Initiative for Tomorrow’s Opportunities in architecture

“Initiative for Tomorrow’s Opportunities in architecture”(ITO) was established in 2011 to provide a new platform for architectural education by integrating “Ito Juku” in Tokyo with “Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture” in Imabari, Ehime (opening in summer of 2011).

The prime objective of ITO is to nurture promising young architects who are to be demanded by the times and the world:

Even now, contemporary architecture is still designed based on the functionalism of the previous century, which is preoccupied with technical theories when confronted with modern energy and environmental issues.

However, when seeking for fundamental solutions to these issues, we believe, such architectural education must be provided as for future architects to obtain new perception of architecture and men being a part of nature by redefining “architecture”, “nature” and “men” holistically.

Although we have strived to develop young talent through daily activities in our office and college design studios, we consider it essential to set up special courses for a select few to educate them with consistent flow from ideas to design for thoroughly instilling our architectural philosophy.

At the same time, we aim to open courses for general public to widely spread our thoughts for architecture.

Secondly, ITO aspires to get involved in community planning in regional towns and cities such as Imabari, Ehime:

Omishima Island, where “Toyo Ito Museum for Architecture in Imabari” being under construction, is a small beautiful island with lush environment and historic sites since as far back as ancient times.

There is a lodging facility and studio converted from a closed school. During long college breaks, architectural students will stay there for a certain period of time to share some time with local people so as to discuss and speculate the future vision of their own town together. We believe that these opportunities will play a significant role to revitalize such regional towns and cities.

Lastly, ITO is opening the first architecture school for children in Japan:

Although it is very common among Japanese children to go to after-school lessons such as music or drawings, “architecture school” has never took the place. On the contrary, it is not unusual that even elementary schools adopt primary architectural education in the Western countries.

Grounded on the numerous workshops like community planning or dome-structure building with elementary school children for many years, ITO is launching on architecture education for children. We hope this will inspire young children to architecture and, through their family members and friends, will eventually lead to deeper understanding of architecture by broader public.