Informal Social Infrastructures: Living in Sendai

25 June 2012

6:00 – 7:00pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:00pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

Professor Hitoshi Abe will give a talk entitled “Living in Sendai” in which he will introduce an overview of what has been happening in Tohoku since the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011, illustrating a series of specific projects and responses initiated by various architects and organizations. Professor Abe is the founder ofArchi+AID, which is a network to support the relief and recovery projects made by architects for the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. This talk will propose a forum to re-think the role of architects with regards to the reconstruction of social spaces in the ever-increasing complexities of cities with the need of informal infrastructure. The talk will be chaired by Shin Egashira, Diploma School Unit Master and Visiting School Course Director at the Architectural Association.

This talk is linked to the exhibition at the Embassy of Japan in London, YATAI HERE YATAI THERE, which is on display from 18 June – 13 July as a part of the International Architecture Showcase at the London Festival of Architecture. The theme of the 2012 London Festival of Architecture is “The Playful City”.  For more information, please visit:

This talk is supported by the Embassy of Japan and organised in association with the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

Professor Hitoshi Abe

Professor Hitoshi Abe is Chair of Architecture & Urban Design at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Abe earned his M.Arch. from SCI-ARC in Los Angeles in 1988 and his PhD from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, in 1993. In 2007, he was appointed professor and chair of the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design. In 2010, he was appointed Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Chair in the Study of Contemporary Japan as well as Director of the UCLA Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies. Abe is the subject of the Phaidon Press monograph Hitoshi Abe by Naomi Pollock published in 2009. He has a decade-long distinguished career as a leader in education. Since 1992, when Professor Abe won first prize in the Miyagi Stadium competition, he has maintained an active international design practice based in Sendai, Japan, and Los Angeles as well as a schedule of lecturing and publishing, which place him among the leaders in his field.

Shin Egashira (Chair)

Shin Egashira makes art and architecture worldwide. His recent collaborative experiments include “How to Walk a Flat Elephant” and “Twisting Concrete”, which aim to fuse old and new technologies, such as concrete, digital images and physical computing. Egashira has been conducting a series of landscape workshops in rural communities across the world, including Koshirakura (Japan), Gu-Zhu Village (China) and Muxagata (Portugal). He has been teaching at the Architectural Association since 1990 and is currently the Unit Master of Diploma Unit 11.