About the Exhibition
TOTO GALLERY·MA is pleased to present the solo exhibition Is It Truly Necessary? by Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo, a young architect duo who are creating highly unique work in Japan.

After making a start to their career by designing a solitary fence for a house, the two captured the attention of the architecture community with their highly praised Boundary Window, which is one of their most well-known early projects, and Living Pool, which won them the 32nd Yoshioka Prize. Through their work, they have demonstrated an ability to present bold solutions by focusing on specific parts of a site that can make the greatest impact on a place, such as the boundaries, windows, structure, and foundations. Their approach entails making careful observations and a thorough diagnosis of the daily activities planned for a site and the existing context, pinpointing the elements that can contribute most to shaping a place, and formulating a plan for what needs to be designed. This methodology reflects their pure attitude towards design, which drives them to purge their work of arbitrariness and approach things objectively. By being developed through this process, their architectural works that establish a bold presence even while melding into their surroundings are able to challenge our preconceptions and bring fresh wonder to familiar everyday landscapes.

In this exhibition, Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo will present models and sketches to illustrate the design process behind their early and recent work, including Initiative Roof, Bind Barn, Garden Landmark and goodoffice Shinagawa. A field like gallery space where the seven models are interspersed will give visitors a peaceful moment as if they were walking around in a sculpture garden, and then, they can imagine how the architects read the context of the site and what they made.

Images from the Exhibition
Images for Media Use
Boundary Window(Chiba, 2014)
© Kazuhiro Ishiyama
Living Pool(Yamagata, 2014)
© Anna Nagai
Initiative Roof(Tokyo, 2016)
© Anna Nagai
Bind Barn(Kanagawa, 2018)
© Anna Nagai
goodoffice Shinagawa(Tokyo, 2021)
© Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo
Threshold of “house", “street", “garden”, & “neighbor"(Tokyo, 2009)
© Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo
Exhibition Information
TOTO GALLERY・MA Traveling Exhibition in Kitakyushu
Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo: Is It Truly Necessary?
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 – Sunday, March 6, 2022
Mondays, Year-end and New Year holidays [December 27, 2021 –January 4, 2022]
2-1-1 Nakashima, Kokurakita, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan 802-8601
TEL=+81-(0)93-951-2534 URL=
* Please follow the regulation of TOTO Museum for COVID-19.
[Bus] Take bus at the Kokura Station Bus Center to the Kibunecho Bus Stop (approx. 15 min.).
[Kitakyushu Monorail] Exit from the south side of Kawaraguchi Mihagino Station and walk towards Yahata along National Route 3 (approx. 10 min.).
TOTO GALLERY·MA Planning and Management Committee
Special Advisor: Tadao Ando
Members: Manabu Chiba, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Seng Kuan, Tsuyoshi Tane
Architectural Institute of Japan Kyushu Branch; Japan Institute of Architects Kyushu Branch; Fukuoka Association of Architects & Building Engineers; Fukuoka Architect Office Association
thorns D&C, Yusuke Iguchi, Studio Onder de Linde, Anna Nagai
Related Books
Author: Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo
Photographer: Anna Nagai