YKK AP Inc.’s Exhibition, “Window on the Future – Gaudí meets 3D Printing” Celebrated the Work of Antoni Guadí in a Multidisciplinary Exploration on the Future of Windows in Tokyo

More than 30,000 visitors from around the world visited the exhibition to explore “What would Antoni Gaudí have done with the latest 3D printing technology?”

Nov. 16, 2021 –  From Oct. 15 to Nov. 3, YKK AP Inc. held an exhibit at TOKYO MIDTOWN (Roppongi, Tokyo) as part of an industry-academia co-creation project aimed at advancing the research and development of windows made using the latest 3D printing technology. Creative energy was high as more than 30,000 visitors came to explore prototypes of novel 3D-printed windows which were designed with various forms and functions that resonate with the natural environment, taking inspiration from the windows of world-renowned architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926).

The exhibit offered a view into the future of windows that have continued to evolve at the thresholds between nature and human life, while at the same time resonating with the YKK Group Environmental Vision 2050, “Towards a brighter future for nature and humanity,” and with Gaudí’s open-minded vision to dissolve the distinction between architecture and nature. As expressed by its speculative theme, “What would Gaudí have done with the latest 3D printing technology?” The project reflected an effort to apply the inspired designs of the past to the future.

The exhibit’s Creative Director Keita Suzuki of the Product Design Center was joined by Takeshi Yamamura, a Gaudi researcher and associate professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University, in researching the Catalan architect’s creative philosophy as well as window designs. It focused ideas for the exhibition on the natural elements of light, air, and sound. These principles reaffirmed the concept of re-establishing windows as connectors between humans and nature. Masashi Murakami of Emuni served as the project’s graphic designer while Takehi Yamamura and Natalia Sanz Laviña of YSLA architects created the installation space.

Together with YKK AP and Takeshi Yamamura, the project research was developed through special collaborations with the various Gaudí architectural monuments on display at the exhibition. One highlight included a miniature recreation – 40% scale – of an over three-meter high window at world heritage site Casa Batlló. With incredible intricacy, the latest 3D technology captured and recreated the original form.

Additionally, the project fostered collaborations between companies, creators, and specialists working in different fields and regions around the world. It was presented as part of both the annual autumn design events Tokyo Midtown DESIGN TOUCH 2021 and DESIGNART TOKYO 2021 and realized with the special collaborationof several Guadí-designed UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Casa Batlló and Casa Milà.

Hiroya Tanaka, Keio University Professor and design supervisor of the 3D-printed podiums for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics discussed the scope of 3D printing technology and the significance of this exhibit, and leading architects, including Kengo Kuma, Sou Fujimoto, Klein Dytham architecture, Koki Akiyoshi (VUILD), and Maki Onishi (o+h) and others, shared their ideas on the future of windows as well as on Gaudíʼs designs, and drew out the windows that they imagined for the future.

These video interviews, exhibit photos and co-creation movie are now live on the “Window on the Future” website and on Instagram at @windowonthefuture.

Special credit to:

Creative Direction: Keita Suzuki (Product Design Center)

Product Design: Product Design Center

Academic Supervision: Takeshi Yamamura (Associate Professor, Tokyo Polytechnic University)

Graphic Design: Masashi Murakami (Emuni)

Space Design: Takeshi Yamamura + Natalia Sanz Laviña (YSLA Architects)

Photo (Main Visual): Salva Lopéz

Thank you to our collaborators and supporters:

Special Collaboration: Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Casa Vicens, Palau Güell―Diputació de Barcelona, Park Güell―Ajuntament de Barcelona and Barcelona History Museum, Cripta Gaudí de la Colonia Güell

Support: Embassy of Spain

Sponsors: MAEDA CORPORATION ICI General Center, MOLp™ (Mitsui Chemicals Material Oriented Laboratory), AGC Ceramics Co., Ltd.


YKK AP America Inc. is a technology-oriented manufacturer of commercial façade systems and residential doors and windows. With every finished good, we push the boundaries in next-generation manufacturing and create value for architectural applications. Driven by a desire to provide exceptional service in our markets, YKK AP America builds upon our foundation of advanced engineering, vertically integrated manufacturing, and customer focus to deliver the highest level of quality and a positive customer experience. YKK AP America’s subsidiary brand, Erie Architectural Products partners with glazing contractors to design, test and engineer solutions for large-scale projects using its ENVIRO|FACADES curtain wall systems. YKK AP America is headquartered in Austell, Ga., with its major projects company Erie Architectural Products located in Lakeshore, Ont. All building products are manufactured in our world-class production facilities located in Dublin, Ga., Macon, Ga. and Lakeshore, Ont.  For more information, visit ykkap.com and follow us on Linkedin.com.

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