architecture, window-like components shoji (sliding translucent screens) and fusuma (sliding partitions) are used to transform spaces. The diversity and dynamism of these intercolumnar elements are considered the source of the richness of Japanese architecture.

The short film of Kikugetsutei – a Japanese teahouse in Kagawa Prefecture – captures how windows and sliding doors, ’shoji’ and ’fusuma’ dramatically change the building over the course of a day.

The piece was selected for showing at the 2018 International Film Festival Rotterdam.


Japanese comics “manga”, reflect the daily lives of people and are valuable materials for understanding the relationship between people and windows. The exhibition features 8 window-related episodes from Japan’s most famous
yon-kama manga, Sazae-san. The characters are often depicted in traditional Japanese houses talking to each other through neighbourhood windows.

The role of the window changed dramatically during the 20th century. Buildings became equipped with mechanical heating and ventilation systems resulting in high-rise buildings with fixed windows. Now, the demand for sustainable architecture is growing and the role of the window has gained new importance. In this exhibit, you can see how heat, light and wind behave around Japanese houses.

Windows are part of the manufacturing process of many traditional Japanese crafts. The ‘working windows’ bring in or expel light, wind, heat, smoke and steam. All crucial elements in the making of products such as paper, ceramics
and dried fruit.



Windows are important elements in literature. They are where people meet, exchange gazes and engage in conversation. Windows often stimulate our imaginations, functioning, for example, as entrances to other worlds.
In this section, you can see how windows are depicted in great literary works from Japan and the West.

What kinds of windows are Japan’s architects designing for houses today? These are Japanese windows captured by French photographer Jérémie Souteyrat. In his photobook Tokyo no ie (Tokyo Houses; 2014), which shows Japanese houses in Tokyo within the neighbourhoods in which they were built, you can see how the orientation, size and position of the windows have carefully been adjusted in response to sightlines and their surroundings. The windows of houses in provincial cities instead are designed to relate to the natural environment, as seen in Souteyrat’s work for Japan, Archipelago of the House (2014). You can also catch glimpses of the occupants of the spaces lounging beside their windows.

Windows are not only made to provide light but also to give access to fresh air. Therefore they are designed to open in all sorts of ways. Windows in Japan most commonly slide horizontally, whereas windows in England and America slide vertically. And in other parts of the world they are side-hung. Windows are very much cultural products, tied to the peculiarities of their local contexts. In this part of the exhibition, the various movements of windows are explored.

Art installation ”You would come back there to see me again the following day”

The interactive art installation ” You would come back there to see me again the following day” is designed by Michiko Tsuda. Hanging window frames with mirrors and screens reflect images of exhibition guests, creating awareness of
our behaviour around the window. We look in and out through the window, see our own reflection mirrored, observe other people and are possibly observed by others.

By projecting images into unexpected places, the piece is designed to alter the perception of space and create a labyrinthine visual experience.


Tsuda has persistently examined the volatility of human perception⁠ by manipulating our understanding of space and time. Tsuda’s works take a variety of forms such as installation, performance, and video.