We are pleased to announce that Mr. Kengo Kuma, one of Japans’ pre-eminent design architects, will be the next Plym Distinguished Professor for the 2007-2008 Academic Year. Mr. Kuma’s visit will be spread out across the entire academic year so as to impact the entire fifth and sixth years of the graduate program.
Kengo Kuma will author a 5-week Ideas Competition for a small Art Gallery/Museum design project in Tokyo. The competition will be initiated at the start of the fall semester. All 6th year thesis students are highly encouraged to participate. All 6th year students are welcomed to participate with their faculty supervisor’s permission. All 5th year students are welcomed to participate with their studio faculty advisor’s permission.
Please note that Arch 571 faculty are not required to offer the competition studio as part of their semester coursework.
As part of Kuma’s Plym tenure, a one-week study abroad with elective credit will be offered during the 2008 March Spring Break. The purpose of the trip will be to visit Tokyo and the design projects of Kengo Kuma as well as other leading contemporary Japanese architects in Tokyo and Osaka. Costs for the one-week Study Abroad Program in Tokyo are estimated at $2,700 for airfare, food and lodging, excluding tuition for study credit.
A maximum of 16 students will be invited to participate. Three (3) students will be awarded full airfare and hotel stipends as selected in the design competition noted above. Other students will be selected on the basis of design portfolios, GPA’s and competition design efforts.
We are tremendously excited to have Kengo Kuma as our next visiting Distinguished Plym Professor. A complete schedule of his visit will be issued at the start of the fall semester.
David M. Chasco, AIA
Director and Professor
One of Japan’s most prominent architects with a growing international practice, Kengo Kuma was born in 1954. He received his Masters Degree in Architecture at the University of Tokyo in 1979, and as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York, conducted research with the assistance of an Asian Cultural Council Fellowship in 1985/86. He established his office, Spatial Design Studio in 1987 and Kengo Kuma Architect and Associates in Tokyo in 1990; as a Professor of Architecture, he has also been teaching at Keio University since 1998.
Among his numerous awards are: Good Design Architecture Award by the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (1994); JCD Design Award in Japan (1995); Architectural Institute of Japan Award (1997); American Institute of Architects DuPont Benedictus Award (1997); Togo Murano Award in Japan (2001); International Stone Architecture Award in Italy (2001); Spirit of onature Award by the Wood in Culture Association of Finland (2002); Marble Architecture Award in East Asia External Facings (2005); and the International Architecture Awards for the Best Global Design (2007).
His outstanding, internationally recognized, and widely published works in Japan include the Kiro-san Observatory (1994); Water/ Glass Guest House (1995); Noh Stage in the Forest (1996); Hiroshige Museum (2000); Stone Museum (2000); Plastic House (2002); ONE Omotesando (2003); Shinonome Apartments (2003); LVMH Osaka (2004); Lotus House (2005); Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum (2005); Ginzan Onsen Fujiya (2006); Suntory Museum (2007), and the Asahi Broadcasting Corporation Headquarters (2007).
His completed and ongoing projects abroad are: the Z58 Office and Showroom Building in Shanghai (2006); Anaya Public Hall in Korea (2006); Sunlitun Complex in Beijing (2007); Housing in Suzhou (2007); Kenny Heights Museum in Kuala Lumpur (2008); Art Barn in Switzerland (2008); Housing in Tenerif (2009); Dellis Cay spa Resort on the Caicos Islands (2009); and a New Glass House in the USA (2009). Kuma has also held exhibitions and lectured extensively all over the world including Japan, the United Kingdom, United States, Italy, France, Finland, Germany, Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and many other places.
“Increasingly the focus of international attention today, Kengo Kuma's work is characterized by a delicate simplicity and minimalism, incorporating a wide range of transparencies and other ephemeral qualities. With the ineffable vibrancy of his buildings Kuma aims at creating architecture as an ‘anti-object.’ He achieves this largely by the extensive and skillful application of membranes, screens, louvers or slates, and the innovative use of a wide variety of materials: metal, wood, bamboo, paper, plastic, stone, and glass. By virtue of his reliance on new, sophisticated, and efficient technologies, natural and artificial lighting, his sensitivity to site, and his attention to the ecological and prevailing social context, his projects recognize both Japanese traditions and contemporary modes of design on an exceedingly high artistic level.” (B. Bognar)