Sensitive and assertive, graceful and insightful, Ar Kazuyo Sejima is a visionary architect born and raised in Mito, Ibaraki, Japan. She is cherished for creating impressive buildings such as the Glass Pavilion in Toledo, Ohio and the New Museum in New York City.
After apprenticing with Toyo Ito, Ar Sejima established Kazuyo Sejima & Associates in 1987. In 1995, she founded the Tokyobased firm SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates) with her architectural partner – Ryue Nishizawa. In 2010, Sejima was appointed a director of architecture sector for the Venice Biennale, which she curated for the 12th Annual International Architecture Exhibition. She was the first woman ever selected for this position. In the same year, she was awarded the Pritzker Prize, together with Ryue Nishizawa.
The sky is the limit and so do the terrific works of the architect, who created silvery New Museum in Manhattan and then The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009 along with her partner. She has also been the curator of the theme ‘People meet in architecture’ of 12th International Architecture Exhibition- La Biennale di Venezia. She is a leading exponent of contemporary architecture. When asked what inspired her, she says, “All of our projects try to create an atmosphere for people. We try to make architecture that feels like a park. This has to do with creating an atmosphere that can be experienced and used in many ways. It can be grand or it can be intimate.”
It is hard to believe that this powerful and inspiring architect did not want to become an architect in her childhood, “When I was a child I really wanted to be a grandmother; to sit on the terrace and enjoy the sunlight.” She focuses on incorporating materials like marble or glass in her projects. One may notice an array of curves within the design of her building. She is the lady who challenges stereotypical housing models and adopts the modern and practical process of design. She thinks that it is not possible to create an entire building based on an imaginary idea or a theory of what something should be. In an interview, when Paolo Baratta- the president of the Venice Biennale and member of the boards of the Ferrovie dello Stato- was asked why
Ar Sejima was chosen as Biennale president, he said, “Sejima is really the architect who refuses to conceive architecture as a way of representing the power of somebody, or the money of somebody else, or the ambitions of the client. She instead comes back to an idea of architecture where functions, relations, and the division of space are what matters. Her pared-down architecture is so functional, it’s lyrical.”
Women architects are very rare in Japan, but Ar Sejima defied all the odds and achieved prominence as an architect in a male-dominated culture. She is an admirer of the work of Comme des Garçons, for whom she recently designed an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. Her incredible taste of creating buildings that are integrated with nature and centred on the happiness of the human experience has made her popular in the architectural realm.
About WADE Asia Conference & Awards
WADE ASIA is one of the most prestigious national conferences on Architecture, Design, Art and Engineering and the largest platform for women in design in Asia.
The 5th celebration of WADE ASIA’s annual event will take place on the 09-10-11/ October/ 2020 at the NSIC Grounds, New Delhi with participation from INDIA and SOUTH EAST ASIA.
It happens concurrently with MATECIA Building Material Exhibition and IIR Conference & Awards. If you are working for the built environment or building material industry, you should NOT MISS attending WADE ASIA.
WADE has created a World Record in 2018 for the Largest W shape created on ground by all women, awarded by ASIA BOOK OF RECORDS.