Toyo Ito and SANAA in the spotlight as MoMA celebrates Japanese design

by Kim Megson | 15 Dec 2015

New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is to celebrate Pritzker Prize-winning Toyo Ito with an exhibition exploring how the Japanese architect has inspired fellow designers following in his footsteps.

The exhibition – A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond – will run from 13 March to 4 July 2016. On display will be a retrospective of recent works by three generations of internationally acclaimed designers who have been inspired and mentored both by Ito and by each other.

Work by SANAA’s Pritzker-winning Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa – responsible for the winding, semi-transparent Grace Farms complex in Connecticut, US – will be featured, alongside architectural designs, models and drawings from acclaimed designers Sou Fujimoto, Akihisa Hirata and Junya Ishigami.

Ito, who won architecture’s biggest prize in 2013, is known for his conceptual designs, including the beamless, curving National Taichung Theater in Taiwan and the snake-like National Stadium of Taiwan.

Featuring more than 40 recent architectural designs, the exhibition will seek to show how other Japanese architects have embraced this innovation in the past 20 years, and how their experimental and avant-garde work has been impacted by the economic, legal and functional considerations required in contemporary architecture.

MoMA’s North Galleries will be laid out to suggest different connections and levels of influence among the selected architects, with intersecting spaces separated by translucent curtains on which multimedia presentations will be projected.

A Japanese Constellation reveals a network of influence and cross-pollination that has become particularly relevant at the start of the 21st century” said MoMA in a statement. “It is intended as a reflection on the transmission of an architectural sensibility, and suggests an alternative model to what has been commonly described as an individuality-based 'star-system' in contemporary architecture.

“Offering a panorama of established and up-and-coming architects, the exhibition reveals how shared architectural themes travel across generations of architects, creating a strong identity for a regional practice with global impact.”

The exhibition has been organised by Pedro Gadanho, a former curator of contemporary architecture at MoMA.

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New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is to celebrate Pritzker Prize-winning Toyo Ito with an exhibition exploring how the Japanese architect has inspired fellow designers following in his footsteps. The exhibition – A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond – will run from 13 March to 4 July 2016. On display will be a retrospective of recent works by three generations of internationally acclaimed designers who have been
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