“Toshiko is an indefatigable advocate of architecture in the broader halls of academia and a formidable institution builder whose determination, patience, and hard work have earned her the broad respect and admiration in academia at large, in the profession, and wherever she has been called to represent architecture,” wrote Jorge Silvetti, Int’l Assoc. AIA, in a letter supporting Mori’s nomination for the Topaz Medallion
Toshiko Mori was born and grew up in Japan‘s devastation and scarcity of post-world war-II and witnessed resilience, regaining, and imagination. Her family settled in America and began a new life, she carried all her childhood memory to new prosperous new life.
Mori’s work is more focused on the structure of tradition that is pulling them from ordinary things of architecture, including art, poetry, and even fashion while preserving the architecture of the building as a positive catalyst for the person who lives in it.
“ARCHITECTURE IS A NOBLE PROFESSION, AND ULTIMATELY IT EXISTS TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE. EACH OPPORTUNITY WE ARE GIVEN TO BUILD A PROJECT, WE TAKE AS A GIFT. IN RETURN, WE ENGAGE WITH EACH PROJECT WITH COMPASSION, ATTEMPTING TO CAPTURE AN ETHEREAL VISION THAT WILL CARRY IT INTO THE FUTURE.”
— Toshiko Mori, “Toshiko Mori Architect” (The Monacelli Press, 2008)
Winning the heart of what her guide, John Hejduk, once called a designer’s “social contract” with the next generation, Mori has been educating for more than 35 years — first at her alma mater, Cooper Union, and since 1995 at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), where she was the first female to earn tenure and the first to chair the department of architecture.
Mori started her teaching career at the cooper union school of architecture in 1983 at the invitation of dean john Hejduk. Mori became the first female professor to receive tenure, and the first and only person to serve as a chair in the architecture department. She held the position from 20002 to 2008 and took many steps to improve the art and understand the importance of context in architecture. By welcoming talents as junior faculty members and visiting professors, concentrating on material studies, and emerging sessions that position architecture as a result of global challenges, she has taught a wider, more all-inclusive perspective to a cohort of design professionals.
Mori philosophy of teaching is rooted in respect for the talent of an individual, with sensitive guidance. At Harvard, she has been guided in many studios and even thesis guides. Today in her current situation as the professor she leads advanced seminars and travels with many students across the world to encourage the consideration of local context, climate, and involvement of the community in it.
“Architecture is a product of a dialogue,” says Mori, surrounded by perfect white and natural wood-toned models. She then clarifies how drawing remains a dynamic tool for appealing in this dialogue, as it can ease communication across philological barriers, as well as in areas of the world lacking access to computers.
Mori says how architecture permits her to involve in dialogue with earlier generations of designers by making design conclusions that involve contrast or contradiction. She also refers to the supremacy of sustainable architecture to create acquaintances to the future, quoting the Native American idea that with “every single decision you make, you should think of seven generations ahead.”
Mori’s personal style is the way she dresses and the way she presents herself tends to be elegant and reserved over time but when it comes to designing the voluble while speaking.
The traditional pitched roof in parametric transformation is achieved by the inversion, a series of the courtyard within the plan and instantaneously creating studios around the perimeter of the courtyard. the inversion of the pitched roof created an effective manner to collect the rainwater. It is capable of fulfilling the domestic and agricultural needs of the local community.
It is constructed with local materials and techniques and even considers the climate in the building form and specifies the location of the studios and gallery area. It also has an ample amount of outdoor area considering the orientation of wind. The local materials and project supervision will be undertaken by local villagers. The project offers an iconic form in a site that is immense, flat bushland.
Mori’s teaching philosophy is deeply interpreted in her architectural exercise where the detailed familiarity of materials, applications, methods, and construction methods are united in her pioneering architecture.
Toshiko mori architects are well known for nearly the last four decades for their influential and innovative work in diverse project ranges that have received many world-level design awards. Mori’s approach to ecology, historic context, and innovative use of local material and materials reflects creativity and innovation in design. Her design is extensively involved in site condition and context after intensive research on it. The team combines a strong conceptual idea and a theoretical approach with the study of needs and practical conditions to achieve a design that is good spatial and climate responsive.
Toshiko mori architects have worked on a large range of urban, civic, institutional, cultural, residential, and exhibition designs. Recent work is the master plans for the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch and the Buffalo Botanical Gardens; Thread Cultural Centre and Artists’ Residences, as well as Fass School and Teachers’ Residence both in Senegal; and Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs Stephen Robert’62 Hall at Brown University.
Toshiko Mori is listed among the 50 Japanese changing the world by the Nikkei business even one of the 100 Japanese the world respected by the Newsweek of Japan, and one of the 100 self-made women by Forbes Japan. Toshiko Mori has also contributed a column, “Creating the Future” for the quarterly Hearst journal, Richesse. Her projects have been the focus of numerous books counting two forthcoming articles to be published from Archi Tangle, Berlin, and A+U in early 2020