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MIT cancels Junya Ishigami's lecture following revelations of unpaid internships at his office

Japan Architecture News - Apr 25, 2019 - 01:47   5443 views

MIT cancels Junya Ishigami's lecture following revelations of unpaid internships at his office

MIT has cancelled Junya Ishigami's planned lecture following the revelations of "unpaid internships" at his office. Ishigami was going to give a lecture at MIT on April 18, 2019 but the decision immediately came after the architect was under fire due to "unpaid internship" controversy. 

Junya Ishigami is the designer of this year's Serpentine Pavilion but soon after Junya Ishigami and the Serpentine Pavilion faced with strong criticism after Junya Ishigami + Associates announced "unpaid internship" positions at its office. Following these controversies, the Serpentine Gallery ordered the firm to pay anyone working directly on his Serpentine project at his office. 

It seems that Japanese architect is still under fire as his attitude as an architect causes to "exploitation of labor." While the discussion has been continuing in a global scale, another reaction came from MIT and the university has cancelled Ishigami's recent lecture.

MIT cancels Junya Ishigami's lecture following revelations of unpaid internships at his office


 Ishigami's proposal for Serpentine Pavilion 2019, Design Render. Exterior View. Image © Junya Ishigami + Associates

MIT announced the cancellation of the lecture on its website and The Architecture Lobby made announcement on its Twitter account and said: "People in positions to immediately affect architectural discourse are reconsidering their positions on exploitative labor practices. We hope this is long-awaited effort continues, not just in the form of CANCELLING, but also in the form of frank & honest discussions."

"Because exploitative labor practices in architecture aren't just bad business - they keep working class and marginalized people out of the profession. They culturally legitimize systems of privilege within schools and firms," stated in a tweet.

"We hope other schools of architecture follow suit. We invite you to tag your school in your reply!."

MIT cancels Junya Ishigami's lecture following revelations of unpaid internships at his office

Image © Junya Ishigami + Associates

Junya Ishigami declined Q&A session on labor practices at MIT

According to The Architecture Lobby, Junya Ishigami declined the Q&A session on labor practices at his MIT lecture. In a tweet, "following recent news of labor practices associated with the Serpentine Gallery project by Ishigami, as well as discussions with students & faculty, the firm declined Q&A on labor practices," stated The Architecture Lobby. 

The news emerged after designer Adam Nathaniel Furman first applied to Junya Ishigami + Associates as an intern position and received a response that shows Junya Ishigami's offers an "unpaid internship" sent via an email to Furman.  

The office's behavior has highly been criticised by the media and architects to show as this situation is still common in Japan and still causes the "exploitation of students" over free labour. 

Junya Ishigami, 44, was selected to design the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion, which will be installed in Kensington Gardens, London between 20 June and 6 October 2019.

Top image © Junya Ishigami + Associates

> via MIT Events Calendar