Interviewed in Tokyo, 23 March 2009
Young Japanese architect Junya Ishigami finds starting points for his thinking in nature where he discovers emergence of complexity out of simple principles. Balancing on unclear relations, his work questions our perception, contradicts the senses and opposes personal intuition. Ambiguity of spatial boundaries represents the key idea in his search for creation of a new kind of space. By denying conceptual hierarchy, Ishigami creates co-existence of different elements and at the same time develops abstract interrelations. He realized his first work, the KAIT workshop at the Technical Institute in Kanagawa as a paradigm of new accessible abstraction. He attracted international attention, especially with his project Extreme Nature at last year’s Venice Biennale of Architecture and this autumn, we will have opportunity to get to know his work more closely at the 9th Days of Oris.
PROUD FAMILY TREE
ORIS: You graduated from Tokyo National University for Fine Arts and Music, and afterwards joined Kazuyo Sejima’s office, one of the leading Japanese practices. It makes a sort of generational succession chain – from Seikun Kikutake who was the teacher of Toyo Ito, passing on to Kazuyo Sejima – then ending up with you. Is this a typical pattern in Japan, young architects working with famous architects for a couple of years, and then starting their own practice?
Ishigami: I think it’s really a typical way of starting a practice in Japan.