waiwai is an international architecture, landscape, and urban design office based in Dubai and Tokyo (formerly known as ibda design).
The office is led by three partners, Wael Al Awar (Lebanon), Kenichi Teramoto (Japan), and Kazuma Yamao (Japan). Originally, the three worked together in Tokyo; in 2018, the three partners re-joined one another to combine their two offices into waiwai.
Dubai and Tokyo were specifically selected as office locations due to their cultural vibrance, with both offering a stimulating environment for arts, architecture, and historical tradition. Further, the two hub cities allow the team to cover a broader area within Asia and the Middle East, diversifying both their projects and experiences.
With the multicultural diversity of their base cities, principal architects, and international team, waiwai's array of cultural backgrounds communicate with one another through the process of architecture itself, using a clear, simple, and deliberate approach. The projects combine their individual design sensibilities into a layering of considerations, resulting in an architecture of natural light, time, structure, and landscape. By aligning with these natural "phenomena", waiwai seeks an architecture that is more than a man-made fabrication, but rather, an architecture open to adaptation and appropriation. The spaces that emerge from this approach encourage unexpected experiences, activities, and behaviours, while being resolved as site-specific provocations to their context.