Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma



Architect and professor at the University of Tokyo. Born in 1954. Graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1979 with a degree in architecture. Established Kengo Kuma & Associates in 1990. After working as a professor at Keio University, he assumed his current position in 2009. Awarded the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize for “Mori Butai/Tome Town Traditional Performing Arts Center” in 1997, Mainichi Art Award for “Nezu Museum” in 2010, and many other domestic and international awards. Recent works include the Suntory Museum of Art, Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center, Aole Nagaoka, Kabuki-za Theater, Besançon Center for Arts and Culture, FRAC Marseille, V&A Dundee, and many other projects in Japan and abroad. He is also involved in the design of the New National Stadium. His publications include “Natural Architecture” (Iwanami Shinsho), “Small Architecture” (Iwanami Shinsho), “Architects, Running” (Shinchosha), “My Place” (Daiwa Shobo), “The Square” (Tankosha), and “Place Theory” (I, II).

Thoughts on Design

After writing the book “Losing Architecture,” I have been thinking about losing design for the past five years, and now I am starting to think about breathing design. Passive design, which is defeated by the environment and the given conditions, is always fixed in a way that it is actually “defeated”. Is it possible to create a design that responds to the environment in a flexible manner, like breathing? The most important question is the degree of flexibility.

Representative work

  • 2006 | Chokura Plaza

  • 2002 | Great(Bamboo)Wall

  • Nezu Museum of Art

  • 2000 | Bato Hiroshige Art Museum

  • 1995 | Water Glass

  • 2007 | Suntory Museum of Art

  • Granada Performing Arts Center

  • 2007 | Besançon Cultural Arts Center

  • 2000 | Stone Museum

  • Marseille Center for Contemporary Art

  • Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum

  • V&A at Dundee

Interview (Japanese)

From the exhibition “Secret Source of Inspiration: Designers’ Hidden Sketches and Mockups