Toshiko Mori is the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and was chair of the Department of Architecture from 2002 to 2008. She is principal of Toshiko Mori Architect, which she established in 1981 in New York City. Mori taught at the Cooper Union School of Architecture from 1983, until joining the Harvard GSD faculty with tenure in 1995. She has been a visiting faculty member at Columbia University and Yale University, where she was the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor in 1992. Mori has taught courses on the tectonics of textiles, materials and fabrication methods in architecture, structural innovations, and the role of architects as agents of change in a global context.
Her firm’s recent work includes master plans for the Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch and the Buffalo Botanical Gardens; “Thread: Artists’ Residency and Cultural Center” in Sinthian, Senegal; “Fass School and Teachers’ Residence” in Fass, Senegal; and the expansion of the Brown University Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Their projects have won awards from Architizer, The Plan, and AIA, and have been internationally exhibited, including at the 2012, 2014 and 2018 Venice Architecture Biennales. TMA has been listed in Architectural Digest’s biennial AD100 in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, and in AN Interior’s Top 50 Architects. Recent publications include the Fass School and Teachers’ Residence in Architectural Record, the Mott Street Development in Architect’s Newspaper, and three features in Architectural Digest for the Fass School, Treeline a private art barn, and a beach house in Suffolk County, NY.
Mori’s strong research-based approach to design has been commended in invitations to lectures and conferences around the world. As a member and former chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Design, Mori has participated in sessions to discuss scarcity-driven design, the future of cities and urban information systems, design related to olfactory sensation and experience, and the role of the arts in improving communities. She has participated in international symposia and conferences, including panels held at the MoMA, Guggenheim Museum, and the G1 Summit in Japan. In 2010, Mori was selected to speak at the annual Women of Architecture lecture series at the National Building Museum. She has lectured at universities across the country and around the world.
Nikkei Business recently listed Mori as one of 50 Japanese Changing the World; Newsweek Japan listed her as one of 100 Japanese People the World Respects; and Forbes Japan featured her as one of 100 Self Made Women. Her work was featured in Monocle, in “Japan, Only the Best: The Nation Making a Difference in the World,” and was featured in Iconic Women of Design, a video series by the New York Times’ T Brand Studio. Her writing has appeared in A+U, The PLAN, and the World Economic Forum Agenda blog. In 2020, the firm published two new monographs, one for A+U magazine’s February 2020 issue, and another with ArchiTangle titled Toshiko Mori Architect: Observations.
Mori’s recent awards and honors include the Louis Auchincloss Prize from the Museum of the City of New York in 2020; the ACSA Tau Sigma Delta National Honor Society Gold Medal in 2016; Architectural Record’s Women in Design Leader Award in 2019; and the AIA / ASCA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education in 2019. Her project “Thread: Artists’ Residency and Cultural Center” was awarded the AIA 2017 Institute Honor Award for Architecture and was one of the winners of the inaugural FIBRA Award for Contemporary Plant Fiber-based Architecture in 2019. In May 2020, her project “Fass School and Teachers’ Residence” was featured by The Guardian as one of the world’s top 10 new architecture projects.
In 2009, she established a think tank, VisionArc, which connects local and global issues to mobilize design initiatives for a more sustainable future. The research aims to locate new opportunities to embed design into higher channels and broader fields of practice.
See projects at www.tmarch.com
By Toshiko Mori
Edited by K. Michael Hays
By Toshiko Mori
Sarah M. Whiting and Toshiko Mori, Hosts