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Architecture is Fun, but Tough: Edward Suzuki

Edward Suzuki, the establisher of Edward Suzuki Associates lnc., has a goal to bring happiness through his design. His office is consistent of seven employees and was founded in December 1977.

SUPER VILLA II & MPATA LODGE
Suzuki has always loved nature and always wanted to bring it into his architecture.I was born and raised in a place called Inariyama "Koen," which literally means Inariyama "Park," and so Nature was only natural for me from the moment of my "awakening."

As a little boy I read a comic story of the American President Abraham Lincolnand wished to become a U.S. President when I grew up and started designing my "would-be" presidential palaces. Also, about the same time, my mother who was a car dealer with my father would take me to see beautiful, high end residences in the rich neighborhood of Tokyo where she delivered cars to their clients. I fell in love with the houses that I saw and would go back to sketch what I could remember. I always liked to draw and had at one time wished to become an artist, but thinking it might be difficult making a living as an artist I chose architecture when I went to college and have fell in love ever since.

I had a bad experience, namely a clash of minds with the teachers, with my thesis in college that I vowed I would quit architecture and moved into environmental activities and movements, the climax of which was successfully producing and launching a charity campaign rock concert for the victims of lead-poisoning Minamata disease, calling it "Tokyo Woodstockholm Rock Festival for the Human Environment" in 1972 to run parallel to and locally help the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. My foremost dream was to realize what Buckminster Fuller conceived and tried him to realize the so-called "World Game," which was a computer-simulated system of world management to substitute politics and all its ills.

Own Office

Architecture is fun, but very tough, needless to say. If I knew better at the time I might not have went on my own, but instead perhaps worked for some firm that would have realized my design capabilities and stayed comfortably within their protective and nurturing environment. But then again, I am glad for having done what I did. All I wish to say is that you really have to have love for what you do no matter how hard the going may be. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to make it.

The most challenging aspect of my profession, perhaps as any other, is human relations, whether office staff/partner or client relations. Fortunately, I must say life has treated me well in both aspects.

It is difficult to convey what I know now and have young architects bypass the years of naïveté and foolishness without having them once go through the same experiences and learn for themselves. But it is with clear hindsight and wisdom that I can now say to not be swayed by "fashionable" styles and trends that journalism would have you tend to or really believe, but think for yourself and arrive at your personal answer and belief and act accordingly.

Check out the presentation Edward Suzuki had for TED.com in Tokyo in May 2009:

TEDTokyo- An Architect's Philosophy on GOoD DESIGN


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