Disappointed that most architecture is built for the privileged, rather than society, Shigeru Ban has dedicated much of his career to building affordable, livable and safe emergency shelters for post-disaster areas. As described by TED:
Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as cardboard tubes and paper. His remarkable structures are often intended as temporary housing, designed to help the dispossessed in disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda, or Japan. Yet equally often the buildings remain a beloved part of the landscape long after they have served their intended purpose.
"…but then I was very disappointed at my profession as an architect, because we are not helping, we are not working for society, but we are working for privileged people, rich people, government, developers. They have money and power. Those are invisible. So they hire us to visualize their power and money by making monumental architecture. That is our profession, even historically it's the same, even now we are doing the same. People need temporary housing, but there are no architects working there because we are too busy working for privileged people. So, I thought, even as architects, we can be involved in the reconstruction of temporary housing. We can make it better. So that is why I started working in disaster areas." - Shigeru Ban