Iwan Baan

Book Review: The SANAA Studios

The book's focus is not so much what the Princeton students learned from SANAA, or how they learned it, as what the rest of us can learn from the firm’s work and Japanese architecture in general.

Architecture-school crits are a famously bruising rite of passage for aspiring design professionals—unless, apparently, your professor is from the renowned Japanese firm SANAA. In the introduction to The SANAA Studios 2006–2008 (Lars Müller Publishers), the Dutch architect Florian Idenburg recalls a crit from his student days in Rotterdam, conducted by SANAA’s Kazuyo Sejima: I remember Sejima sitting, quietly smoking, listening…