Waro Kishi (20/01/2018)

Reflection on 2A Continental Architectural Award for Asia and Europe 2017 visions

Theme: 2
A Continental Architectural Award 2017

The interview has been published in 2A Magazine issue #41




Waro Kishi
Architect, Professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design

How can architects, Planners and landscape designers intervene to alleviate the human afflictions in the realm of the built environment?
If I could answer that question, I would be so happy to be (so happy as) an architect. I cannot find the answer even today and I keep on looking for it in every project that I am engaged in.

Please follow this idea:Between the countries from different civilizations in the different continents(Asia and Europe in this case) , there has been a constant history of trade, migration and sharing of cultural practices, which has extended strongly, even in the field of architecture. I realized these countries have a deep and true connection with moral principles, which has affected all aspects of its society (Culture, Architecture, Art and their identity in general), their root and identity has influenced their architecture. I also understood that their traditional architecture has been naturally developed in a sustainable manner, I believe that the underlying cultural, historical and spiritual values has led to creation of this form of natural sustainability."
It is the differing uses of history, to create varied sets of architectural languages within our contemporary framework that is of interest. This is especially true in the context of globalization, which has a powerful tendency to homogenize.”- Hence, I would like to ask you as a member of the jury member of 2A Asia Architecture Award 2017, do you consider this thought when you design and practice?
Basically,I agree with your interpretation of the cultural situation in Asia. As a practical architect, I am used to confront the local situation of the project itself, including its site, financial situation, local laws and, of course, client’s taste. Basically those specific conditions are to be cleared in every aspect, but this is just the starting point of our design process.
We should put any specific project in the context of cultural history of its specific area, and also the project has to be important in the context of contemporary, world-wide culture.
That is why I proposed “History/Contemporariness” as the key concept covering both ways. It is important to respect the history and to be contemporary at the same time.

In order to understand the contemporary architectural and urban landscapes in different continents, in your opinion, what are the emergent manifestations of the world in contemporary Architecture and Urbanism?
Emergent manifestations... The problem is we are not able to find “emergent manifestations” nowadays. The world seems to be in a critical state now, but we cannot find the new standard of value to replace Modernism until now.

 How important is context in Contemporary Architectural Design? As a professional, researcher and educator working in Asia/Europe, what are factors, criteria or even constrains that have influential impact on your profession?
I believe in the classical meaning of vvArchitecture—Imeanarchitecturewith a capital A. Architecture is the expression of the “Order” in every age, from the ancient times, including Egyptian, Greek, up to Modernism.
I, myself, believe in Architecture in this way, even if I may look anachronistic in this 21st century.