Toyo Ito is considered "one of the world's most innovative and influential architects" (Designboom).
Ito is known for creating extreme conceptual architecture, in which he seeks to melt the physical and virtual worlds. He is a leading exponent of architecture that addresses issues of the contemporary notion of a 'simulated' city.
Born in Japanese colonization-era Keijo (present-day Seoul, South Korea). Ito graduated from Tokyo University's, Department of Architecture in 1965. After working for Kiyonori Kikutake Architect and Associate from 1965 to 1969, he started his own studio, 'Urban Robot' (urbot) in 1971, in Tokyo. In 1979, the studio changed its name to Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects. Throughout his early career Toyo Ito constructed numbers of private housing projects that revealed the hiden layer of urban life in Japan. His most remarkable early conceptual contributions were made through the projects of this scale. See White U in 1976 and Silver Hut in 1984.
With the 'Pao for the Tokyo Nomad Girl' Project's in 1985 Toyo Ito developed a vision of a life of an Urban Nomad, illustorious to the human life involved in the bubble economy of Japan.
Tower of winds in Yokohama in 1986 and Egg of winds in 1991 are interactive landmarks in the public space as the result of creative confrontation with the technical possibilities which the future will bring.
Toyo Ito is known in Japan to raise talentful younger generation of architects. Architects who worked for his office includes, Kazuyo Sejima (SANAA), Klein Dytham Architecture.
The projects by Toyo Ito are inspired by, for example, Japanese philosopher Sosuke Mita or the concept of "Nomad" by Gilles Deleuze. Citation from a lecture of a Japanese architecture critic Uehara, "During the post modern movements Toyo Ito took a path that aims to free a role of architecture from being an operative mechanism of human society. In this ITO's vision architecture is a soft translucent shield to provide an ambivalent border condition towards a forceful society: ITO's Architecture appears in the tangible relationship of man-urbanity in the context of highly developed Metropolitan condition. ITO's architecture during this period possesses rich precedence in exploring the potential of integrating architecture and the powerful economic context." end citation.
Through such small housing projects Toyo Ito has been defining architecture as the 'dress' for individuals of urban life especially in the modern Japanese Metropolitan life. The theme evolves around the equilibrium between the private and the Metropolitan 'public' life of an individual.
Current Architecture of Toyo Ito is entirely based on his findings from the works of post modern periods. The works of Toyo Ito Associate Architects aggressively explores its new formalistic potential. In doing so the practice seeks to find new spatial condition that captivates the philosophy of borderless beings.
The work of Toyo Ito Associate Architects has been exhibited widely. In 1991 Ito used 130 video projectors to simulate the urban environment of Tokyo for the Vision of Japan exhibition at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In 2000, the Vision and reality at The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art also became a travelling exhibition. Toyo Ito similarly exploited the effect of video projection as the medium to exhibit architecture. In the Blurring architecture exhibition - initiated at the Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum in Aachen and travelling to four other cities (Tokyo, Antwerp, Auckland and Wellington between in 1999-2001) - Toyo Ito tried to reveal the 'virtual' presence of architecture in the human mind. The latest exhibition of his work is Design by Toyo Ito. Currently large exhibition on recent works of Toyo Ito is in preparation at the Tokyo Opera City.
Also, Toyo Ito Associates Architects designed the Berlin-Tokyo/Tokyo-Berlin Exhibition (2006) at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. The design featured a smooth, hilly landscape that took up almost the entirety of the museum's main exhibition space. This exhibition, in collaboration with the Mori Art Museum, was one of the largest undertaking in the museum's history.
As a professional in the building industry, we want to keep you informed about the most recent developments regarding building codes, building technology, CAD developments, and more. The Noble Architect is published biweekly and reaches thousands of building professionals like you in the United States and around the world. All rights reserved.