kengo kuma has unveiled the prototype for namako, an ephemeral installation that will inaugurate this year’s DESIGN canberra festival in november. produced with the help of students at the kengo kuma lab at the university of tokyo, the actual piece will eventually be a 3-m-high, 12-m-wide installation set in aspen island on lake burley griffin, and is designed to encourage a new kind of interaction between itself, visitors and the surrounding, natural environment.

kengo kuma builds namako, a gigantic sea cucumber installation for design canberra festivalall images courtesy of university of tokyo, kengo kuma lab and DESIGN canberra festival



kengo kuma‘s namako takes its name from the japanese word for sea cucumber, whose softness, transparency and form are reflected in the installation. composed of a steel rod frame structure and mesh, which is made of bio-acrylic rods woven together by zip ties, the piece, conceptually and physically, follows kuma’s infatuation with different types of weaving. ‘our laboratory investigates the possibilities of weaving through many projects and other activities,’ mentions the architect, ‘this includes our ongoing installation project in australia that will be shown in DESIGN canberra, which is produced through a reckless weaving process.’ a collaborative process between architecture students from the university of canberra and the university of tokyo, the namako prototype is also created to celebrate canberra’s 25 anniversary with its sister city nara in japan.


the prototype of the kengo kuma installation will be exhibited at LIXIL gallery, kyobashi building 3-6-18, kyobashi, chuo-ku , tokyo 104-0031, from thursday 5 july to tuesday, 25 september.

kengo kuma builds namako, a gigantic sea cucumber installation for design canberra festival

kengo kuma builds namako, a gigantic sea cucumber installation for design canberra festival

kengo kuma builds namako, a gigantic sea cucumber installation for design canberra festival

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