Over the years, I have come to regard craft as perhaps the single most important element of good design.
For designers like Kengo Kuma, the quality of a given design is defined as much by the execution of its details as it is by the overall concept or form.
Kuma is known for his expressive timber structures and clean, well-executed details and connections. His work often takes simple techniques and extrapolates them into an entire architectural language. The Yusahara Wooden Bridge Museum in Kochi Prefecture, Japan, is a prime example of this. Kuma draws inspiration from a traditional timber bracketing technique called tokyo, which is often seen in temples and ancient bridges. By studying this technique and reinterpreting it with modern materials and construction methods, he creates a beautiful and entirely original architecture.
Kuma's work demonstrates the alchemy that can happen when a high degree of craft is applied to simple materials and techniques.