Photo by Designboom
Photo by Designboom

Momoyo Kaijima

Founder & Architect

Atelier Bow-Wow


Founder & Architect


Atelier Bow-Wow




Atelier Bow Wow


Lifestyle & Culture

What makes Momoyo Kaijima a Global Shaker?

Atelier Bow-Wow was established in Tokyo in 1992 by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima. The firm is known for its modern domestic and cultural architecture.

“Since I was a child, I was interested in houses and I wanted to be an architect,” Momoyo told Designboom in 2005. “I wasn’t influenced by anything in particular, but when I was a child I had many opportunities to visit different houses and I think this experience was very useful.”

Momoyo Kaijima graduated from Japan Women’s University in 1991 and continued with graduate and post-graduate studies at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. In 1996–1997, she was a guest student at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich in Switzerland.

Atelier Bow-Wow is renowned for its architectural theories, most notably “behaviourology”—how behaviour in its varying forms relates to the environment, and how small spaces are used in urban areas.

“By looking at architecture with a focus on ‘parts and a whole;, relationships between parts or parts and a whole entity surface and the function concept recedes in the background,” Yoshiharu, Moyomo’s partner, explained to the Window Research Institute. “Differences in such relationships become differences in architectures, and the meaning of each architecture becomes clear by relating such differences with uses and the surroundings. In the configuration theory, meanings of “parts” and a “whole” are examined from the viewpoint of such relationships. In this way, architecture can be explained without using commonly used terms such as floor area, cost, function and so on and we are able to think about architecture while respecting its specificity.”

In 2000, Momoyo became an assistant professor at the Art and Design School of the University of Tsukuba, and in 2009 she was promoted to associate professor. She has also been a guest lecturer at several universities around the world.

In 2018, along with Laurent Stalder and Yu Iseki, Momoyo curated the “Architectural Ethnography from Tokyo: Guidebooks and Projects on Livelihood” exhibition at the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture.

Tags: architecture, Asia

Last updated: May 29, 2019