The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami shattered coastal cities in Japan in 2011. Kengo Kuma, taking as a point of departure his experiences in the aftermath of that natural disaster, will examine humans’ relationship with nature, questioning the perceived strength of steel and concrete and proposing the reintroduction of wood in design as a fair and practical mediator between humans and nature.
Born in Tokyo, Kuma completed his master’s degree at the University of Tokyo in 1979 and spent time as a visiting scholar at Columbia University before establishing Kengo Kuma & Associates in 1990. Among his many works, recent projects include the Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum (2010), which won the 2011 The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize; the Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center (2012), Nagaoka City Hall Aore (2012), and Ginza Kabukiza (2013). Two of his buildings outside Japan are the Besancon Arts and Culture Center and FRAC Marseilles and Aix-en-Provence Conservatory of Music (both 2013). The firm currently has some one hundred projects ongoing in Europe, the U.S., Japan, China, and elsewhere in Asia. One of the most high-profile of these is the new national stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Since 2009, Kuma has been a professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Tokyo. He has also written more than a dozen books—including Anti-Object (2013)—which have been published not only in Japanese but frequently in English, Chinese, and Korean, earning him a readership in many parts of the world. Kuma is an International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and, as of 2009, an Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France.
The great disaster of March 11, 2011 differed from any other catastrophe since the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. In the age of advanced technology and "strong" buildings, the tsunami flattened Tohoku coastline in seconds. The nuclear accident that followed further revealed the vulnerability of "big and strong" architecture. In the face of radiation, materials such as concrete and steel were insufficient, even though nuclear energy had been a solution for our drive to be bigger, stronger, and more efficient. Now that this modernization process has collapsed on itself, we must start again from scratch. Kengo Kuma of Kengo Kuma and Associates, Tokyo, will discuss how architecture can respond to this epochal challenge.
Kengo Kuma was born in 1954. He completed his master's degree at the University of Tokyo in 1979. From 1985 to 1986, he studied at Columbia University as Visiting Scholar. He established Kengo Kuma & Associates in 1990. He taught at Keio University from 2001 to 2008, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008, and in 2009, he was installed as Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Tokyo.
Among Kuma's major works are Kirosan Observatory (1995), Water/Glass (1995, received AIA Benedictus Award), Stage in Forest, Toyoma Center for Performance Arts (received 1997 Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Award), Stone Museum (received International Stone Architecture Award 2001), Bato-machi Hiroshige Museum (received The Murano Prize). Recent works include Great Bamboo Wall (2002, Beijing, China), Nezu Museum (2009, Tokyo), Yusuhara Marche and Wooden Bridge Museum (2010). A number of large projects are also going on abroad, including arts centre in Besancon City, France, Granada, Spain, and a new Victoria & Albert Museum building in Dundee, Scotland U.K.
Kuma is a recipient of the International Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award in 2002 (Finland), International Architecture Awards for the Best New Global Design for "Chokkura Plaza and Shelter" in 2007, and Energy Performance + Architecture Award in 2008 (France). He is an International Fellow of RIBA, UK, and Honorary Fellow of AIA in the US. He is also a prolific writer and critic; his books have been translated into English, Chinese, and other languages.
This week Monocle’s Tokyo bureau chief Fiona Wilson takes us through the life and work of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who through his buildings and writings has reinterpreted traditional Japanese architecture for the 21st century. We explore the career of the man charged with the construction of the hotly contested Olympic Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Source by Monocle 24: Monocle on Design
Japanese architectural master Kengo Kuma reflects on his new commission for Dundee’s V&A Museum, we head to an exhibition celebrating new architecture in Antarctica, London Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic discusses its impending relocation and Monocle fashion director Takeharu Sato looks back on Copenhagen Fashion Week. Aug 20, 2013
Source by Monocle 24: Monocle on Design
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Kengo Kuma, Architect and principal, Kengo Kuma & Associates
"We have to start from scratch," contends Kengo Kuma. The unprecedented damage wrought by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown on March 11, 2011 collapsed structures and shook faith in large-scale architecture and power systems—most devastatingly, the rational concrete and steel of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Kuma advocates for minimizing by designing modest, self-powered interventions that are made with local materials. "The whole world is shifting toward small things. We are no longer passive creatures who are spoon-fed from a giant yet unreliable system," he argues. "A new relationship is being formed between people and the world."
Monday, April 4, 2016 6:30pm
Introductions by Dean Amale Andraos
Kengo Kuma was born in 1954. He completed his master’s degree at the University of Tokyo in 1979. After studying at Columbia University as Visiting Scholar, he established Kengo Kuma & Associates 1990. In 2009, he was installed as Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Tokyo.
Among Kuma’s major works are Kirosan Observatory (1995), Water/Glass (1995, received AIA Benedictus Award), Stage in Forest, Toyoma Center for Performance Arts (received 1997 Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Award), Bato-machi Hiroshige Museum (received The Murano Prize). Recent works include Nezu Museum (2009, Tokyo), Yusuhara Marche and Wooden Bridge Museum (2010), Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center (2012), Nagaoka City Hall Aore. (2012), and Kabukiza (2013). Outside Japan, Besancon Music Center, FRAC Marseilles Aix-en-Provence Conservatoire, and China Academy of Arts’ Folk Art Museum have been completed recently, with lots of major projects being underway, including V&A at Dundee, UK.
Kuma is also a prolific writer and his books have been translated into English, Chinese and Korean, obtaining wide readership from around the world. The latest titles are Natural Architecture and Small Architecture, published from Architectural Associations.
O projeto Japan House, foi projetada em parceria entre o escritório do arquiteto japônes Kengo Kuma e do escritório brasileiro FGMF é iniciativa global do governo japonês, trará a São Paulo um novo olhar sobre o Japão contemporâneo. A Japan House tem como objetivo combinar arte, tecnologia e negócios para oferecer aos visitantes, por meio de experiências imersivas, uma perfeita tradução do Japão do século XXI - sem esquecer das raízes e das tradições.
UCLA A.UD Lecture Series: September 30, 2013
Kengo Kuma is the principal at Kengo Kuma & Associates. With offices in Tokyo and Paris, Kuma aspires to recover the tradition of Japanese buildings and to reinterpret these traditions for the 21st century. Kuma states "creating architecture is like a cloud, from natural materials disassembled into particles." Recent works include FRAC Marseilles, Besançon Art Center, Kabuki Theatre, Nagaoka City Hall, Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center, Nezu Museum and Suntory Museum. New projects are underway both in Japan and abroad. His latest writings, Chisana Kenchiku (Iwanami Shoten, 2013) and Kenchikuka Hashiru (Shinchosha, 2013) among many others, are being published outside Japan. Kengo Kuma is a Professor at the University of Tokyo.
This lecture was organized in conjunction with the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles.