Museums have no borders,
they have a network

All news

February 1, 2019

Kengo Kuma: keynote for ICOM Kyoto 2019

The Japanese architect will deliver a keynote speech during the 25th General Conference of ICOM, which will take place in September 1 – 7 in Kyoto, Japan

Kengo Kuma was born in Yokohama in 1954 and he completed his master’s degree at the University of Tokyo in 1979. In 1990 he established his own firm, Kengo Kuma & Associates, which today designs a wide variety of projects across the world with more than 200 architects based in Tokyo, China and Paris. Kuma taught at Keio University as professor, and in 2009 he was installed as professor at the Graduate School of Architecture of the University of Tokyo.

Kuma, who in 2016 was awarded with the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture, considers his architecture as “some kind of frame of nature”. “You could say that my aim is ‘to recover the place’. The place is a result of nature and time; this is the most important aspect.”, he explained in Botond Bognar’s Material Immaterial: The New Work of Kengo Kuma. “With it, we can experience nature more deeply and more intimately. Transparency is a characteristic of Japanese architecture; I try to use light and natural materials to get a new kind of transparency.”

Asakusa Tourist Information Center, ©Takeshi YAMAGISHI

Kuma was awarded with the Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Award in 1997 for the Noh Stage in the Forest and with the Mainichi Art Award in 2010 for the Nezu Museum. Some of his recent works include the Suntory Museum of Art, the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center, the Nagaoka City Hall Aore, the Kabukiza, the Besançon Art Center and the Cité de la Musique, the FRAC Marseille and the V&A Dundee.

Kengo Kuma & Associates are also working on the New National Stadium Japan along with Taisei Corporation and Azusa Sekkei. He has also written numerous books and most of the titles have been translated into Chinese and Korean. His major writings, Anti-Object: The Dissolution and Disintegration of Architecture and Natural Architecture and Small Architecture have also been published in English from AA Publications, the book department of AA School, UK’s prestigious architecture institution.

ICOM Kyoto 2019

Between the 1st and the 7th of September 2019, Kyoto (Japan) will host the biggest and most important conference of museums in the world. More than 3.000 museum professionals and experts from all international backgrounds will participate in this triannual event, the 25th General Conference of ICOM.  After 24 successful editions, ICOM’s flagship conference has become a worldwide reputed hub for exchange about the topical issues museums tackle today, as well as the most innovative solutions. Early bird registrations will be available until the 30th of April. To find more information on the conference and to register, check the ICOM Kyoto 2019 website.

Main photo credit: ©Michael McGurk