Kayoko Ota is an architectural curator based in Tokyo and a founding partner of PLAT, a platform for enhancing architectural thinking in socially engaged cultural and educational projects.
After ten years at AMO, the creative think-tank arm of OMA in Rotterdam, she returned to Tokyo to curate the Japanese pavilion in the 2014 Venice Biennale for Architecture as commissioner. Conducting an orchestrated research for eight months in various parts of Japan, the exhibition unearthed essential vigor and creativity in Japanese architecture by reconstructing the country’s modernizing process especially around the oil crisis.
At AMO, Ota worked on a number of research-based exhibitions, publications and cultural master planning as curator and editor from 2002 to 2012. The last publication was Project Japan: Metabolism Talks… (Taschen, 2011), which consumed six years of organized research and editing. She also co-edited Post-Occupancy (Editoriale Domus) with Rem Koolhaas as an experimental documentation of architecture. Meanwhile, the exhibitions were polemical manifestations about architecture, such as “Cronocaos” and “The Gulf” in Venice Biennale of Architecture (2010 and 2006) or “Content,” a self-retrospective exhibition in Berlin and Rotterdam.
Ota was vice editor and editorial board member of Domus magazine in Milan from 2004 to 2007. Prior to moving to Europe, she was an independent editor and curator for architecture based in Tokyo. From 1987 to 1996 she co-directed Workshop for Architecture and Urbanism, organizing a variety of cultural and educational programs, publishing Telescope magazine, and hosting summer schools with the AA School of Architecture in Tokyo.