Skip to content

One of Japan’s Most Revered Architects Says the World Should Build Less

The connection between economic growth and new development must be broken to reduce the climate impact of the built environment, says Kengo Kuma.

Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma

Photographer: Shoko Takayasu/Bloomberg

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, whose projects explore connections between natural and man-made systems, said the world should limit new construction to reduce the climate impact of the built environment. 

There has been an inextricable link between new buildings and economic growth in the 20th century, but that relationship must change because the climate impact from unfettered development is so great, Kuma said in an interview. He emphasized the role of architects and designers is expanding and they must consider using wind, sunlight and the temperature of the soil in projects.