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Hiroto Kobayashi is a founding partner of Kobayashi Maki Design Workshop (KMDW), an architectural and urban design firm based in Tokyo. He also represents the American architectural firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) in Japan.
KMDW's work encompasses a full range of design scales, from furniture and interior design to large building complexes and urban design. Projects include work for cities and communities in Japan, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Palau, and Peru. Most recently KMDW and Kobayashi's laboratory at Keio University have been developing a design-build methodology using engineered wood; this approach was inspired and initiated by the Tohoku disaster of 2011.
The title of Kobayashi CCA lecture will be "Resilient, Responsive Redesign of Place."
In response to the devastation of the Tohoku Earthquake (in Northern Japan), KMDW and Kobayashi's lab at Keio University have developed a new construction method using engineered wood. The "Veneer House" projects are a series of community houses built to support the victims of the Japanese tsunami and other disasters. The houses were constructed by local residents using standard and commonly available veneer plywood panels. The panels were modified with simple notches so that non-professionals can easily assemble and disassemble the buildings with nothing but simple tools.
In conditions where it is difficult to access skilled labor and materials and tools are in short supply, DIY construction techniques are an important strategy when speed is important. Kobayashi's presentation will include a discussion of his community house projects in Minami-sanriku and Maeami-hama in Tohoku, Japan, and in Ma Naw Hari in Myanmar.
Kobayashi studied architecture and urban design at Kyoto University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). He has worked with Nikken Sekkei and Norman Foster and Partners as an architect. He completed his doctoral dissertation on the traditional Japanese community form, 'Cho', and received a Doctor of Design degree from the GSD, where he served as visiting associate professor from 2000 to 2003.
The 2013-14 Architecture Lecture Series is funded by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; Jensen Architects; John Marx / Form4; Kava Massih Architects; McCall Design Group; Perkins+Will; SmithGroupJJR; BraytonHughes Design Studios; Cary Bernstein Architect; Harley Ellis Devereaux; Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects; Levy Design Partners; Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Inc.; Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture; ARCH Art & Drafting Supply; Blasen Landscape Architecture; David Gissen and Rachel Schreiber; Donald MacDonald, Architects; Gregory Ryan and Judith Rosenberg; Johanna Spilman; and TANNERHECHT Architecture.