Yoshikazu Shiraki


Architects from n/a, Japan
An architect act like a translator

“An architect acts like a translator.” The statement is always on my mind. It’s nothing new to say that in loud.
When we start a new project, there are already enormous given conditions and untouchable environments like site conditions, climate, wind, direction, existing urban planning, etc. The quality of architecture has deep relationship with the ability of “precise translation.” The ability is about how to create original interpretations of enormous information, decipher cities and the world with high resolution perspectives and create novel perspectives towards cities and the world. It is impossible to create architecture by resetting relationship with surrounding situation/environment. And it is also impossible to create architecture with experimental richness by ignoring the surroundings and situation.
The work ability of architects is how to get the new interpretations about architecture through the translational process which consists of enormous selections to make decisions. And the interpretation itself is more important than the decisions. In the interpretation, there are identities, possibility of architectural thinking process and the meaning of existence of architects.

Recently, it is getting scarce that the relationship of mutual trust between things which surround our ordinary lives. For instance, cities, architecture, products, people, etc. It might be a compensation of creators’ acts. Some of creators have been making “architecture which meant to be architecture” or “design which meant to be design.” In this kind of situation, we consider that it is necessary for creators to describe facts accurately against fundamental inquiries, not perplexing concept or beautiful and poetic expressions. Through the accumulation of the actions, it is going to be a first step which enable our cities to develop towards a better future. Through the process, there will be discussions and conversations on residents’ initiative, and beyond the experience, we believe that there are going to be a novel relationship and novel architecture.

Omnidirectional Planning Process

In our firm, we do omnidirectional searching studies to take communication with each other, and develop projects structurally. We set issues based on city planning, laws and regulations, research of site situation and hearing from people who are related to the project. After that, based on our interpretations, we select terms and conditions to create plans and study models. Then, discuss about the result with people involved , and re-interprete the project. We keep this process, which contains three phases, interpretation, selection and evaluation, to verify possibilities as much as possible. All the records of our thinking process got together based on plans, models and labels, and we re-evaluate the results objectively and improve it. In the process, it is really important for us that the process contains calculations, which means that certain process leads us to particular results, and back calculations, which means how we get the results through what kind of process. There is nothing more or less. However we consider that the establishment of the shared knowledge with values and information through the process and communication leads us to the novel architecture. And we also believe that we can obtain brand new perspectives to the city and architecture, and show new frontiers of cities through the discussions in the process.