Toru Mitani

Design Critic in Landscape Architecture

Toru Mitani is registered as a Landscape Architect in Japan, a Partner of ‘studio on site’, and a Professor in the Course of Environmental Science and Landscape Architecture, Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University. He has an educational background as Master of Architecture at the University of Tokyo (1985), Master of Landscape Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design (1987), and Ph.D. from University of Tokyo. His research in his Ph.D. thesis in 1992 is about morphological analysis of land reclamation projects especially on quarries over the United States.

Toru Mitani has established ‘studio on site’ with other partners, Hiroki Hasegawa, Chisa Toda, and Yuuji Suzuki, in 1987, after the experience of working in Child Associates, The Office of Peter Walker and Martha Schwartz, Sasaki Environmental Design Office as well as teaching at Colorado State University. The ‘studio on site’ has successfully achieved many projects in Japan and abroad. Toru Mitani has many award-winning works; ‘Kaze-no-Oka Crematorium Park’ awarded Japan Institute of Landscape Architecture Prize 1998 and Good Design Gold Award 2003, ‘Shinagawa Central Garden’ listed as a selected work of Architectural Institute of Japan 2005, Okutama Forest Therapy-trail’ awarded Fine work prize of Wooden Architecture 2011, ‘YKK Kurobe Campus Landscape’ awarded as a fine work of the Civil Engineering Design Award 2011, ‘Kashiwa-no-Ha Campus City Landscape’ awarded from the Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure 2015. Most of his works have been broadly published and evoked discussions in the field of landscape design.

He has also performed in the design survey and research of traditional gardens in Japan and Asia. His knowledge from research has been translated in contemporary garden works such as: A Rooftop Garden for TV Asahi 2002, and An Entrance Garden of International College for Postgraduate Buddhist Studies 2010. His garden recently was constructed in Beijing International Garden Exhibition 2012 as a master’s garden with the work of Peter Walker, Peter Latz, and others. Many of Toru Mitani’s projects are a collaboration with the master of architects in Japan like Fumihiko Maki, Shigeru Ban, Say Takeyama, and so on. Additionally, he has worked on the criticism of the modern landscape architecture and translated the publications of Marc Treib and John Beardsley. Recently he has developed the educational carriers through lectures in Tsinghua University, Nanjing University, Pennsylvania State University, and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard.