Seng Kuan

Project Associate Professor, University of Tokyo Faculty of Engineering


Professor Kuan went to Tokyo for one year from 2005-2006 for his fellowship. In his own words, his career as a specialist of modern Japanese architecture really began with his fellowship year.  

I arrived in Tokyo in June 2005, just two months after the passing of Tange Kenzō, the greatest Japanese architect of the 20th century and intended subject of my dissertation. His family charged me with a preliminary sorting of the artifacts in storage — drawings, models, photographs, notebooks — as well as to work with them on finding a permanent home for this material.

These tasks extended far beyond my fellowship year with the Japan Foundation, but my involvement could not have begun without it. This archive was the subject of an exhibition at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2009, which was accompanied by a handsome catalogue. Hundreds of the most important drawings, including those of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Yoyogi National Stadiums, have been treated by conservators, digitalized, and are now publicly accessible online.