L: Mr. Lutz DietzoldK: Mr. Kengo KumaL: 隈研吾先生您好！很荣幸在此祝贺您获得标志性设计奖⋅创新建筑奖2020年度最佳建筑师ARCHITECTS OF THE YEAR荣誉。我是Lutz Dietzold，德国品牌设计委员会CEO。在德国品牌设计委员会60多年的历史中，我们一直在致力于发现和表彰国际建筑设计杰出的建筑师和设计师今年国际评审团一致决定将2020年度最佳建筑师奖项颁发给您。评审团相信，您的作品毫无疑问将在国际范围内对可持续建筑产生深远的影响力，具有示范作用。K: 非常感谢。
“I want to leave the era of concrete behind me”L: Mr. Lutz DietzoldK: Mr. Kengo Kuma
L: Hello, Mr. Kuma. It is an honor to meet you in the virtual space to congratulate you on the title of honor ARCHITECTS OF THE YEAR, that jury decides Iconic Awards: Innovative Architecture goes to you this year. My name is Lutz Dietzold. I’m CEO of the German Design Council, which identifies and presents outstanding achievements in design and architecture for over 60 years. Several of your projects had been awarded to the Iconic Awards over the past years. It was the gesture of unanimity, that the polyphonic jury decided your work as a reference world-class architecture. A work no doubt gives an outlook of the future of sustainable world architectures, our populations, Mr. Kuma.K: Yeah, thank you very much.
▲architects of the year sculpture
L: You once said: “I want to leave the era of concrete behind me” and you built structures, buildings, and even bridges in wood. What do you think has to change that contemporary architecture is engaged more in using materials in a more conscious and sustainable way? K: In the 20th century, like most architects, as I believed, concrete and steel was the only option for architects as of for every building. And in that industrial era, it was the best solution. But now in the 21st century, as we are facing the environmental crisis of global warming and in that severe condition, so we should decide to leave concrete. Those design wise as evidence of concrete have given us many stresses. So I want to be free from concrete. L: Which role does light play in your design? K: I am always thinking about material and light. The bright material cannot speak to us. Then the material and the light should go together. In traditional Japanese architecture, people think about natural light, because there is no artificial light. So always, the interior space was led by natural light and through the reflection and many sophisticated ways. I want to get the hint from those as a traditional method of using light.L: So you mentioned in many buildings you use this traditional Japanese arts and crafts in an innovative way. What – from your personal perspective – is the “Japan-ness” new in architecture?K: Yeah, Japan-ness is a kind of sustainable method is limited in that. Japan is more than that, especially the flat, the land in Japan is very much limited. But in that kind of severe condition, people should try to create happiness in the density. And the Japanese density is very much related to intimacy in the density.
L: What is the important moment or person in your life that shaped the way you design? K: Yes, the most important period for me was the 1990s. The 1990s economically, it was the very hard decade, because in the 1980s we had bubble economy until the beginning of the 1990s. Luckily, I could find time to travel to local places. There are remote places and small villages. I could work with a local craftsman on small projects. Then I learned many things from the local craftsman in the 1990s. The projects we did in the 1990s are very small, and the numbers were not many but what I have learned from that craftsman in that period was the basis of our design after the year 2000.L: You are an explorer when it comes to materials. We spoke about that a little bit, leaving concrete behind. Which kind of material innovation are you still waiting for?K: As I’m very much interested in soft material, wood is softer than concrete. Also I’m looking for materials softer than wood. We are using materials of recent technology which is producing many new materials. Recently we are using carbon fiber, we are interested in materials for the future to come.L: So connected to this, what do you regard as the greatest challenge in today’s architecture? K: Before the 19th century, architects are using many different materials. In the 20th century the materials used were very limited. After Covid pandemic, we should go back to nature. And we should go back to diversity of materials. I think it’s a good chance for us.L: If you look at the demographic development of the world’s megacities, how can architecture contribute to creating spaces and a positive relationship with nature? K: Until 20th century, homo sapiens were gathering to big cities, and also homo sapiens tried to make their nests higher and higher. After this crisis, people should go back to nature and life should go back to agriculture. And also, I hope we can do that kind of big change. As Genus I am very positive in that direction.L: With Corona in your eyes have an influence on world architecture as it changed the way people use buildings and what expectations they have for architecture?K: Yeah, looking back to the history of architecture design, I think design should be led by craftsmen. I think in the 21st century the craftsman bridges.L: Mr. Kuma, thank you very much for your time. An interesting insight on your understanding of architecture and your work of all the best for your projects. We hope to see more of them in the future. Keep safe and congratulations again Mr. Kuma. K: Thank you very much and congratulation to the winners of the ICONIC AWARD. I always encourage myself to go the next station. Thank you for all the German Design Council.L: Thank you very much!K: Thank you.