awards: 2014 Pritzker PrizeShigeru Ban (坂茂, Ban Shigeru; born 1957 in Tokyo, Japan) is an accomplished Japanese and international architect, most famous for his innovative work with paper, particularly recycled cardboard paper tubes used to quickly and efficiently house disaster victims. Shigeru Ban was the winner in 2005 at age 48 of the 40th annual Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He was profiled by TimeMagazine in their projection of 21st century innovators in the field of architecture and design.
The things that influence or provides design inspiration? Frei Otto’s work as earnest inspiration (Ban has reappropriated Otto’s double curvature gridshell in paper tube in a number of his auditoriums). “I’ve learned a lot from [Otto]. He always tries to use minimum material and minimum energy to make maximum space.” Ban is unwaveringly stanch and practical. “I like architects who are able to design a new system according to the material,” he continues. “I don’t take inspiration of other things.”