The University of Tokyo and Sekisui House launch T-BOX New physical base for Kengo Kuma-led architectural research body
TOKYO, Japan (October 14, 2021) – The University of Tokyo’s School of Engineering
(Dean: Takao Someya, hereafter U Tokyo) and Sekisui House, Ltd. (Representative Director, President & Executive Officer, CEO: Yoshihiro Nakai), have teamed up for the launch of T-BOX, home to International Architectural Education Platform, SEKISUI HOUSE - KUMA LAB. Part of the University of Tokyo’s Organization for Interdisciplinary Research Projects and housed in the Faculty of Engineering, this lab is dedicated to exploring the future of housing and the cultivation of a new global generation of architectural talent. T-BOX will commence operations from Thursday October 14, 2021.
In Japan, recent years have brought substantial change in the field of architecture and housing design, with long-held norms increasingly left behind as lifestyles and attitudes continue to diversify at a rapid pace. Meanwhile, environmental and demographic challenges call for new approaches to the problem of housing and architecture.
In response to this situation, and with the aim of cultivating a new generation of architectural talent equipped to take on these challenges and conduct leading-edge research that can drive global discourse around the future of housing and architecture, June 2020 saw The University of Tokyo teaming up with Sekisui House, whose global vision is “Making Home the Happiest Place in the World,” and renowned architect/ professor of the University of Tokyo Kengo Kuma to establish International Architectural Education Platform, SEKISUI HOUSE - KUMA LAB. The lab’s home T-BOX provides a physical base within The University of Tokyo’s School of Engineering for the lab’s exploration of housing innovations that leverage digital technology to facilitate extreme customization in response to residents’ increasingly diverse needs.
About the International Architectural Education Platform, SEKISUI HOUSE - KUMA LAB: Launched in June 2020, under the supervision of architect/professor of University of Tokyo Kengo Kuma and global advisors Barry Bergdoll (Meyer Shapiro Professor of Art History at of Columbia University and formerly Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York) and Sarah M. Whiting, Dean and Josep Lluis Sert Professor of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design,International Architectural Education Platform, SEKISUI HOUSE - KUMA LAB has a threepronged mission 1.) international design studio, 2.) digital fabrication center, and 3.) digital archive center (further details below). Collectively these three missions provide the basis for the exploration of the future of housing and global research and pedagogy in fields such as computational design, post-digital design, urban design, and architectural history. Launched in October 2021, T-BOX represents International Architectural Education
Platform, SEKISUI HOUSE - KUMA LAB’s physical base within The University of Tokyo’s School of Engineering, offering cross- disciplinary use of its fabrication and archiving equipment with the aim of becoming a hub for creative activities.
Ⅰ. International Design Studio:
Directed by Seng Kuan, project associate professor, and Toshiki Hirano, project assistant professor, the program brings guest instructors who stand at the forefront of global innovations. Studios in the 2021 spring semester were led by architects Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa of Madrid/Boston based architectural practice Ensemble Studio, and Los-Angeles based architect AndrewKovacs.
Ⅱ. Digital Fabrication Center
Under the theme of “human coexistence with nature,” the digital fabrication center conducts practical research into the extent to which architecture generated through digital fabrication techniques can contribute to enriching residents’ lifestyles. From CNC machining equipment, to 3D printers, laser processing equipment and more, T-BOX makes a range of digital fabrication tools available to users from the University of Tokyo’s Department of Architecture and beyond, with the aim of cultivating talent with a strong understanding of the latest digital technology.
Ⅲ. Digital Archive Center
Through an archival approach leveraging both theoretical and practical expertise, the digital archive center aims to establish a learning and research hub centered on a world-leading archive of architectural resources. Through digitization of architectural materials from the University of Tokyo’s collection and beyond – including prized architectural drawings and models – and an innovative archive platform that makes these resources available to researchers around the world, the aim is to foster a global network for the research and teaching of architectural history. We are confident that a superior archive environment, and research and teaching programs focused on devising ever-more user-friendly ways to access and leverage the full breadth of prior architectural knowledge can play a crucial role in creating the sustainable, nurturing cities of the future.
Location: 4th Floor, Engineering BLDG. 1, The University of Tokyo
Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Floor area: Approximately 180 sq. meters Design supervision:
International Architectural Education Platform, SEKISUI HOUSE - KUMA LAB
(Kengo Kuma, professor, Toshiki Hirano, project assistant professor, Ryo Saito, Academic specialist staff)
T-BOX Work Place Architectural model created with a 3D printer
A CNC machine creating a programmed design. Digital archiving of architectural models with a 3D scanner
Logo and website for SEKISUI HOUSE - KUMA LAB and T-Box:
New logos are created for International Architectural Education Platform, SEKISUI HOUSE
- KUMA LAB and T-BOX. Kengo Kuma, Toshiki Hirano, and Mari Hattori directed Mariko Okazaki, graphic designer.
Official website of SEKISUI HOUSE - KUMA LAB (https://ut-iaep.net/) created by Shunya Hagiwara and Saori Miura is renewed on October 14.
About School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo was established in 1886. Housing more than 5,000 students, School aims to provide a rich and varied academic environment that ensures opportunities for both intellectual development and the acquisition of professional knowledge and skills in the field of science and technology. To learn more about School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo, please visit: https://www.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/soee/index.html
About Sekisui House, Ltd.
Founded in 1960, Sekisui House, Ltd. is one of world’s largest homebuilders and an international diversified developer, with cumulative sales of over 2.5 Million homes1. Based in Osaka, Sekisui House has over 300 consolidated subsidiaries and affiliates2, over 28,000 employees3 and is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Nagoya Stock Exchange.
Sekisui House aims to create homes and communities that improve with time and last for generations. With “Love of Humanity” as its Corporate Philosophy, Sekisui House believes that homes should offer comfort, security and peace of mind for residents, while maintaining harmony with the environment and its surroundings. Sekisui House has sustainability as a core corporate target and is now the global leader in the construction of net-zero-energy homes with more than sixty-thousand4 of them built since the product was launched in 2013. In 2009, Sekisui House expanded into several new international markets and now operates in the United States, China, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom.
*1 ; 2,506,598 homes delivered (As of January 31, 2021)
*2 ; 303 consolidated subsidiaries and affiliates (As of July 31, 2021)
*3 ; 28,013 employees (As of January 31, 2021)
*4 ; 60,843 net-zero-energy homes (As of March 31, 2021)
Press release : PDF file