Every great architect is - necessarily - a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.
The remarkable Japanese architect, Shigero Ban, has just won the Pritzker Prize for architecture. The following is a brief extract from a New York Times article:
He is different from many previous Pritzker winners in having focused on projects for those who haven’t had the voice to ask for them: insisting that architecture reclaim its historic role as a purveyor of not just wonder and beauty but also social change. Architecture matters, Mr. Ban’s work insists. And it should.
In the process of pioneering construction with paper tubes, among other novel materials, he has extended the definition of temporary architecture and the uses of recycled, off-the-shelf, environmentally friendly materials before many others were thinking along these lines. What used to be unusual is now mainstream. Several years ago, Mr. Ban told me about the paper-tube houses: “A concrete-and-steel building can be temporary. It can be taken down or destroyed by an earthquake. But paper can last. It’s a question of love. If a building is loved, it becomes permanent.”
Last week, when we met in New York, he downloaded photographs of homes he made out of shipping containers for victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, leveling the town of Onagawa. Cheerful, stacked in checkerboard patterns on a disused baseball field around mini-squares where markets and concerts could be organized, the temporary containers have become so popular that some families don’t want to leave them, he said.
REMARKABLE VIZUALIZATION OF THE U.S. ECONOMY
CATHERINE MULBRANDON www.visualizingeconomics.com