News from the 2012 Venice Biennale: Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima has been appointed as the first architecture mentor for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Initiative – a unique program that pairs major artists with young talents. Recognized as “one of the most important creative disciplines”, architecture has added as the seventh category in the Rolex’s global philanthropy program, which already includes literature, music, visual arts, dance, film and theatre.
Kazuyo Sejima is expected to announce her protégé in the Fall. She and the young architect will collaborate for a year on the international project Home For All, which she established with other leading Japanese architects – Toyo Ito, Riken Yamamoto, Hiroshi Naito and Kengo Kuma – in response to the 2011 housing crisis caused by Japan’s devastating tsunami.
The idea will be to design community meeting spaces for people who are living in emergency accommodation. Continue after the break to learn more.
“I would like to pass on to the young architect what I gained from other architects throughout my career,” said Sejima. “I imagine a very dynamic relationship between the protégé and myself. How we will work is not something that I can determine myself as it depends very much on the energy and enthusiasm the protégé will bring as well.”
As partner of the Tokyo-based practice SANAA, Sejima has become one the profession’s most acclaimed names. In 2010, Sejima was awarded the Pritzker Prize and become the first women appointed as director of the Venice Architecture Biennale. Among her major works is the Rolex Learning Center for the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), an architectural landmark in Switzerland, of which Rolex was the lead private funding partner.
Following the establishment of The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in 2002, Álvaro Siza participated in the program’s first cycle as the visual arts mentor with the young Jordanian architect, Sahel Al-Hiyari, as his protégé.