Architects and Building Engineers

Architects and Building Engineers in Japan

In Japan there are about 130 universities which offer curricula in architectural design and building engineering. The number of graduates from these universities is roughly 12,000 every year. Most graduates get jobs with architectural firms, building contractors, construction equipment firms, government, and universities. Architectural designers and construction supervisors must obtain licenses as first-class Kenchikushi(architects and building engineers), second-class Kenchikushior wooden building Kenchikushi. The total number of Kenchikushirecently exceeded 500,000. Some of them are members of AIJ.

Civil Engineering and AIJ

Under the Japanese educational system, both civil engineering and architecture department belong to the faculty of engineering of a typical university. Therefore, a student has to select either of the two departments when deciding on a future specialty. Architecture courses provide professional education both in design fields, such as architectural design, and in civil engineering fields, such as structural engineering. On the other hand, civil engineering courses teach engineering geared to transportation systems, bridge structures, dam construction and other public infrastructure projects. Most graduates from architecture departments work as either architects or building engineers, while those from civil engineering departments become civil engineers. Graduates from architecture departments may join the Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ), while those from civil engineering departments may join the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE). Japan is located in the most seismically active zone in the world. Consequently, many researchers and engineers in the structural and material engineering fields have been engaged in research on earthquake engineering and fire safety engineering within AIJ. Until the late 1960s, the height of buildings was restricted to 31m, to reduce damage from strong earthquakes. The late Dr. Kiyoshi Muto, a former AIJ President, developed an earthquake-resistant building design method which simulates dynamic response on computers. Using his structural design method, the first high-rise building (Kasumigaseki Building) reaching 156m in height was successfully constructed in 1968. Since then, more than 100 buildings exceeding 100m in height have been constructed in this seismically active country. There has been a significant development in earthquake-resistant construction methods, and Japan leads the world in the field of earthquake engineering. At the same time, significant developments have also taken place in the fields of material and construction engineering, which contribute to an improvement in the overall quality of buildings. As this shows, many researchers and engineers who might be classified in a civil engineering field in Western countries are active in the Institute in the areas of building structural engineering, building material engineering and building environmental engineering.

Architects and AIJ

Some 20 percent of AIJ members are architects who are employed as building designers. Most of these architects are employed in architectural design firms, but some work at design departments of construction companies or government and public offices. Many architects, such as Messrs. Arata Isozaki, Fumihiko Maki and Tadao Ando are members of AIJ.

Academic Society Fields of Research
AIJ (Architects and Building Engineers) History of Architecture
Architectural Design
Urban and Rural Planning
Building Environmental Engineering
Building Materials and Construction
Building Structures
Building Fire Safety
JSCE (Civil Engineers) Road Engineering
Urban and Rural Planning
Bridge Engineering
Structural Engineering
Coastal Engineering
Sanitary Engineering