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Harvard Gazette offers a personal look at Toshiko Mori’s career, inspirations, and life experiences

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

“As an architect and a teacher, Toshiko Mori made her name by making statements,” writes the Harvard Gazette in its recent feature on Mori, one of the Harvard leaders featured in the Gazette‘s “Experience” series.

The first woman to earn tenure and the first to chair the Harvard Graduate School of Design's Department of Architecture, Mori has taught at the GSD since 1995. She currently serves as the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture, teaching a variety of courses; most recently, she led the Fall 2017 option studio “Northern Light” on contemporary interpretations of Modernist works by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.

In the wide-ranging interview, taking up a variety of life experiences from Mori's childhood in post-World War II Japan to her award-winning projects with namesake firm Toshiko Mori Architect, Mori discusses her approach to practicing and teaching architecture with the Gazette.

To meet the domestic and agricultural needs of a rural Senegalese village, Mori designed the roof of its cultural center to collect and store rainwater. The roof's inverted style also creates open-air courtyards and shaded studios for artists. Courtesy of Toshiko Mori Architect
To meet the domestic and agricultural needs of a rural Senegalese village, Mori designed the roof of its cultural center to collect and store rainwater. The roof's inverted style also creates open-air courtyards and shaded studios for artists. Listen to Mori talk about the project, THREAD: Artists' Residency and Cultural Center, on the Gazette's website. Courtesy of Toshiko Mori Architect

Asked to give advice to tomorrow's architects, Mori stresses the same determination that has helped her succeed: “Set up your goals, set up what you want to do, how you want to live, how you want to work, and then everything should follow that.”

Read the Gazette's full interview with Mori, and browse the “Experience” series for life stories from Drew Faust, Howard Gardner, Annette Gordon-Reed, Martin Karplus, Steven Pinker, E.O. Wilson, and many more.