Keiko Kusano


How Sou Fujimoto Promotes Community By Uniting Seemingly Opposite Elements

This article was originally published by Redshift as "Architect Sou Fujimoto Has Radical Ideas for Familiar Communal Spaces."

The destruction wrought upon Ishinomaki by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami damaged the city’s civic hall and cultural center beyond repair. To rebuild, Ishinomaki City wanted to create a landmark combining these two facilities into a new complex—one that would be like a city unto itself, serving the community.

In 2016, design proposals were screened in a process that included public presentations, with many locals participating. In the end, Sou Fujimoto, a leader among the next generation of Japan’s architects, was selected for his innovative design.

How Starbucks Uses BIM and VR to Bring Local Spirit to its Japan Locations

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Starbucks Japan Pursues a Local Flair Through Design in BIM and VR."

It’s been 20 years since Starbucks opened its first shop in Japan, bringing a new paradigm to the country’s coffee shop culture—and creating a new, appealing “third place” option between home and work or school.

Notably, almost all of Japan’s 1,245 shops—across all 47 prefectures—are directly run by the parent company. As such, they are planned by Starbucks designers who, instead of settling for standardized designs for all locations, have worked diligently to incorporate features expressing regional, historical contexts and the lifestyles of locals—in short, to appeal specifically to the Japanese market.