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Tokyo from the perspective of Alyssa Ueno, an architect who has lived 1/3 of her life overseas.



A circle of friends connected by gut touch! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features people who live and enjoy Tokyo in a relay format.

On August 9, Alyssa Ueno of the first-class architectural firm ULTRA STUDIO appeared on the show, introduced by Max McKee, founder of the outdoor guide “Kammui. We asked her about what inspired her to become an architect, the charms of Tokyo that she can see only after having lived abroad for about one-third of her life, and her new cultural and environmental activity “TŌGE”.

From the Analysis of Representational Culture to the World of Architecture

Takano (MC): Max-san said that you are “an innovator that I admire.

Ueno: I thought about that yesterday, too, but you raised the bar tremendously and started with Max (laughs).

Takano: Everyone will raise the bar (laughs).

Celeina (MC): Let me start by introducing my profile: I was born in Tokyo in 1986. She spent her childhood and college years in England and Italy, and studied architecture at the AASchool and Royal College of Art in London. After gaining experience in design firms in Tokyo and London, he co-founded the first-class architectural firm ULTRA STUDIO in Tokyo in 2019. From 2021, as co-chair of TŌGE, you will be exploring a lifestyle that mixes people, nature, and artifacts in the forests of Karuizawa.

Takano: First of all, I would like to ask you why you decided to become an architect.

Ueno: I have been interested in cities since I was a child. I majored in art history at university and looked at the world from the perspective of analyzing representational culture, but I felt that simply analyzing things did not solve many problems for me. I wanted to face society and life with a positive attitude toward intervention and design, so I shifted my focus to architectural design.

Takano: What do you mean by representational culture?

Ueno: I guess you could say everything that is visible. At university, I studied not only paintings, but also movies, cities, and all kinds of things that can be seen and analyzed.

Celeina: Architects are said to be very hard to study. How was it for you, Ueno-san?

Ueno: I spent quite a long time as a student. But I feel like my work is all about learning, and I have a lot to learn every day.

Celeina: Do you enjoy learning?

Ueno: Yes, I do. Maybe people who think learning is fun are doing architecture.



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