"Envoyez-moi une feuille, mais que cette feuille vienne d’un petit arbre
Qui ne pousse pas à moins d’une demi-heure de route
De votre maison. Car alors,
Vous aurez à marcher, vous deviendrez plus fort et je
vous remercierai pour la jolie feuille.
- Berthold Brecht (ma traduction de la version anglaise de David Constantine dans le New Yorker)"
"And when you find that coveted book, the one that has prompted countless trips to the bookstore, hoping someone cleaning out their collection has dropped off the one thing you’ve been search one, the feeling is joyous. You want to raise it to the heavens, a la Rafiki with baby Simba, letting the clouds part so your discovery can bask in the sunshine. Yeah, it’s like that."
In a profession often associated with showmanship and ego, Ban’s work appears humble, and appropriate to a historical moment that celebrates altruism, or its posture. The Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, a member of the Pritzker jury, told me that he was moved by Ban’s commitment to the dispossessed. “The world is filled with billions of people, and most of them live in conditions where they will never see an architect or an architect-designed space,” he said. “To have a first-rate architect pay attention to those in need of shelter, and build better-quality buildings to serve their aesthetic and human needs—that is wonderful.”
With a team of student volunteers, Ban has touched down at nearly every major natural-disaster site of the past two decades. The arc of his career tracks the rise of cataclysmic weather as page-one news: the Kobe earthquake, which killed six thousand people (1995); the magnitude-7.4 earthquake in Turkey that left half a million homeless (1999); the Gujarat earthquake (2001); the Indian Ocean tsunami (2004); Hurricane Katrina (2005); the Sichuan earthquake (2008); the L’Aquila earthquake (2009); Haiti, Tohoku, the Philippines. Ban’s practice, according to Riichi Miyake, a scholar of Japanese architecture, is “an architectural iteration of Doctors Without Borders.”"
1 / 58