Program Outcome of the previous year
The 8 trainees who arrived in Osaka on October 2 completed the 29-day training program and returned to their countries on October 30.
This year, the trainees had a chance to visit more structures designed by Ando Sensei than previous years, including Ando Gallery and Chapel on Mount Rokko (Kobe).
A call was made for the 2019 Ando Program trainees (Application Guidelines and Form below) and among the 52 applicants from 15 countries, 8 trainees from 7 countries (Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Bangladesh, China, Philippines, Vietnam) were invited.
Program Reports on the Official OFIX Facebook Page
Details of the program were reported on the OFIX Facebook from October 2 to October 30. The series has 10 posts including reports contributed by trainees.
The Closing Ceremony and the courtesy visit to Mr. Tadao Ando were featured in the newspapers as follows,
- Courtesy visit to Osaka
- Daily Kensetsu Shimbun, October 10 (Japanese only)
- Courtesy visit to Mr. Ando
- Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun, October 31 (Japanese only)
- Yomiuri Shimbun, November 21 (Evening Issue, Japanese only)
＊Details about the 2020 Ando Program will be available after April, 2020 on this website.
Introduction of Past Trainees
Divya Manek (India, 2018 Trainee)
I had been searching for the answer to the question “What makes Japan, Japan?” before I landed in the country. Through the Ando Program, I gradually realized that the answer is hard work, respect and consideration for everything.
The Ando Program passed by very quickly, but was very fulfilling. New experiences and surprises accompanied me throughout the month-long journey. After experiencing architecture by Ando sensei, I was awestruck when I was finally able to meet the mastermind. In the brief meeting with Ando sensei, he reminded us that we would all die someday, and so we must do something worthwhile and contribute to our homeland by making it a better place to live in. This made me feel optimistic that I am on the path to make a positive contribution to my country as an architect.
Ando sensei, the God of light and spaces has developed a language of architecture which effortlessly introduces nature inherently into built spaces. I also have always been very intrigued at the power of the unbuilt environment to control human behavior and reshape society and have thus decided to pursue a Masters in Landscape Architecture. Luckily I was accepted by Pennsylvania State University in the US and will start in this coming fall. My exposure to Japanese architecture and landscape will surely be instrumental to my future studies.
Even though I no longer speak the few Japanese words that I had grown accustomed to listening and repeating in Japan, I could not help feeling proud and happy that Osaka won the bid for World Expo 2025, as if I was personally involved. Even though I am very far away, Osaka is still very close to my heart and will always be!
Ishika Alim (Bangladesh, 2016 Trainee)
After the Ando Program
The Ando Program in Japan is one of my greatest experiences in terms of professional and personal growth. And the greatest gift I received was the prestigious opportunity to meet Ando sensei himself who had an immerse impact in my design perception.
From my time with Osaka Prefecture Government staff, Gunter Nitschke and Ando sensei, I’ve learnt to be compassionate to people and nature. I also came to understand the importance of thinking and acting collectively over individualism.
Besides, the training at Obayashi Corporation surprised me by giving me an idea of how to handle the complex projects and their amazing precision level. I was also amazed by the Japanese work ethic and culture. This experience was so enriching that I went back to Japan the next year to participate in a workshop to absorb more of the amazing Japanese design philosophy.
After going back to my home country from Osaka, I participated in a community project for the street kids in Dhaka city using vernacular materials. Furthermore, as a freelancing architect, now I am more focused in designing positive impacts, like Ando sensei does with his projects, rather than just designing buildings.
Lastly, the one-month experience in Japan made me more cross culturally adaptive and helped me establish some real good bonds beyond the border which I will sustain forever. I hope the simple yet elegant Japanese design philosophy and the multi-cultural experience that I gained through Ando Program will prepare me well to start my masters course in Europe with enthusiasm and interest.
I would like to thank everyone, for treating us like your family. I will always keep coming back to this amazing land.