Shigeru Ban was born in Tokyo in 1957 and after studying architecture in Los Angeles and New York, he opened an architectural practice in Tokyo, in 1985, with offices in Paris and New York, has designed projects worldwide from private houses to large scale museums.
His cardboard tube structures have aroused enormous interest. As long ago as 1986, he discovered the benefits of this recyclable and resilient material that is also easy to process. Shigeru Ban built the Japanese pavilion for the Expo 2000 world exposition at Hanover – a structure made of cardboard tubes that measured 75 meters in length and 15 meters in height. All the materials used in the structure were recycled after the exhibition. He developed a genuine style of "emergency architecture" as a response to the population explosion and to natural disasters: the foundations of his low-cost houses are made of beer crates filled with sand, and the walls consist of foil-covered cardboard tubes. A house of this sort can be erected in less than seven hours, and is considerably more sturdy than a tent.
Shigeru Ban is currently Professor of Architecture at Keio University and is also a guest lecturer at various other universities across the globe; his works are so exceptional that he was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture in 2005. "Time" magazine describes him as one of the key innovators for the 21st century in the field of architecture and design.
Shigeru Ban has designed projects such as Centre Pompidou Metz and Nine Bridges Golf Clubhouse in Korea. Current projects include new headquarters for Swatch and Omega in Switzerland.