YKK AP Inc. Supports Harvard University Graduate School of Design Research on Sustainable Urban Solutions in Kyoto and Kurobe City, Japan

ATLANTA, Ga. (May 22, 2024) – YKK AP Inc. (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Uozu Akira) is pleased to announce its support for a Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) research program set to unfold in Kurobe City, Toyama Prefecture, and Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. This GSD Design Studio initiative underscores a commitment shared with YKK AP Inc. to explore innovative design solutions and fostering cross-cultural exchange in landscape architecture, urban planning and design, and environmental sustainability.

The Design Studio, spanning from August 2024 to January 2025 and August 2025 to January 2026, will focus on two central themes: “Resilient Design in Local Cities” and “Advanced Landscape Architecture Measures for Environmental Issues.” This extended timeline enables an in-depth exploration and implementation of sustainable solutions by local stakeholders.

GSD faculty and students will play a pivotal role in conducting practical studies in Kyoto and Kurobe. The Design Studio aims to generate innovative solutions to pressing urban challenges while promoting sustainability and resilience.

Kyoto, renowned as the birthplace of the Kyoto Protocol, offers a rich historical and environmental backdrop for examining advanced measures for environmental issues. Meanwhile, the focus in the Kurobe area will center on the dynamic water resource system shaped by the region’s unique topography. A key aspect of the study will be Kurobe’s “Passive Town,” developed by YKK Real Estate, featuring low-energy development and housing solutions harnessing natural energy sources such as wind and groundwater.

Through its gift of support to the Design Studio, YKK AP aims to contribute to advancing sustainable urban development practices while fostering meaningful connections between academia, industry, and local communities. By exposing employees to cutting-edge research, interdisciplinary collaboration, and real-world challenges, YKK AP enhances its internal capacity for innovation, problem-solving and developing practical applications of sustainable design principles in the built environment.

We look forward to the insights, creativity, and expertise that will emerge from this dynamic partnership between YKK AP and GSD, and we are excited about the positive impact it will have on both the participating students and the communities involved.

Signing ceremony between GSD Dean Professor Sarah Whiting and YKK AP Chairman Hidemitsu Hori.

[Summary of Project, GSD Design Studio]

 Support: Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

Contents: Design Studio activities, collaboration, joint research

Subject: “Revitalization of local cities” and “Advanced environmental initiatives”

Object: Kyoto, the birthplace of the Kyoto Protocol, and Kurobe’s Passive Town

Activities: Practical studies (Design Studio: 2 faculty members, 10-12 students)

Period: August 2024 to January 2025 (Kurobe); August 2025 to January 2026 (Kyoto)

※Passive Town website https://www.passivetown.jp/(Link)


YKK AP America Inc. is a leading manufacturer of award-winning commercial facade systems and residential windows and doors. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, all building products are manufactured in the company’s world-class production facilities located in Dublin, Ga., Macon, Ga., and Lakeshore, Ontario. Together with its subsidiary brand, Erie Architectural Products (Erie AP), the company serves architects, glazing contractors, homebuilders, and resellers across the country. YKK AP America Inc. is a subsidiary of YKK AP Inc., a global architectural products company based in Tokyo, Japan.

For more information, visit ykkap.com.

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