Kanagawa Institute of Technology (image credit www.dailyicon.net)


The book features his manifesto from the works that he displayed at the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art in 2010. It contains his prophecy and vision that architecture no longer binds itself to the preconceived structural scales but is liberated to embody an entire spectrum of scales found in the natural environment. Ishigami is by far the avant-garde of such ambition.

Paths of people in the Forest (scanned image)

The Kanagawa Institute of Technology was a manifestation of the Forest phenomenon, earning the prize for the 61st Architectural Institute of Japan Prize in 2009. What seems to be random but actually complex arrangement of trees allows for infinite possible paths and new functions to be discovered as one tries to create a rationale with regards to placement and position. Furniture and the likes are part of the whole ecosystem giving it the ability to alter the spaces within as well.


Rain (Image credit to www.japlusu.com)

His most courageous attempt by far is the installation at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition for Venice Biennale, Rain. It consists of 54 pillars and 2808 wires measured to scale at 20µm & 900µm respectively are erected to form a transparent structure housing spaces, which is only perceivable by reflected light. Although the installation collapsed several times, Ishigami was awarded the Golden Lion based on his determination and visionary concept of seamless coexistence of structure and space.


Construction and deformation diagram of Clouds (scanned image)
Construction and deformation diagram of Clouds (scanned image)


His works are a display of his careful research and structural study of the natural environment. The Cloud model, for example, is an installation so vast yet so light that air became the main structural element that kept it standing. At the scale of 1:2500, proportioned to the height of troposphere where clouds are formed, this architecture is erected up to 14km yet weighing 50 times lighter than the same volume of air.

Aiming to draw architecture as one with the nature, he stayed true to his approach by using diverse scales of nature to inspire his spatial conception and further push the boundaries of building technology. Images below are other equally ambitious works of his.



Horizon (image credit to www.metalocus.es)
Table as Water (image credit www.uncubemagazine.com)


Junya Ishigami, “Another Scale of Architecture” (Kyoto, Japan: Seigensha Art Publishing, Inc., 2010).