Masaki Endoh, Natural Ellipse. Installation view at Palazzo Mora, 2016.

Photo: GAA Foundation

Time Space Existence - Biennale Architettura 2016

Time Space Existence - Biennale Architettura 2016

Natural Ellipse
Being Natural
When we think of architecture and design, we do so based on general knowledge and common sense or experience. No matter how hard you try to place yourself on a clean slate, without realizing, you begin to see things through a limiting framework. We are influenced by the generation and situation of the times, regardless of whether we want to be or not. Therefore it would be difficult to make a valid judgment.
Architecture constantly has various functions, or possibilities, and when that is placed within a system, it ties in with an objective and is then able to be useful. If this is the meaning of “natural”, in that way I wish to create architecture freely.
For that reason, I first come up with the basic concept of a project and then start designing. For this project, after much consideration, the concept was decided as being how to use the aforementioned shape of the ellipse. Of course it is nearly impossible to summarize this project using only that concept. However, detailed requests for living have nothing to do with the idea of the ellipse, and furthermore, there is a normal need for perpendicular angles that do not fit into curves.
But I pursue that concept. Then the more that it is kept, the more the balance between the starting point and conservative ideas is realized. I aim to bridge the gap between these two ideas. That is, an adjustment is made, and leads to changing the existing concepts and empirical knowledge of society and myself. I repeat this throughout the project. That repetition, the reorganisation, is what I call “natural”.
I feel that design processes are the same as the process of biological evolution. Design that incorporates new concepts will survive into the future. It is important to constantly challenge the established norms for architectural evolution to continue.
To the Unknown
The societal purpose of the existence of design is to produce something real from the unknown. That is not at all meant to be something that remains on paper.
Modern architecture developed by repeatedly renewing modelling in such a way that severed its part from existing materials, methods of construction, and even ideas. However, the problem was in the model’s simplicity and its theoretical leap. Those who were called masters were not exceptions. They put away the need for detailed pursuit regarding the leap with their own personal aesthetics. Only one of those masters, Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), did thorough pursuits and even gathered feedback till the end. When considering this, we can understand that there are many unresolved gaps that still exist regarding modelling and its pursuit. We must wrench open the hidden gap repeatedly, and connect as one line for the world to be connected as we imagine it could be.
As Gregory Bateson (1904-1980) says, thorough the pursuits of how the human mind and the structure of the natural world are gradually defined, the world can be networked from a sustainable viewpoint. Then there must be a progressive amount of “will for construction for that”.
Architects are never distanced from society or context governed by contingency. This also means that architects directly face the unknown and have the chance to overcome it. Challenges facing the unknown are never-ending, and I intend to meet and exceed those challenges in the future.


  • Title: Masaki Endoh, Natural Ellipse. Installation view at Palazzo Mora, 2016.
  • Creator: Photo: GAA Foundation

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