Fumihiko Maki of Japan is an architect whose work is intelligent and artistic in concept and expression, meticulously achieved. He is a modernist who has fused the best of both eastern and western cultures to create an architecture representing the age-old qualities of his native country while at the same time juxtaposing contemporary construction methods and materials. For building works that are not only expressions of his time, but that are destined to survive mere fashion, the 1993 Pritzker Architecture Prize is presented to Fumihiko Maki.
Maki, who was born in Tokyo on September 6, 1928, studied with Kenzo Tange at the University of Tokyo where he received his Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1952. Maki then spent the next year at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. After completing a Master of Architecture degree at the Graduate School of Design (GSD), Harvard University, he apprenticed at the firms Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, New York and Sert Jackson and Associates in Cambridge.
While he was preparing to open his own office, Maki worked at, or observed, numerous offices in Japan and other countries. One of the conclusions he drew was that an office, and by extension, design itself, is a matter of individual character, and that an office is itself a work of art. “Architectural design is perhaps the strangest activity undertaken by the many professions, and a group that engages in architectural design is likewise a curious organization. Architecture is a highly ambiguous field.”