One of the most memorable of our experiences in Japan took place one night, suspended over the streets of Tokyo, the wind gently brushing through the bamboo trees of the temple next door. It was close to midnight, with all of our cameras set up and questions ready, when a man I had come to admire and deeply respect came walking calmly up the stairs of his internationally renowned office, one of the best in the world.
Kengo Kuma San as always, so kind, peaceful respectful and attentive for one of the most famous architects on earth. To interview Kuma San after working in his office for over two months was an honour, a privilege and an immeasurable joy. He met every question with calm deliberation, astounding wisdom and humility.
Hearing of all his experinces growing up from a young boy, evolving through the years in his respect for materials, for craftspeople and for learning from others, I began to feel as through suspended in time, witnessing a precious outflow of wisdom.
Needless to say, the last interview of our time spent in Japan was well worth the wait, and I can truly say it has informed us past the projects we work on, but provided an experience that we will surely refer back to in every decision we make for the rest of our careers.
Kengo Kuma San
Kengo Kuma and Hamid Shahi
Rikako Takahashi, Genki Yada, Kengo Kuma, Hamid Shahi and Erin Allen
Recently I had a great opportunity to visit Milan during Design Week. I was fortunate to experience and explore most of the exhibitions in the city along with my good friend Behrouz from Unify Design Art. Experiencing different range of projects all over the city was very fruitful. I met amazing new friends and got inspired a lot by the whole design theme in the city and great hospitality of italians during a week-long.
Purpose of my trip was simply to explore and learn from wide range of design experiences. Create a dialogue with other creative designers, and find new exciting opportunities in the near future.
Recently I had an amazing opportunity to be presenting and to meet all of the talented and passionate people from Manchester who attended, lending their smiles and positive energy. The theme of Pechakucha Vol.21 was “making connections” and my topic was called “A journey toward unity”.
Please click on the following link to watch and hear about my presentation.
Unify Design Art is again pushing further to connect with more wonderful creative people in the UK, this time jumping on an opportunity to present at Pechakucha in Cambridge. On behalf of our team, I will be travelling to this beautiful city on March 6th, to speak towards how we are working together to pursue our goals within the community. His presentation will be recorded and the audio version will be available on the PechaKucha website soon.
Presenting A journey Towards Unity at Pechakucha Manchester
Unify Design Art is having a great opportunity to unify with amazing people in the UK. As a founding partner of UDA, I am invited to present in PechaKucha Night Manchester. Through exploration and discussion of past projects and experiences, I will be talking about our mission to create a global collaborative community. The recorded version will be available on Pechakuca website at a later time.
Thursday March 1st 2018
Manchester @ the International Anthony Burgess Foundation
Under the guidance of our incredible professor Tim Maly, a writer, design researcher, a lecturer in Industrial Design at RISD and a fellow at Harvard’s metaLAB, along ten students and myself undertook the challenge of creating a new imagined planetary system in a fictional design studio.
The studio acted as the creative preamble for our upcoming trek across the pond, putting us through the paces of fully immersive design through imagination.
The unveiling of this creative venture was a central part of our design school’s interim design exhibitions, and was hugely successful.
The exhibition is being displayed at the Hub Gallery at the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism at Carleton University, and features thought provoking work of what planetary relations could be, centered around the reimagining of commerce in the marketplace.
A collaboration with Ronak Ghandi, Tina Sadeghi-Pari, Ryan Fleming, Justin Yan, Zabdi Falcon, Rachel Irving-Beer, Lucas Tonellato, Stacy Kowalchuk, Kristina Le, Alexis Wang, and Lindsay Mirecki.
Guest Crits Professor Jill Stoner and Professor Ozayr Saloojee
Professor Tim Maly and our world
Materials by Rachel and Lucas
Works by Zadbi Falcon
Tina & Justin
Recently, we had a wonderful opportunity to meet Chris Hadfield, First Canadian Astronaut to walk in space, operate Canadarm, and command the International Space Station – Pilot, astronaut, musician & speaker. Read more:
A video documenting designboom mart 2018
Our collective team along with 16 other creative professionals from different parts of the globe were chosen to present self-produced and limited-edition objects to the Canadian people during designboom mart, at Toronto Design Show 2018.
Unify Box, our project one is the result of collaboration of our collective group from many parts of the world.
Unify box is a collaboration with Tara Korkmaz, Erica Joaquin, Kevin Tomm, Erin Allen, Jessica Rysyk, Maedeh Kadkhodazadeh, Marjan Sarkari, Hassan Rezaei, Avis Yu Han Ho, Saba Safari, Babak Behrad doust, Maedeh Mohamadian, Behrouz Barabadi, Homayoun Nezami, Haleh Hashemi, Razieh Soltani, Elaine Yeung, Mikhail Shchupak-Katsman and Hamid Shahi
Documented by Hamid Shahi
Edited by Hamdi Shahi
Special Thanks to designboom
Directed by Anahita Masoumi for Unify Design Art
It’s been less than three months that we have started a global initiative. Unify Design Art is a movement that thrives on collaboration and socialization that bring us together during everyday life.
Thankfully we succeeded on our first creative collaborate project along with many artists and designers from across the world. Read more about it on our blog
Happy New Year to all my lovely friends. To start 2018, we are proud to present Unify Design Art, a sustainable movement of artists and designers that aims to enrich the quality of life of those living in local communities through the cultivation of creativity and unification of communities globally. Those of you that will be at Toronto Design Show from Jan 18 to Jan 21, please visit us at designboom mart.
To learn more about Unify Design Art, visit our website at https://www.unifyda.org/
Recently, we had a wonderful opportunity to meet Manabu Chiba, another remarkable Japanese architect. Professor as well as the Vice-President of the Tokyo University, he is also currently teaching at Harvard University.
Our interview with Chiba San was enlightening, as an intellectual and humble role model, we learned so much from this master. We were fortunate to hear some of his treasurable stories and ideas and his perspective towards urban environments and architecture. He is truly a source of inspiration to us
along with many young designers around the world. We are so grateful for his time and energy in this interview that made our journey in Japan much brighter.
As for our interview series, we are working on a very special project that we will announce very soon.
A visit to Yokosuka Museum designed by Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop. It is incredible
to experience how this project is embedded into its landscape facing the ocean.
Three Years ago I had the honour to work at their office in Yokohama, to learn
more about their philosophy of design.
More photos on https://divisare.com/-riken-yamamoto-field-shop
Recently, I had the honour to meet with Mark Dytham from Klein Dytham Architects and the co-founder of PechaKucha, to hear about their challenging moments, triumphs and precious experiences.
This legendary pair are not only inspiring architects, but have extended their reach outside of their profession, creating an accessible platform for talented minds to express their ideas. Truly these two are a source of inspiration for me, and their contribution to so many communities all over the world can never be over looked.
Our talk was enlightening, full of laughter and I can surely say that I understand much better the years of risk, determination and the vision of creativity and compassion that connects us all.
As for our interview series, the mission continues…
My PechaKucha adventure in Osaka was amazing. I was honoured to meet all those talented minds and beautiful people who came out that night. Thank you my Osaka friends for your positive energy and support. I hope one day soon we cross paths again.
At PKNOsaka Vol. 18, I will be talking about my research on understanding senses and sensory design in relation to the city of Tokyo’s urban experiences. I am excited to share some of my sensory exploration research under the supervision of Professor Federica Goffi, as well as talking about my previous works with PechaKucha people. For my lovely friends in Osaka, come join us at Grand Front Osaka on Saturday September 2nd.
For more info, visit pechakucha.org
What a fruitful reunion with Yoko San after our venture a few years ago in Kamaishi.
I had the great opportunity at that time to participate in her community house
project in the North East of Japan, aiming to improve the mental health of the
Here we are two years later having grown so much. I had the pleasure of sitting down
with her, to exchange ideas.
Mentored by Toyo Ito for seven years, and now running her own firm, Yoko Takaike
Architects in the heart of Tokyo, this powerful woman has had many successes,
including Meguro Yakumo’s apartment complex and Ankle (Wrinkle) in Kobe
Biennale, not to mention raising her three year old son.
We are so grateful for her time and energy in this interview, and hearing her
passion and ideas gets us even more excited to keep the momentum for the rest
of our interview series. Keep an eye out and maybe you’ll be surprised by who
we sit down with next!
An amazing reunion with Riken Yamamoto San after two long years.
We were blessed to have this opportunity to interview the master, and draw on his considerable experience to explore our deepest questions about architecture and our roles in the world. Yamamoto San is known for his treatment of dense urban settings. His recent works include Yokohama City University (2016) K elementary School (2018) and The Circle Zurich Airport in Switzerland (to be completed in 2019). To find out more about his works, visit Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop
We are so grateful for this experience, and a special thank you to my amazing team, Rikako San and Erin San for their incredible support.
Keep an eye out for updates on our secret project, and to see who’s in the hot seat next!
We were so excited to be presenting and to meet all of the talented and passionate people who attended, lending their smiles and positive energy. An amazing experience, such a beautiful outlet for creativity and brilliant ideas. It really shows us that by nature, human beings are creative and compassionate.
Please visit PechaKucha Tokyo on Facebook for entire event’s photos taken by Brian Scott Peterson.
Erin and I experienced some amazing moments presenting at PechaKucha Tokyo Volume 149.
Please click on the following link to watch and hear what we presented:
Re_Unify Through Architecture
Presenting Re-Unify at PechaKucha
Through exploration and discussion of past projects and experiences, I along with Erin examine the notion of architecture as a powerful tool to unify communities and incite positive social change. We will discuss how we have come to see the role of architecture in local communities and around the world.
“We believe design is tied to a greater purpose. As Architects
we could be using our abilities to create positive change”.
Wednesday July 26th
Tokyo @ SuperDeluxe
It is an honour to be part of the Kengo Kuma team doing a full time internship at his Tokyo office alongside some of the most talented architects and designers from around the globe.
To learn more about KKAA and their inspiring projects, visit http://kkaa.co.jp/
How to explore sound in the context of the city?
What is the shape of sound?
This project started with an attempt to generate a full scale permanent pavilion
at The Lot Radio in New York City, a meeting point for local
and international DJ’s to broadcast. We created a field of sound in a
three dimensional form for engaging and inviting more
people to the site.
To read more and see the photos please visit plus FARM
A collaboration with Erin Allen, Hope Allen, Alejandra DaPetta, Amanda Gusmano, Danya Li, Giovanna Lopez, Sarah Reimer, William Haskas, Matei Denes as well as Joe Vidich.
There are some exclusive news that I would love to share with you all. Our Steam Canoe project has been nominated in the top 5 pavilion architecture in the world for year of 2016.
Please Vote for us on Architizer Awards
Thanks a million
“Layers of Girona” is a video documentation of my visit to a wonderful city in Spain.