MAKOTO SEI WATANABE / ARCHITECTS’ OFFICE
His architectural works are first and foremost eye-catching for their imaginary forms and their dynamism, which excite a tactile and kinetic sensation.
The bionic composition of “AOYAMA TECHNICAL COLLEGE”, the floating metal clusters in “K-MUSEUM”, and the fluid wind in “Shin Minamata Station”, all of which evoke the imagination of the viewer.
However, by experiencing the space and understanding the background, we can recognize the strong will and unprecedented ingenuity behind such a bold challenge of form to solve the various problems imposed on architecture.
The relationship between nature and artifice in “MURA-NO-TERRACE”, the exchange of definitions between interior and exterior in “TOKYO HOUSE”, and the collaboration with civil engineering for “SUBWAY STATION／IIDABASHI” will reveal the creativity existing in architectural planning and implementation.
At the same time, his challenge is to take a logical approach that brings the (subjective) act of architectural “design” closer to the (verifiable) “science”.
His research and development aimed at better collaboration between humans and machines by externalizing the judgment and selection process in the individual designer’s brain into a computer program, was launched in 1994 under the name “INDUCTION DESIGN” and then “ALGORITHMIC DESIGN”.
In 2000, the world’s first architecture created by solving problems with this kind of program, “WEB FRAME” was completed.
The title of one of his books published in 2002 (Japanese Edition) is exactly “Architecture comes closer to a soft/flex-science”.
INDUCTION DESIGN is a pioneer of a design methodology that is finally gaining traction
after a quarter century under the name of “computational design” or “generative design” etc.
In this connection, he organized the “ALGODeQ (ALGOrithmic Design Quest international programming competition)” and “AQS (ALGOrithmic Design Quest International Symposium)”.
As of 2020, a more advanced version, “project Beautiful Mind (=pBM)” is underway (in collaboration with the University of Tokyo), which presents the designer’s intended design through dialogue with the original AI.
His creative activities are not limited to architecture and research / development.
One of his artworks, the wind-swept “FIBER WAVE”, won the top prize at the iF Design Award (Germany) and was exhibited in several museums in the EU, and its derivative, “FW-II”, was invited to the Venice Biennale.
Two series of drawings, one hand-drawn and one 3DCG, have also been released intermittently.
In the field of literature, he has published a novel, “Fluid City,” which covers a wide range of activities.
In addition to these activities of going back and forth between intuition and logic, creation and exploration, he worked as a professor of the architectural course at three universities (twice as a permanent and once as a chair prof.) in Japan and Taiwan.
In each case, he developed and practiced new teaching methods that are not limited by the ways in conventional architecture departments.