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 7587     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7587     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Painting With Light
Painting with Light is a team of professional lighting and multimedia experts who design and produce visual experiences that dazzle & shine.
videos
BluGalaxy a Division of Blu Spas
Blu Spas
This animation showcases the beautiful concept design of BluGalaxy Spa.
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
The Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant features 12m-high floor-to-ceiling windows
Dana Kalczak
"If we had focused entirely on high tech in the hotel, the artistry we normally strive for would have been compromised"

Four Seasons’ vice president of design speaks to CLAD about working with Norman Foster and creating magical moments

The Ryan Fieldhouse and Water Athletics Center, Evanston
"Most clients are very focused on how buildings are used and experienced as the primary design driver"

The MD of Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the CEO of PerkinsWill tell us why their merger will help create smarter buildings driven by human behaviour

Francis graduated as a landscape architect in Belgium. He returned to Lebanon in 1993
"I believe gardens are where the soul rests"

With a focus on desert landscapes and collaborations with Zaha Hadid and OMA, the principal of Francis Landscapes has a deep belief in the power of nature

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Profile: Daan Roosegaarde
"I want to demonstrate that creativity is our true capital as humans "

Rather than feeling fearful and helpless about the future, we must design a way out of the environmental problems we have created, argues the innovative Dutch designer, artist and inventor Daan Roosegaarde

The platforms offer ‘different senses of excitement and enclosure’
Alan Metcalfe
"When people are a bit scared, they gather together"

Featuring a vibrating glass platform and one of the US’s longest tree canopy walks, Whiting Forest has been designed to bring visitors closer to nature and to one another

Interview: Blurred lines
Scott Lee became president of SB Architects in 2000. Tracy Lee founded TLee Spas in 2015
"We design to connect the guest to the place, positioning people at the centre of the design"

Architect Scott Lee and spa consultant Tracey Lee on marrying the worlds of design and wellness in a series of interesting projects

Interview: Olga Polizzi
Olga Polizzi is director of design for Rocco Forte Hotels and also owns two of her own hotels
"On Via Sistina, everything breathes history. At the same time I wanted to reflect the modern hunger for the fantastical - Tommaso Ziffer"

Following the highly anticipated launch of Rome’s Hotel de la Ville, Rocco Forte’s director of design reflects on a fascinating project

cladkit product news
Cosm unveils Experience Centre with ‘one of a kind’ LED dome
The new Experience Centre houses a 20m LED dome
Magali Robathan
Cosm, a global technology company that builds end-to-end solutions for immersive experiences, has unveiled its Experience Centre which houses a ...
Painting with Light pushes boundaries to create unforgettable visual concepts
The team combines lighting, video, sound and special effects, with scenic and architectural elements, to create unforgettable visual experiences
Megan Whitby
Belgium-based light and video design studio, Painting with Light, will translate the story of your location into a visual experience, ...
Matteo Thun grows Allaperto collection with new suspended outdoor armchair
Megan Whitby
Allaperto, the lounge collection spawned by the partnership between design studios, Matteo Thun, Ethimo and Antonio Rodriguez, has been expanded ...
cladkit product news
Atelier Alain Ellouz launches handcrafted precious stone lighting collection
LYRA has a sleek, cylindrical design complete with an elegant brass dimming switch
Megan Whitby
LYRA, GAMA, MONA and ATHENA are the first pieces from designer Atelier Alain Ellouz’s new.édition collection of handcrafted stone lighting ...
Siminetti unveils first glimpses of Mother of Pearl decorative surfaces inspired by the four seasons
The new winter design is finished with naturally occurring hexagonal patterns found in snowflakes
Megan Whitby
Siminetti has collaborated with British designer Chrisanna London to create a luxury Mother of Pearl decorative surface range inspired by ...
LianTronics’ glasses-free 3D Star Trek LED screen attracts attention
Magali Robathan
LianTronics’ giant curved LED wall with stunning glasses-less 3D spaceship display effect has attracted many on the street of Chengdu, ...
cladkit product news
Móz Designs columns anchor the world’s largest indoor aquarium
The design of the columns was inspired by the sea
Magali Robathan
After a two-year renovation, Oakland-based metal experts Móz Designs have unveiled their inclusion in Georgia Aquarium’s new shark gallery. Located ...
ASPA International launches handheld UV-C light disinfection lamp
The compact plug-in product can be used easily in a commercial spa or domestic setting to disinfect surfaces with UV-C light
Megan Whitby
For over 30 years, ASPA International has designed and built high-quality spas for the hotel, health and wellness sectors. During ...
Christie laser projectors power new Five Senses Bubble dome theatre
The dome aims to integrate technology with arts and culture
Magali Robathan
Christie® GS Series 1DLP® laser projectors are delivering vivid and lifelike visuals in a new dome theatre located in Xiong’an ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates