Sou Fujimoto “expands concept of architecture” at Chicago Architecture Biennial


Physicist Albert Einstein is a key influence on architect Sou Fujimoto – keynote speaker at this year’s designMENA Summit, to be held in Dubai.

The designer current has an exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Biennale which juxtaposes household objects with small figurines, in a bid to “expand the concept of architecture”.

The organisers of the event say this has a clear message: in architecture, inspiration and creativity can come from unlikely sources.


Fujimoto said: “My biggest influence comes from physics. I like Einstein. Not his physics exactly, since I don’t always fully understand the theories. It’s more about the way he looks at the world and brings different ideas together to explain everything and search for meaning.

“I was interested in physics in high school, but I wasn’t good enough to make it. But that kind of natural science theory still interests me.”

Speaking about his display the Japanese designer said: “”Architecture is everywhere. These things on display aren’t architecture things, they’re regular things, even trash. But if you put a small person next to them, they become unexpected architecture spaces.

“I like to do these types of funny things to expand the concept of architecture. I like to get inspiration from different scales. We’re always making transitions from big to small. It’s important to see the human body in relation to space, and how that works on a deeper level.

“This exhibition in Chicago is filled with artificial things. But if you look closer, you see that the complexity and different patterns showcase a different understanding of nature. It’s all scales and viewpoints.”

The designMENA Summit takes place on Tuesday December 8.

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