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Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in China and the United States.

Born 18 May 1957, in Beijing, China.

Artist, architect, designer, curator, publisher, activist.

After spending most of his childhood in the provinces of China, Ai Weiwei moved to Beijing in the mid-1970s to attend the city’s film academy. While there, he co-founded the first of the loose collectives of pro-democracy artists to emerge in the city, known as the Stars Group (...

Article

Kenneth Frampton

(b Osaka, Sept 13, 1941).

Japanese architect. Between 1962 and 1969 he travelled extensively, studying first-hand the architecture of Japan, Europe, America, and Africa. In 1969 he founded his own practice in Osaka. An inheritor of the Japanese anti-seismic reinforced-concrete tradition, Andō became one of the leading practitioners in this genre. Habitually using reinforced concrete walls, cast straight from the formwork, he created a uniquely Minimalist modern architecture. Early in his career he spoke of using ‘walls to defeat walls’, by which he meant deploying orthogonal, strictly geometrical volumes to resist the random chaos of the average Japanese megalopolis. To this end most of his early houses are highly introspective; notable examples include two houses in Sumiyoshi, Osaka: the award-winning, diminutive terraced Azuma House (1976) and the Glass Block Wall House (1979), built for the Horiuchi family. The latter is a courtyard house that gains light and views solely from its small internal atrium. The Koshino House (...

Article

Iizawa Kohtaro

(b Tokyo, May 25, 1940).

Japanese photographer. He graduated from the engineering department of Chiba University in 1963 and in the same year received the Taiyō prize for Satchin (Tokyo, 1964), a photographic series whose title was the pet name of a little girl. In 1971 he published the privately printed photographic collection Senchimentaru na tabi (‘Sentimental journey’; Tokyo, 1971) in which his own private life, in particular his wedding and honeymoon, was displayed in diary form. At first glance they seem to be naive records but in fact are staged. He also gave a performance in 1972 called the Super-Photo concert in which these photographs were reproduced on a photocopier, bound and sent, as a collection, by post. He later became very popular through photographs that skilfully anticipated public demand, accompanied by essays written in a risqué style. A prolific worker, he published many collections of essays and photographs, including Otoko to onna no aida ni wa shashinki ga aru...

Article

Robert Buerglener

[motor car]

Architecture and the automobile have been intimately connected since the late 19th century. The attributes of cars required specific architectural solutions for manufacture, sales, and service. On a broader level, the overall built environment was forever changed by roadside structures designed to meet the needs of drivers.

Automobile factories evolved in tandem with mass production; modular form and open floor spaces provided flexibility in machine placement and possibilities for expansion as production needs changed. Detroit-based architect Albert Kahn, with his associate Ernest Wilby (1868–1957), set a new standard for 20th-century industrial buildings through innovative use of space and materials. For the Packard Company’s Building Number Ten (Detroit, 1905; enlarged 1909), Kahn used reinforced concrete to create modular bays, repeatable horizontally and vertically, with wide interior spans and large window surfaces. For Ford’s Highland Park factory (begun 1909; see fig.), Kahn designed a multi-building complex of reinforced concrete and steel-framed buildings that housed machinery strategically in the sequence of production. In Ford’s River Rouge manufacturing complex in Dearborn, MI (...

Article

Gensler  

Sara Stevens

American architectural firm started by Arthur Gensler Drue Gensler, and Jim Follett in 1965 in San Francisco, CA. M. Arthur Gensler jr (b Brooklyn, New York, 1935) attended Cornell University to study architecture (BArch, 1957). The firm began doing build-outs for retail stores and corporate offices, and initially established itself in the unglamorous area of interior architecture. Thirty years later and without mergers or acquisitions, it had grown to become one of the largest architecture firms in the world, having pioneered the global consultancy firm specializing in coordinated rollouts of multi-site building programmes. By 2012 the firm had over 3000 employees in over 40 offices. From the beginning, Art Gensler conceived of a global firm with multiple offices serving corporate clients whose businesses were becoming more international. Instead of the ‘starchitect’ model of his contemporaries such as I. M. Pei or Paul Rudolph, Gensler wanted an ego-free office that existed to serve client needs, not pursue a designer’s aesthetic agenda at the client’s expense. By adopting new web-based computing technologies and integrated design software in the early 1990s, the firm stayed well connected across their many offices and were more able than their competitors to manage large multi-site projects. Expanding from the services a traditional architecture firm offers, the company pushed into new areas well suited to their information technology and interiors expertise, such as organizational design, project management, and strategic facilities planning....

Article

Botond Bognar

(b Shizuoka, 1941).

Japanese architect. She graduated from the School of Architecture at Kantō Gakuin University in Yokohama in 1963, and from 1963 to 1968 she worked with Kiyonori Kikutake. In 1969 she continued her studies with Kazuo Shinohara at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and in 1976 established her own studio in Tokyo. Initially she was strongly influenced by Shinohara and was also considered to be a member of the so-called ‘Shinohara school’, but the impact of his abstract Minimalism on her designs has always been complemented by the use of common elements. All her buildings are characterized by an extensive and straightforward application of industrial materials such as steel, aluminium, metallic paints, reinforced concrete and inorganic material.

The majority of Hasegawa’s early works were small residences such as the house (1977) in Yaizu No. 2 or the house (1980) at Kuwahara in Matsuyama. In the 1980s she completed several larger public buildings, including the Aono building (...

Article

Hiroshi Watanabe

(b Tokyo, Nov 19, 1941).

Japanese architect. He graduated from Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1966 and received a Master of Environmental Design degree from Yale University, New Haven, CT, in 1971. Between 1966 and 1977 he was a member of the design department of Takenaka Komuten Co. Ltd, one of the largest construction companies in Japan. In 1978 he opened his own office in Tokyo. Hayakawa saw in the Tokyo cityscape a floating, fragmented quality that inspired his architectural approach. His designs resembled stage sets; he reduced buildings to compositions of lines and planes with the use of pastel colours. For example, his House at a Bus Stop (1982), Tokyo, addresses problems of urban living such as noise by ‘layering’ the street façade with a series of wall planes. The spaces between the layers let in light and create a gradual transition from the exterior to the interior world. Other works include House at a Crossroad (...

Article

Hiroshi Watanabe

(b Okayama Prefect., April 1, 1944).

Japanese architect and writer. He graduated from Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1966 and completed a graduate course there in 1968, the same year in which he established the office DAM DAN in Tokyo. Through a wide range of activities, of which design was only a part, Ishiyama became a spokesman for the New Wave architects in Japan who turned away from Metabolism and historicism to re-create a sense of place in architecture. An admirer of Buckminster Fuller, Ishiyama also attempted, though not always successfully, to provide general solutions, producing an indeterminate architecture that allowed users maximum freedom within. Inspired by a house in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, constructed in 1962 by Kenji Kawai, an engineer for the early buildings of Kenzō Tange, Ishiyama designed a series of houses of corrugated steel sheets, the best-known of which is the Gen’an (Fantasy Villa) in Aichi Prefecture (1975). These simple houses required only the cheapest of materials and a low standard of construction skills, symbolizing the architect’s commitment to making housing easily available to the public. This was a cause he also supported through writing popular books on architecture and initiating a system called ‘direct dealing’ that recalled, in its intent to bypass the conventional commercial network, the ...

Article

Hiroshi Watanabe

revised by Ken Tadashi Oshima

(b Seoul, Korea, June 1, 1941).

Japanese architect. He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1965 and then worked for the Metabolist architect Kiyonori Kikutake until 1969. In 1971 he opened his own office, URBOT, which was renamed Toyō Itō & Associates, Architects in 1979. Itō began his constantly evolving practice based on the belief that architecture had become encumbered with irrelevant symbolism. He sought to erase conventional meaning from his works through minimalist tactics, inspired by early Modernist movements such as Purism and the straightforward use of easily available industrial materials. He developed an aesthetic of lightweight, permeable membranes composed of fabrics, perforated aluminium panels, and expanded metal sheets, which he believed was most suited to an increasingly mobile and informal urban lifestyle.

Although Itō made no explicit historical references, there are a number of parallels between his work and the traditional residential architecture of Japan. Like Itsuko Hasegawa and Yuzuru Tominaga, he was for a time influenced by Kazuo Shinohara, whose point of departure was traditional Japanese architecture. Itō’s ...

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947, in Hyogo Prefecture.

Sculptor.

Kenretsu studied architecture before turning to sculpture. In 1970 he was awarded the President’s Prize at the 5th JAFA (Japan Art Festival Association) exhibition.