When looking at design, one of the best pieces of advice given to me was to don’t hold on to tightly, also known through the quote: “ To create, one must first question everything” from Eileen Gray.  #truth

I have spent a lot of time in design over the years, and I’m sharing a few of my favourite Architects this month. Another favourite is Kazuyo Sejima. Sejima is a Japanese architect, who received many awards for design, not least of which was architecture’s highest accolade, the Pritzker Prize.

Sejima is known for envisioning a style that is fluid, transparent and intertwined with nature.  Unlike many current architects, she isn’t an ego-heavy one; and just like her projects, she has whispered her way into the architectural landscape but managed to become one of the industry’s most important practitioners in the process. I like that kind of “rise to the top” by someone using her talent and skill to become the best she can. She says “I have a dream that architecture can bring something to contemporary society. Architecture is how people meet in space.” I understand that this may sound utopian and dreamy, but when you consider her and her work, you can see that “it is as strong and functional in reality as it is seemingly fragile and floating at first glance”.
She likes to use large windows to allow natural light to enter a space and create a fluid transition between the inside and the exterior. It is this connection of two spaces from which she draws inspiration. Many of Sejima’s designs look “shiny”. They involve glass, marble and metal elements, and they include public open space to interact with the world around the architecture. Such design elements can be found abundantly in her design.
She intentionally overturned outmoded stereotypical housing models and rather turned her focus to consciously confront them. She thinks it is impossible to let a building design be completely based on a fictional idea or theory of what something should be. I find in much of her work Sejima was able to successfully combine the building with the surrounding area(s). The use of a lot of glass is undertaken, allowing for a person to look at the outdoors, while also looking at themselves and the reflections the outside world creates on the inside of the building.
What is it you are holding on to (tightly or loosely) in your design work that you could look at letting go of?
More images here.