Japanese ‘starchitect’ Kengo Kuma makes Australian footprint

From designing Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Stadium to working with students in Canberra, Kengo Kuma keeps it real by connecting materials with mentorships.
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NAMAKO construction. University of Canberra. Courtesy DESIGN Canberra, Photo Five Foot Photography

World-renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma was recently in Sydney to present a keynote address for the SCCI Architecture Hub (12-22 October). It was a moment that offered him an opportunity to do what he loves most: inspire architecture students.

Piggybacking on his keynote address at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and intimate lunches and talks at Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI) with Australian architects and Japanese colleagues, Kengo heads to Canberra where he will work with architecture students at the University of Canberra to activate Aspen Island, in Lake Burley Griffin, with an ephemeral architecture project for DESIGN Canberra.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina

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