Shigeru Ban: Timber in Architecture

February 27, 2023
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Talks+ past event

Monday, February 27, 6:30 pm ET

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban is renowned for his innovative use of wood. Natural and beautiful, timber construction can also be a key tool in the fight against climate change through the creation of environmentally responsible buildings. Ban’s new book, Shigeru Ban: Timber in Architecture presents an in-depth examination of 45 of the architect’s works demonstrating the versatility of timber, from the undulating curves of the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France to the playful inversion of Japan’s Mt. Fuji World Heritage Centre. At this talk, Ban examines the awe-inspiring use of wood throughout his career, shares his long history of humanitarian work, and offers insights on working toward a more sustainable future through architecture. Moderated by Matilda McQuaid, Acting Director of Curatorial and previously Head of Textiles at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Followed by a reception with a sale of autographed books. Program is the official U.S. book launch for Shigeru Ban: Timber in Architecture.


Shigeru Ban is an architect, educator and humanitarian with a global perspective. Upon completing his studies at the Cooper Union, Ban established Shigeru Ban Architects in 1985. In 1994, Ban founded the Voluntary Architects Network, an NGO through which he has provided a wide array of relief projects for nearly 30 years. Today, his multidisciplinary practice includes offices in Tokyo, Paris and New York, with more than 150 projects constructed across six continents. In addition to his design work, Ban is dedicated to teaching the next generation of architects, and has taught at numerous institutions, including Tama Art University, Keio University, Harvard GSD, Cornell AAP and Columbia GSAPP. For his architectural, cultural and humanitarian contributions, Ban has been honored as a Pritzker Laureate, and the recipient of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the National Order of the Legion of Honor in France, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture and the Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice.

Matilda McQuaid is Acting Director of Curatorial and previously Head of Textiles at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.  She oversees curatorial and exhibition programming, often working collaboratively with other Smithsonian museums on projects and exhibitions.  As a curator she has organized nationally and internationally acclaimed architecture and design exhibitions with accompanying publications including “Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance” (2005), “Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay” (2011), “Tools: Extending Our Reach” (2014), and “Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” (2019). She worked in collaboration with Shigeru Ban on Shigeru Ban (Phaidon Press, 2003).  Formerly at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) for fifteen years where she curated over thirty exhibitions, she is also an accomplished author and editor on art, architecture, and design. 

Photos: Swatch Headquarters, Shigeru Ban Architects. © Swatch.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Additional support for cultural programs is provided by an anonymous donor and the Sandy Heck Lecture Fund.
  • Monday, February 27, 2023
  • 6:30 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Reserved Tickets
  • $15 General Admission
  • $12 Members
  • $12 Senior / Student
  • $12 Person with Disability
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