Born in Tokyo in 1957, Japanese architect SHIGERU BAN studied at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and the Cooper Union School of Architecture, where he graduated in 1984. He opened his own Tokyobased practice the following year. Ban’s work is notable for linking natural and built environments and for its economic use of resources. As a consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the 1990s, Ban created emergency housing from paper tubes for victims of the Rwandan civil war -- designs that were redeployed for victims of the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan. In the United States, Ban is perhaps best know for his Curtain Wall House in Tokyo, a highlight of the Museum of Modern Art’s 1999 exhibition The Un-Private House. Other projects include a series of bamboo residences near the Great Wall in Beijing. He has served as a Professor of Architecture at several universities, and is currently employed by Keio.