Maki wins 2011 Gold Medal

December 21, 2010

American Institute of Architects to award Japan’s Fumihiko Maki with the prestigious 2011 Gold Medal.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced the 2011 AIA Gold Medal will be presented to Tokyo-based architect Fumihiko Maki.

The medal is awarded in recognition of an individual’s significant body of work and their influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Maki, who is the director of Tokyo firm Maki and Associates, will receive the award at the AIA National Convention in New Orleans next year.

Maki began practicing architecture in the 1960s as a charter member of the Metabolists – a group of Japanese architects who believed in the endless possibilities offered by flexible and expandable modular structures. His designs continue to explore collages of form, bringing free-form volumes together with elemental shapes such as cones and cubes, exploring the conflict and harmony of diverse architectural ideas coexisting.

“Architecture must produce tension, and the tension must be created from unstable orders,” Maki explained in his 1988 monograph Fumihiko Maki: An Aesthetic of Fragmentation.

Maki was also awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1993. His vast body of work includes the Spiral Tower in Tokyo, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and the Kaze-No-Oka Crematorium in Japan. His style is described by colleague Toshiko Mori as “ a unique style of Modernism that is infused with an ephemeral quality and elegance which reflects his Japanese origin… his buildings convey a quiet and elegant moment of reflection.”

Maki lives in Tokyo, though he studied (and still teaches) at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In his small practice in Tokyo, Maki approaches design as an evolutionary – not revolutionary – process, which he describes as, “a process of constant discovery rather than mere intervention.”

["Read our interview with Fumihiko Maki here":]
*Maki will be in Australia for the 2011 Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Conference, Natural Artifice*. For more information go to ["":]

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