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Kengo Kuma, NAMAKO at Aspen Island, DESIGN Canberra 2018. Photo: 5 Foot Photography
Kengo Kuma, NAMAKO at Aspen Island, DESIGN Canberra 2018. Photo: 5 Foot Photography
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NAMAKO by Kengo Kuma

DESIGN Canberra is honoured to work with Kengo Kuma, one of the world’s leading architects, to design the inaugural ephemeral architecture project to be launched at the festival in November 2018.

With an authentic sensibility, both careful and considered, the project will activate Aspen Island in Lake Burley Griffin in the heart of Canberra, the nation’s capital. This noble project embodies education and experimentation and is a first for Canberra, a city of design. Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre leads the project with DESIGN Canberra platinum partners the National Capital Authority and the University of Canberra.

The installation will take place in 2018, the 25th anniversary of Canberra’s treasured sister city relationship with the city of Nara in Japan.

Many of Kuma lab’s design projects can be understood as a pursuit of different types of weaving of different kinds of things. From plastic rod, timber to metal sheet, or even further, to road composing a city, we have worked with things with diverse solidities and scales to develop new ways of weaving. – Toshiki Hirano

“NAMAKO”, a Japanese word for sea cucumber, reflects the unique characteristics of the installation. Its softness as a structure and a form, and transparency allow the installation to become interactive to humans and also to create a rich relationship to the surrounding context.

The project has been made possible with the generous sponsorship of platinum partners the University of Canberra and the National Capital Authority; the Canberra installation will be fabricated by architecture students at the University of Canberra; and Aspen Island has been made available for this project through the support of the National Capital Authority.

The NAMAKO catalogue has been made possible with the generous support of the Japan Foundation.

DESIGN Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the ACT and surrounding areas. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. We aim to respect cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.