Seng Kuan is an architectural historian specializing in modern Japan. He has written extensively on Japan’s postwar architectural culture, including the “land, water, and sky” trilogy on the Metabolists. He is currently completing books on Kenzō Tange, Kazuo Shinohara, and Fumihiko Maki. A new trajectory in his research concerns the culture of collaboration between structural designers and architects that is unique to Japan, manifesting most recently in the extraordinary relationship between Sasaki Mutsurō and Toyo Ito and SANAA.
Exhibitions play a major role in Seng’s research methodology. His curatorial work include Utopia Across Scales: Highlights from the Kenzō Tange Archive (GSD 2009); Metabolism: City of the Future (Mori Art Museum, 2011); and On the Thresholds of Space-Making: Kazuo Shinohara (Kemper Art Museum 2014; ETH Zürich 2016). His research projects have been recognized with major grants from Graham Foundation and the Japan Foundation.
Seng has also served in various editorial positions at a+u, the Tokyo-based journal. Most recently he edited a monographic issue on the Belgian firm of architecten de vylder vinck taillieu.
Seng received his BA from Harvard College and afterwards studied in both the architecture and urban planning programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, ultimately graduating with a PhD in architectural history. Prior to rejoining the GSD as a faculty member he taught at Washington University in St. Louis.