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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 (1979–1983). In 1981, he travelled to the United States, first to Philadelphia before enrolling in New York City’s Parsons School of Design. During his student years, Ai worked at a printing press in the meatpacking district of New York City. In 1993, he returned to Beijing, where he co-founded the Chinese Art Archives & Warehouse (CAAW), a non-profit organization and gallery. In Shanghai in 2000, Ai co-curated, with Feng Boyi, the infamous Fuck Off exhibition, which was closed by the authorities at the same time that the first Shanghai Biennial took place. He published a series of books about experimental art in Europe and North America: ...

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.

Article

LI Kai  

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947, in Beijing.

Painter. Architectural views.

Li Kai studied at the central academy from 1963 to 1967, where he worked under the direction of Ai Xuan and Sun Weimin. After completing his four years’ military service, he returned to Beijing, where he was appointed painter in residence in the Forbidden City. His work has been exhibited in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA and Europe....

Article

Ken Brown

[Monta]

(b Kushiro, Hokkaido, Nov 14, 1941).

Japanese architect and teacher. He studied architecture with Masaya Mukai at Kobe University, graduating in 1965; he then taught at the university from 1965 to 1976. He set up his own practice, Monta Mozuna Mobile Molgue, in Kobe in 1969, opening the Monta Mozuna (later Kikō Mozuna) Atelier in Tokyo in 1977. His first work, his own Anti-dwelling Box House (1972), Kushiro, established him as one of Japan’s leading Post-modernists. His other notable buildings include the Yin-yang House (1983), Kushiro, the Akan Wagoto Museum (1983), Teshikago, the Kushiro Marshland Observatory (1984), the Kushiro City Museum (1984), Kushiro Fisherman’s Wharf (1987) and the Kushiro Higashi Middle School (1989). Mozuna often interpreted his work in terms of Esoteric Buddhist philosophy or natural symbolism. He compared the form of the Kushiro City Museum, for example, to that of a bird with its wings wrapped around its eggs and described its three display levels as representing earth, man and the heavens and its double-spiral staircases as referring to the double helix of DNA....

Article

Sara Stevens

A category of buildings designed to house retail and shopping. It includes arcades, department stores, shopping malls, strip centres, and big-box stores. Retail architecture exists in small towns, big cities, and suburbs: anywhere people congregate. It is as ubiquitous in time and space as the organized exchange of goods for money. It is distinguished from commercial architecture, which, in real estate and architectural practice, can refer more generally to any property that produces income for its investors or owners but does not refer to a building’s architectural function (i.e. retail).

Buildings housing commercial activity have existed since antiquity. Anthropologists have described exchange halls and commercial structures in many cultures, including Roman, Aztec, Tang dynasty China, and Mesopotamian. During the medieval and Renaissance periods, market halls and exchanges were built in cities such as Antwerp, Bruges, London, and Venice, sheltering trading activities at ground level and municipal government functions above (...

Article

Hiroshi Watanabe

[Masahirō]

(b Tokyo, June 22, 1941).

Japanese architect. He graduated from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music in 1965 and in that year entered the office of Arata Isozaki. He left to open his own office in Tokyo in 1969. Critical of modernist architecture, Rokkaku took a more intuitive approach to design, drawing inspiration from pre-modern rituals such as geomancy. The Zasso Forest Kindergarten (1977) in Kyoto Prefecture incorporated wind-driven sculpture by Susumu Shingu on top of each tower, creating what Rokkaku called ‘wind-games architecture’. This reflected the desire of the Basara group, of which he was a member, to use playfulness and other forms of self-expression in architecture. Other works include the Konkōkyō Hall of Worship (1980) in Fukuoka City, a cannon-shaped building for a popular religion that incorporates the symbolic geometry of the circle, and the large, ambitious Metropolitan Martial Arts Hall in Tokyo (1989).

C. Fawcett...

Article

Botond Bognar

[Issei]

(b Tokyo, July 19, 1943).

Japanese architect. He graduated from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1966 but continued his studies as a graduate in the same institute under the guidance of Kazuo Shinohara. From 1968 he ran a small office in Tokyo. His name is usually associated with the so-called Shinohara school, an informal group of young architects who either studied and worked with Shinohara or who were otherwise influenced by his architecture in the 1970s.

Sakamoto’s early projects, which comprised small-scale residences, were influenced by Shinohara’s Minimalist, conspicuously unpretentious, yet uniquely symbolic buildings. Examples include the Minase (1970), Nagareyama (1973), Daita (1976) and Soshigaya (1981) houses in Tokyo. They were designed with simple geometric forms and structures and readily available, ordinary materials. They were meant as gestures of protest against the increasingly conformist commodity culture pervading both architecture and urban planning. In his works of the 1980s Sakamoto continued his search for a residential architecture appropriate for the Japanese metropolis. Rather than designing ‘buildings as objects’, he aimed to create ‘buildings as living environments’ eliciting a variety of responses. Accordingly, works such as the KA, F (...

Article

SANAA  

Ken Tadashi Oshima

[Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates]

Japanese architectural firm based in Tokyo. Kazuyo Sejima (b Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, 29 Oct 1956) received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Japan Women’s University (1979, 1981). She then worked for Toyō Itō & Associates, Architects until 1987 when she established Kazuyo Sejima & Associates. Ryue Nishizawa (b Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, 7 Feb 1966) received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yokohama National University (1988, 1990). He subsequently began to work for Sejima, and in 1995 they established the collaborative practice of SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates). Nishizawa also established the independent practice, Office of Ryue Nishizawa, in 1997 for his own projects. Together, their designs have explored the ‘landscape that architecture creates’ and reconsidered fundamental relationships between architecture, plans, space, structure, programme, and the environment. Sejima and Nishizawa taught together at Princeton University (2005–8); Sejima has been a visiting professor at Japan Women’s University and Tama Art University and Nishizawa became professor at Yokohama National University in ...

Article

Yanfei Zhu

(b Urumqi, Nov 4, 1963).

Chinese architect and teacher. Wang Shu was born in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and studied at the Nanjing Institute of Technology (now Southeast University) in Jiangsu Province, receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture in 1985 and 1988 respectively. He earned his Ph.D. degree at the School of Architecture of Tongji University in Shanghai in 2000. Wang became a faculty member of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou in 2000, and was named chair of the Architecture Department in 2003 and dean of the School of Architecture in 2007. In 2011 he was the Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

His first architectural commission, completed in 1990, was a youth centre in Haining, a small city near Hangzhou. In 1997 Wang and his architect wife, Lu Wenyu, established the Amateur Architecture Studio in Hangzhou. The name of the firm suggested the couples’ non-professional approach based on everyday life, spontaneity, and experimentation. Both of them received relatively liberal educations in post-Mao China, and belonged to the generation of architects who advocated tectonic modernism combined with regionalism. Some of the built works designed by Wang and the firm are the Library of Wenzheng College at Suzhou University (...

Article

Midori Yoshimoto

(b Shizuoka, March 3, 1965).

Japanese conceptual artist, sculptor and installation artist . Sone earned an MA in architecture at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (1992), but decided to experiment with a wider range of media in order to explore the concepts of futility and the unattainable. His first work, Her 19th Foot (1993), shown at the Art Tower, in Mito, and later in the Rooseum, in Malmö, consisted of 19 unicycles welded together for 19 cyclists to ride. As several attempts by different participants failed, the work implied the ‘impossibility of communal illusions’ (see Inoue). His next work, Artificial Lawn Performance (1994), consisted of four photographs that seemed to prove the fiction that Sone had laid Astroturf on the surface of the moon as part of NASA’s art programme. The nonsense of the grandiose act is heightened by the artificial quality evident in Sone’s pseudo-documentary photographs. For the opening of the Expo ...

Article

Botond Bognar

(b Taipei, 1943).

Japanese architect. He studied at the University of Tokyo, graduating in 1967, and then worked for Kiyonori Kikutake until 1972 when he established his own office, Form System, in Tokyo. Tominaga’s architecture is primarily residential and represents a move away from the technologically oriented Metabolist movement in Japan. In his designs he combines a modernist sensibility in his straightforward use of materials, structure, geometry and lack of unnecessary embellishment, with a concern to create spaces with a ritualistic quality, such as complex entry sequences, not complying with modernist functionalism or the optimization of use. The often undulating, white and shiny surfaces of his interiors, reminiscent of those in Hiroshi Hara’s ‘reflection houses’, are juxtaposed with uniquely articulated structural systems such as those that characterize the work of Kazuo Shinohara in the 1970s. The House for a Newlywed Couple (1979) in Odawara and his own house (1983) at Musashishinjō, Kawasaki, feature wooden columns with diagonal braces set within essentially void spaces. The creative use of cheap, readily available materials such as metal, plastic and formica is evident in all Tominaga’s works, including the Residence Hall (...

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1955, in Fukui.

Sculptor, installation artist, draughtsman.

Kimio Tsuchiya studied architecture at Nihon University before going to London, where he studied in the sculpture section of the Chelsea School of Art. Since 1983 he has lived and worked in Matsudo, Japan....