2016 Toshiko Mori
Toshiko Mori is the principal of Toshiko Mori Architect, which she established in 1981 in New York City. Toshiko Mori Architect’s current work includes public New York City theater and library projects, a park visitor center in the Bronx, the Hudson Yard Park and Boulevard, and subway canopies. Mori designed institutional projects for Brown University and Syracuse University, and is part of the design team for New York University’s masterplan. She also designed the award-winning Visitor Center at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House compound in Buffalo, NY, as well as the Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems for Syracuse University. Residential projects include work in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Mongolia and Taiwan.
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.
Mori joined the Harvard University Graduate School of Design faculty with tenure in 1995. She is the Robert P. Hubbard Professor at the GSD and was chair of the Department of Architecture from 2002 to 2008. 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 recent studio classes have partnered with international non-profits to develop community center and performing arts center prototypes.
Mori has received numerous awards and her work has been widely exhibited and published. In 2003 Mori was awarded the Cooper Union Inaugural John Hejduk Award. In 2005, she received the Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Medal of Honor from the AIA New York Chapter. Her work was exhibited in the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s “Design Life Now: National Design Triennial 2006” and at the Guggenheim Museum. She has contributed to various publications, and edited a volume on material and fabrication research, Immaterial/Ultramaterial. A monograph of her work, Toshiko Mori Architect, was published by Monacelli Press.
In 2009, she established a think tank, VisionArc, which connects local and global issues to mobilize design initiatives for a more sustainable future. Mori presented this research at the Singapore Icsid World Design Conference and the Bilbao Bizkaia B Award Design Festival. The research aims to locate new opportunities to embed design into higher channels and broader fields of practice.