Italian architect Renzo Piano and Japanese artist Susumu Shingu, dubbed “the sculptor of the wind” for his kinetic works powered by wind and water, first met in 1989 shortly after Piano was selected to design the Kansai International Airport. “We’ve done a beautiful design for the flow of air through the lobby, but sadly, no one can see it,” Piano told Shingu at the time. “Can you create something that will make the streams of air visible?” Thus began the first of ten collaborative projects in Japan, Italy, the United States, and Greece.
Those projects are presented alongside individual works by Piano and Shingu in this richly illustrated book, which traces the trajectories and border-crossing partnership of an architect and artist who also, as it happens, are the same age.
Partial table of contents
A Conversation between Susumu Shingu and Renzo Piano: Parallel Lives
Collaborations—Susumu Shingu + Renzo Piano
1. Re-development of the Genoa Old Harbour + Columbus’s Wind
2. Kansai International Airport Passenger Terminal Building + Boundless Sky
3. Lingotto Factory Conversion + Locus of Rain
4. Renzo Piano Building Workshop + Resonance of the Sea
5. Meridiana Shopping Center and Offices + Dialogue with Clouds
6. Banca Popolare di Lodi + Water Flower
7. Ginza Maison Hermès + Hommage au Cosmos
8. “Il Sole 24 Ore” Headquarters + Cloud of Light
9. Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center + Cosmos, Epic, Myth
10. 565 Broome SoHo + Rainbow Leaves
Solo Work—Susumu Shingu
1. Expo ’70 Osaka, Floating Sound
2. Zasso Forest School, Windmill and Weathervane
3. World Traveling Exhibition of Outdoor Sculptures, Windcircus
4. World Traveling Project, Wind Caravan
5. The Project Breathing Earth
6. Arimafuji Park, “Susumu Shingu Wind Museum”
Models, Indoor Works
Solo Work—Renzo Piano
1. Centre Georges Pompidou
2. IBM Traveling Pavilion
3. Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center
4. The Shard—London Bridge Tower
5. Jérôme Seydoux Pathé Foundation
6. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Installations, Nakanoshima Museum of Arts, Osaka: 2023 Studio Azzurro
Susumu Shingu was born in 1937 in Osaka. After graduating in painting from the Tokyo University of the Arts, he went to study for six years in Italy, where his interests shifted from painting to sculptures to kinetic works. He has since been active creating works powered by wind, water, and other natural forces for sites around the world. He is also known for his picture books and original stage works.
Renzo Piano was born in 1937 in Genoa. He studied architecture at the Politecnico di Milano in addition to working in his family’s building firm and training under Franco Albini. From 1965 to 1970 he worked with Louis Kahn in Philadelphia and the scholar Z. S. Makowsky in London; he founded Piano & Rogers with Richard Rogers in 1971 and, later, Atelier Piano & Rice with Peter Rice. He now works through the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW), which has offices in Genoa, Paris, and Berlin. Major honors include the 1998 Pritzker Architecture Prize.