Shigeru Ban was born in Tokyo in 1957. He graduated from the Cooper Union and started working for Arata Isozaki & Associates in 1982. He founded Shigeru Ban Architects in 1985. He became consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1995, establishing the NGO Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN) in the same year to support disaster relief. His selected works include Centre Pompidou-Metz, Oita Prefecture Art Museum, Mt. Fuji World Heritage Centre, Shizuoka, La Seine Musicale and Swatch Omega.
He is a recipient of multiple awards, including the Grande Médaille d’or de l’Académie d’Architecture, France (2004); the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture (2005); the Grand Prize of AIJ (2009); the Honorary Doctorate from the Technical University of Munich (2009); le grade d’officier for L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (2010); the Auguste Perret Prize (2011); the Art Prize from the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs (2012); le grade de commandeur for L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (2014); the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2014); the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon, Japan (2017); and the Mother Teresa Social Justice Award (2017).
Shigeru Ban served as Visiting Professor at Harvard University GSD and Cornell University (2010) and is a specially appointed Professor at the International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University, since 2020. He is currently a Professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design and also at Keio University.