Guest Professor Moriko Kira
Moriko Kira is guest professor in the Department of Architecture at Meiji University. She is also the director of Moriko Kira architect in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Guest Professor in the Department of Environmental Design at Kobe Design University.
Moriko Kira specializes in creating living environments in which people from different cultures and generations are able to actively participate in the design process, whether designing a house or transforming a neighborhood. Moriko believes in a method of architectural and environmental design that involves the full range of stakeholders – residents, municipalities, local businesses and investors – in the design, production and management process. This approach enables her to create or transform existing neighborhoods into dynamic living environments, where everyone can belong and participate. She believes, now more than ever, that architects have an important responsibility to create resilient neighborhoods that address the social challenges arising from aging populations, social isolation among all age groups, and shortages of affordable housing. She has realized several cooperative projects, including Linie Groningen and the recently completed co-ownership housing development Ebbinghof in Groningen, both in the Netherlands.
Moriko believes that in order to realize such projects properly, architects need to understand the culture and history of a neighborhood and buildings. Understanding how history shaped the site, the neighborhood and the buildings is key to designing for the future. Moriko has also worked on the renovation, restoration and transformation of a large number of historic buildings in Europe, including the Siebold Museum in Leiden, the Netherlands, a fifteenth-century villa in Vicenza, Italy, and Silo in Münster, Germany.
It is essential at this time of environmental and social crisis to view today’s built environment as part of the continuum of human history, stretching from the distant past into the future. Alongside creating integrated places and spaces, Moriko believes our primary task as architects is to incorporate environmental concerns into our designs through our choice of materials, resources and energy use.
Moriko Kira graduated from the Department of Architecture at Graduate School of Waseda University, Japan, and also studied at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. She has taught at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam and Waseda University and was a finalist in the Prix de Rome, the national art and architecture prize in the Netherlands. Moriko’s designs in the Dutch cities of Groningen, Apeldoorn and Amsterdam also won the cities’ Architecture Prizes. She is a First Class Architect in Japan and a registered architect in the Netherlands, which is a formally recognized qualification in the European Union.