We’re so pleased to feature Asa + Yu in our Love Japan series, a collaborative group based in Tokyo and London which delivers projects related to architecture and art installation in both countries. Asa + Yu are formed by Asako Sengoku & Yusuke Ando, both Japanese architects who had relocated to London to pursue creative projects.
“we create architecture that is creative and socially meaningful “
Can you tell me a little about Asa + Yu? Where did the inspiration to set it up come from?
We are a creative unit that carries out architectural services and art installations in Tokyo and London. We met for the first time through a community among Japanese architects in London when Yusuke Ando was studying in England and Asako Sengoku was working for an architectural practice in London. We both got along well with our design intention and style of work as well as working attitudes. After gaining practical architectural experiences, we both started working for ourselves at a similar time, then we decided to work together as a team.
Are there any particular Japanese artists or collections that inspired your interest in the arts?
We both have been influenced by young Japanese architects who have been active in the world such as Junya Ishigami and So Fujimoto. We only started to really develop our ideas however we want to make as big of an effort as we can to be able to create architecture that is creative and socially meaningful as our inspirations. At the same time, we also gain inspiration from media artists such as Ryoji Ikeda and Daito Manabe (Rhizomatiks). We are interested in their works that involve digital technologies.
Interestingly, we’ve noticed a trend with many artists being influenced by Ryoji Ikdea. What project or projects are Asa + Yu currently working on?
We are designing an art installation in September 2018 as a part of the London Design Festival. Based on the theme of connecting Japanese and British cultures, we will create a kinetic art installation and will exhibit it. We also often participate in architectural competitions as a unit. We both carried out a number of practical architectural projects in Japan, London, and different countries. As a group, we are keen to invent projects which are innovative and creative.
What is your vision for Asa + Yu moving forwards?
We both believe that working collaboratively through discussions creates a better outcome than by working individually. Art and architecture often require more than one person. We would like to call for collaborators for every project and would like to work by creating a good team. By crossing over national borders between England and Japan, and boundaries of categories between architecture and art, we want to design with fresh ideas.