Studio Banana TV interviews Japanese architect Toyo Ito on the occasion of his lecture at the European University of Madrid. Toyo Ito is one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects. Ito is known for creating extreme concept buildings, in which he seeks to fuse the physical and virtual worlds. Interview realised with the sponsorship of the European University of Madrid.
Toyo Ito (伊東豊雄) is a Japanese architect born in 1941. He graduated from Tokyo University’s Department of Architecture in 1965. His office Toyo Ito & Associates is a world leading exponent of architecture that addresses the contemporary notion of a “simulated” ciy, and has been called “one of the world’s most innovative and influential architects.”
After a brief stint in the Metabolist studio of Kiyonori Kikutake, in 1971 he started his own studio in Tokyo, named Urbot (”Urban Robot”). In 1979, the studio name was changed to Toyo Ito & Associates. Throughout his early career Ito constructed numerous private house projects that expressed aspects of urban life in Japan. His early experiments include the Tower of Winds, the Egg of Winds and the Pao House for nomad women. Later projects include the Yatsushiro Municipal Museum and the Shimosuwa Municipal Museum. More recently he has built the Sendai Mediatheque (2001), the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London (2002), TOD’s Omotesando Building in Tokyo (2004), the World Games Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2008) or the Torre Fira BCN Building in Barcelona (2009).
Ito has defined architecture as “clothing” for urban dwellers, particularly in the contemporary Japanese metropolis. This theme revolves around the equilibrium between the private life and the metropolitan “public” life of an individual. The current architecture of Toyo Ito expands on his work produced during the postmodern period, aggressively exploring the potentials of new forms. In doing so, he seeks to find new spatial conditions that manifest the philosophy of borderless beings.
Special thanks to Eriko Kinoshita from Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects
Interview by Cornelia Tapparelli. Translation by Yayoi Kawamura.