Shigeru Ban on the Importance of Architecture

Shigeru Ban

Came across this interview by Edan Corkill with Shigeru Ban in which they discuss his growing up, his education at Cooper Union, and his love of paper tubes. Before this article I honestly had no idea that cardboard could be so damn durable. You can read more about his practical uses of paper tubes on his Wikipedia page.

My favorite part of this piece though is at the end when Shigeru explains what’s important to him in regards to architecture.

What’s the most important thing when making architecture?

Even something that I intended as a temporary structure, like a paper church I made in Kobe in 1995, can end up being permanent. That church was relocated to Taiwan in 2006, after they had an earthquake there, and it still exists today. Ultimately, what determines the permanence of a building is not the wealth of the developer or the materials that are used, but the simple question of whether or not the resulting structure is supported — loved — by the people.

Architecture made simply for profit — even if it’s in concrete — is in fact temporary. Commercial architecture is precisely that. If it is made for making money then eventually some other developer will come along and try to make more money out of it by demolishing it and rebuilding it. And it just repeats. In that way concrete is in fact temporary.

However, if you make architecture that is loved by the people, then regardless of what it is made of, it will be kept.

Found through Spoon & Tamago

Bobby Solomon

April 15, 2013 / By

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