Architalk: Seeing the World through Architecture

I-House boasts a building constructed under the collaboration of three prominent modern Japanese architects, and from its inauguration has been receiving guests and members from the field of architecture. To expand this network, I-House launched a new program in 2016, the tenth anniversary of the extensive renovation of the building, inviting speakers from Japan and abroad to think about contemporary issues through architecture.

Architalk Webinar Series

The Architalk series aims to highlight how architecture both reflects and responds to critical issues around the globe, such as climate change, community building, and the development of an inclusive and barrier free society.

I-House kicked off its 2024 Architalk series with Theaster Gates, an artist, urban designer, and architect who worked to revitalize abandoned buildings and urban neighborhoods in Chicago and elsewhere through architecture and design.

Those who wish to receive detailed information on each session through the I-House e-news are asked to register through the e-news registration form.

Organizer: International House of Japan (IHJ)
Sponsor: Jyukankyo Foundation, MRA Foundation, US-Japan Foundation


[Architalk Series 2024]
#1 Theaster Gates: Crafting Black Space

New Video

This video has Japanese subtitles. Go to Youtube Help for more details.


  • Speaker:Theaster GATES (Artist, Urban Designer)
  • Moderator:Mami KATAOKA (IHJ trustee and Mori Art Museum Director)
  • Release Date:March 29, 2024
  • Organizer:International House of Japan (IHJ)
  • Sponsor:Jyukankyo Foundation, MRA Foundation, US-Japan Foundation

In this talks titled “Theaster Gates: Crafting Black Space,” Gates discusses his placemaking practice that began with revitalizing a number of vacant old buildings in his hometown of Chicago into centers for art, as well as activities around Black space in Germany and Britain, that helped demonstrate the cultural value present in urban neighborhoods that experienced racially motivated divestment. He also talks about how the architectural spaces he creates architectural also function as works of art.

In addition to his lecture at I-House, Gates visited rural areas in Japan, such as Mashiko, Tochigi, for informal dialogue with local leaders and counterparts and to give a lecture in Kyoto about his ideas and work. Videos of his visits in Tochigi and Kyoto will be available online soon.

Theaster GATES (Artist, Urban Designer)
founded the nonprofit Rebuild Foundation in 2009 in Chicago and has been engaged in the project of revitalizing abandoned urban buildings into cultural institutions as an art practice. He was selected to design the 2022 Serpentine Pavilion, a work that brings a new perspective to art, architecture, and social practice. He has also produced a number of “Afro-Mingei” works, his philosophy that merges the Japanese folk art movement with the aesthetics of African American art.

Photo: Rankin

Mami KATAOKA (I-House trustee and Mori Art Museum Director)
joined the Mori Art Museum in 2003, taking on the role of Director in 2020. She has also taken on the position of Director of the National Center for Art Research since April 2023.Beyond Tokyo, Kataoka has held positions at the Hayward Gallery in London, where from 2007 to 2009 she was the institution’s first International Curator; she has also acted as Co-Artistic Director for the 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012), Artistic Director for the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) and Artistic Director for the Aichi Triennale 2022. Kataoka served as a Board Member (2014-2022). She is also a trustee of the International House of Japan since 2023.

  Past Architalk Events

Architalk Webinar Series 2023

[Architalk Webinar Series 2023]
#2 Challenging Legal and Social Barriers to Enhance Use of Local Resources
[Architalk Webinar Series 2023]
#1 City, Environment and Architecture in Southeast Asia



Program Department
International House of Japan
5-11-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032