This program was founded by Mr. Tadao Ando, a world-class architect from Osaka, who was awarded "the Carlsberg Architectural Prize" in May, 1992. The Prize was established by the Carlsberg Corporation in Denmark to recognize architects who contribute to the development of architecture all over the world and Mr. Ando was the first recipient. Mr. Ando, with his deep interest in the internationalization of Osaka, donated all of the prize money (30 million yen) to the Osaka Prefectural Government. OFIX received his donation through the Osaka Prefectural Government and, in accordance with the wish of Mr. Ando, established the "Osaka Invitational Program for Short Term Overseas Trainees in Architecture and Arts (Ando Program)" in memory of Tadao Ando winning the prize. There were also companies and sponsors who supported the program's objective of inviting about 10 students and young professionals from various Asian countries who specialize in architecture and arts. This program was held every autumn for about one month.
In the course of this program, all trainees participated in approximately 10 days of practical on-the-job training at representative Japanese construction companies in Osaka. During the job training, trainees were taken on on-site tours of buildings that were under construction and heard lectures about updated technology in the field of architecture.
Furthermore, trainees exchanged opinions about architecture with Japanese students who were majoring in a related field. There were also one-day study tours in Kyoto and Osaka where some buildings designed by Tadao Ando are located.
Aside from the training, all trainees experienced a home-stay with a Japanese family for two days where the trainees could deepen their cultural exchange with Japanese people. Every year this event was popular among all trainees because they could experience cultural exchange with a real Japanese family.
The program started in 1993 and was completed in its 27th year. Since its establishment, it had accepted 241 participants from 19 countries and regions. It was highly rated among young Asian aspiring architects as well as offering opportunities that could not be had elsewhere. The Ando program contributed to the development and promotion of exchange in the Asian region and completed its task to educate young people who would impact the next generation. Along with the quick and remarkable development within the Asian region during these years, it was time for the program to come to an end in 2020.