Internationally acclaimed Tokyo-born architect Fumihiko Maki, soon to be represented on the MIT campus with the new Media Lab complex, will present an architecture lecture titled "The Construction of Scenery" on Tuesday, March 20 at 6:30pm in Rm 10-250.
Mr. Maki, known as an architectural populist whose design emphasizes openness and interaction, has played a major role in the international influence of Japanese architecture. His architectural ideas involve creating "unforgettable scenes" -- settings to accommodate and complement all kinds of human interaction.
His Media Lab expansion -- a seven-story building of laboratory, office and meeting space adjacent and connected to the Media Lab's current facility -- is scheduled for completion in 2004.
Mr. Maki has observed that an architectural office -- and, by extension, design itself -- is a matter of individual character, and that an office is itself a work of art. "Architectural design is perhaps the strangest activity undertaken by the many professions," he has said, adding that a "group that engages in architectural design is likewise a curious organization. Architecture is a highly ambiguous field."
Mr. Maki came under the influence of post-Bauhaus internationalism while he was a student, first at the University of Tokyo where he received the bachelor of architecture degree in 1952. He received the master of architecture degree at Harvard's Graduate School of Design.
After serving as a designer for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and for Sert Jackson Associates, he joined the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis and later at Harvard University. He returned to Tokyo in 1965 to establish Maki and Associates.
Mr. Maki has received numerous awards in Japan and abroad, including the Japan Institute of Architecture Award (1963 and 1985), the Reynolds Memorial Award (1987), the Pritzker Prize (considered architecture's Nobel Prize) and the Gold Medal of the International Union of Architects (1993).
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 14, 2001.