I hope that America as a whole, and especially its architects, will become more seriously involved in producing a new architectural culture that would bring the nation to the apex - where it has stood before - and lead the world.
In Italy, there are so many significant architectural structures in history such as the Pantheon in Rome, or the Duomo.
All those involved in the construction of an architectural design, from the architect to the builder, have an attachment to the architecture, although it's difficult to quantify the attachment.
Since I am a Japanese man who's been building through the experience of Japanese architecture, my actual designs come from Japanese architectural concepts, although they're based on Western methods and materials.
In the West there has always been the attempt to try make the religious building, whether it's a Medieval or Renaissance church, an eternal object for the celebration of God. The material chosen, such as stone, brick, or concrete, is meant to eternally preserve what is inside.
When I design buildings, I think of the overall composition, much as the parts of a body would fit together. On top of that, I think about how people will approach the building and experience that space.
Spiritual space is lost in gaining convenience. I saw the need to create a mixture of Japanese spiritual culture and modern western architecture.
My hand is the extension of the thinking process - the creative process.
The level of detail and craft is something that's inscribed within the original design concept. And so when I begin to draw, I know what kind of detailing I want the building to have.
The computer offers another kind of creativity. You cannot ignore the creativity that computer technology can bring. But you need to be able to move between those two different worlds.
Look at London or Paris: they're both filthy. You don't get that in Tokyo. The proud residents look after their city.
I hope America can also be the cultural leader of the world, and use this frontier spirit to lead and show others that we need courage to go places where we have not gone before.
Italy is full of historical buildings. And Europe holds a great history of philosophy from Greece until today. I read all those books and see these buildings, and I think of where I stand when I design my architecture.
When you look at Japanese traditional architecture, you have to look at Japanese culture and its relationship with nature. You can actually live in a harmonious, close contact with nature - this very unique to Japan.
Without this spirit, Modernist architecture cannot fully exist. Since there is often a mismatch between the logic and the spirit of Modernism, I use architecture to reconcile the two.
If you give people nothingness, they can ponder what can be achieved from that nothingness.
People tend not to use this word beauty because it's not intellectual - but there has to be an overlap between beauty and intellect.
In Japan, there is less a culture of preserving old buildings than in Europe.
Japanese architecture is traditionally based on wooden structures that need renovating on a regular basis.
I am interested in things happening around me, and I need to understand what's going on in other artistic sectors like music and literature.