Yoshi Tsukamoto

Born in 1965, Tsukamoto studied architecture at Tokyo Institute of Technology and then on to Paris, at L’Ecole d’Architecture de Belleville. Following this, in 2000, Tsukamoto became an Associate Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. In 1992 he founded the renowned Tokyo-based architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow together with Momoyo Kajima.

Atelier Bow-wow’s work includes buildings, research and art practice. Starting by documenting the unique urban reality of Tokyo, Atelier Bow-wow produced a number of publications that took the form of guidebooks, introducing the reader to the accidental, ad-hoc nature of the urban landscape. Pet Architecture documented tiny buildings that fill the cracks of the city and are always customised by the user, whilst Made in Tokyo showed instances of hybrid, cross programmed building types with unlikely juxtapositions, the result of the extreme pressure on land. Atelier Bow-wow’s approach to architecture is informed by this research and what they have termed ‘micro public space’, in which they attempt to recreate some of the behaviours and meetings that occur in the city in gallery installations and in their buildings. They do this through the deployment of customised urban furniture that encourages active user participation, such as their ‘Furnicycle’ designed for the 2002 Shanghai Biennale or the design of public kitchens and vegetable kiosks. In both their exhibition design and the design of buildings, Atelier Bow-wow construct situations rather than objects, design processes that can result in chance meetings and leaving room for users to adapt and appropriate space.