SHIGERU BAN: In an exclusive interview, the architect tells CLAD about the profession's 'social responsibility'

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban has told CLAD about the responsibility he feels as an architect to combine “monumental” public buildings with disaster relief projects around the world.

In an exclusive interview, Ban said his post-disaster work with his Voluntary Architects’ Network in countries such as Japan and Ecuador is important to him, because “compared to doctors or lawyers and other professionals who work for people with problems, our job generally lacks a contribution to society.”

The humanitarian role architects can play in communities has been a topic of great discussion this year, thanks to Alejando Aravena’s Pritzker win and the forthcoming Venice Biennale, which will focus on architecture that overcomes social challenges.

Ban said he invests equal energy and takes equal satisfaction from his leisure projects and smaller-scale disaster relief ones – which include a Cardboard Cathedral for Christchurch, New Zealand and Paper Refugee Shelters in Rwanda.

He said: “Architects work for privileged people to make their money and power visible with monumental buildings. Monumental architecture can be symbolic for cities, and I want to design monuments, but I also want to use my experience and knowledge for the general public or victims of natural disasters as well. My approach to the work is the same.

“I feel there is a social responsibility as an architect to put our skills to use where possible.”

Ban told CLAD that before he begins any design, he extracts potential problems presented by the brief and considers ways to solve them before creating a form.

“Whatever the project, it is important to respect the characteristics, trademark or tradition of the place,” he said. “I don’t strive to create beautiful and aesthetic architecture, but these characteristics appear naturally from a design. It is something an architect senses.”

Ban’s best-known leisure buildings include The Centre Pompidou-Metz museum in France and the Aspen Art Museum in the US. He is currently developing the Tainan Museum of Fine Arts and a ‘music city’ on Paris’s Île Seguin island.

In 2014, when he won architecture’s top prize, the Pritzker Jury cited Ban for his innovative use of simple materials, such as paper and cardboard, and his dedication to humanitarian efforts, calling him "a committed teacher” and an “inspiration."

The full interview with Shigeru Ban will feature in the next issue of CLADmag.

Shigeru Ban  Volunteer Architect' Network  architecture  design  humanitarian work  disaster relief  CLAD 
Related stories

Alejando Aravena will make his architectural plans free for all to use

Alejandro Aravena's star-studded Venice Architecture Biennale will be a battle for better built environments

Alejandro Aravena wins 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize

Shigeru Ban’s Oita Prefectural Art Museum to act as 'cultural catalyst' for local community

More than an art museum, Shigeru Ban creates community space for Japanese city

Shigeru Ban chosen to design Tainan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan

Shigeru Ban's new Aspen Art Museum to open on 9 August

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban has told CLAD about the responsibility he feels as an architect to combine “monumental” public buildings with disaster relief projects around the world. In an exclusive interview, Ban said his post-disaster work with his Voluntary Architects’ Network in countries such as Japan and Ecuador is important to him, because “compared to doctors or lawyers and other professionals who work for people with problems, our job
CLD,ARC,DES,DEV,INV,PHR
Shigeru Ban takes 'equal satisfaction' from his large-scale projects and his humanitarian design work
/ Shigeru Ban
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6726     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6726     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Unrelenting drive to be the best at what we do underpins activity throughout our vertically integrated business life cycle.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
After the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, the Rockaway Boardwalk was rebuilt and designed to be a space that brings the community together
Claire Weisz
"I prefer to be labelled a feminist architect than a female architect. I’d love to work with more women"

The WXY co-founder and urbanist with a passion for improving our public spaces

Andreas Nygaard
"Should a thousand year wave occur, you’ll be completely safe"

A sneak preview of one of the world’s largest underwater restaurants

The Royal Arena in Copenhagen was designed to 
be a “good neighbour” says Herforth Nielsen
Kim Herforth Nielsen founded 3XN in 1986 with Lars Frank Nielsen and Hans Peter Svendler Nielsen
"I always wanted to do more than just designing buildings"

How Danish firm 3XN is harnessing the power of architecture to shape human behaviour

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek was a defining project
Mary Bowman studied at the University of Virginia and the Architectural Association
"Marina One was quite special in the degree of integration between the landscaping and architecture "

The Gustafson Porter + Bowman partner on the landscape projects changing the face of our cities

The arches were designed to create the sense that the scenery flows through the library
Toyo Ito was born in Seoul in 1941. He studied architecture at the University of Tokyo
"I have one dream with my work. Architecture should equal nature"

The Pritzker Prize-winner talks about inspiration, battling bureaucracy and the Tokyo National Olympic Stadium saga with Kim Megson

Mori’s design for the airy visitor centre of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York
Born in Kobe, Japan and later growing up in New York, Mori has become a trailblazer for women in architecture around the world
"Every decision you make, you should think seven generations ahead"

From a compressed earth cultural centre in Senegal to the sleek Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Mori’s work shares a clarity of purpose

featured supplier
Featured Supplier: EXF supports Third Space to create London’s largest functional training space at The Yard
Bespoke fitness manufacturer EXF has extended its relationship with Third Space, by supplying the luxury fitness group with London’s largest functional training rig at its Canary Wharf club.
cladkit product news
Aotta launches sound panels made from hemp husks
The panels are designed to maintain 'healthy spaces' and consist of Hemp husks fashioned into a natural porous membrane that absorbs sound
Lauren Heath-Jones
Russian design studio Aotta has developed a range of eco-friendly, sound-absorbing panels made from the waste products of hemp seeds. ...
David Rockwell partners with Jim Thompson for dream-inspired fabric collection
Rockwell has designed 12 multi-use fabrics inspired by dreams with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson
Lauren Heath-Jones
Renowned architect David Rockwell has created a collection of fabrics with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson. Called Dreams, the collection was ...
Bartok Design installs 'transformative' soaking tubs in SpaFusion at Pallazzo Varignana
Bartok Design creates traditional Japanese soaking tubs
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bartok Design, a Japan-based supplier of Ofuro (Japanese bathtubs), has completed a major installation at the newly opened SpaFusion at ...
cladkit product news
Tredje Natur launches Climate Tile to bring green spaces to urban settings
Tredje Natur has installed the pilot system of its Climate Tile system in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen
Lauren Heath-Jones
Danish company Tredje Natur (Third Nature) has recently installed the pilot system of its innovative street paving system in the ...
Water inspires Zaha Hadid Design x Rosenthal collaboration
The collection consists of three smaller collections: Weave, Strip and Lapp. Weave was inspired by 'the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid's sketching hand'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal to create a new collection of vases. Called the Lapp collection, ...
Designworks launches new glow-in-the-dark tile collection
The tiles contain light-absorbing luminous pigments so they glow-in-the-dark
Lauren Heath-Jones
High-end tile supplier Designworks has created a range of illuminous mosaic tiles for commercial use. Designed to bring light into ...
cladkit product news
Artemide excites with latest lighting collection
Designer Alejandro Aravena created O to 'reconcile the needs of the natural and the urban environment'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Herzog and de Meuron, Neri & Hu, MAD Architects and Elemental, the firm of Pritzker winner ...
John Pawson reimagines oil lantern for Wästberg
The Holocene No. 4 reflects Pawson's pared-back style and neutral palette
Lauren Heath-Jones
Swedish lighting company Wästberg has expanded its Holocene collection, with a new addition, Holocene No. 4, designed by acclaimed architect ...
Zaha Hadid Design partners with Royal Thai to create carpet collection celebrating Zaha Hadid's legacy
The carpets capture Hadid's notable use of layering and interweaving as well as her use of light and shadow
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with carpet manufacturer Royal Thai to create a new carpet collection inspired by the work ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates