ISSHO’s directors, Venezuela-born Juan Vera (1976) and Tokyo-born Tomohisa Miyauchi (1976), founded their joint practice in 2002. Vera and Miyauchi, who between them studied at Kanagawa Universitym, California's SCI-Arc and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, express an interest in culture, traditions and the customs of each country, with a particular focus on film and especially the director Wim Wenders. ‘Films deal with the everyday life and scenes of people's lives — and that is something we, as architects, need to know about and really pay attention to. When we design, we tend to think of space as the stage for scenes,’ they explain.
In its designs, ISSHO prefers to draw on each project’s local traditions, rather than blindly follow new technologies and trends – using, for example, the Kayabuki (thatched glass) technique, one of Japan’s longest surviving local crafts. The practice works hard to design around each client’s needs and lifestyle, always trying to be as creative as possible, turning each commission’s disadvantages into its main advantages. Its portfolio features from small apartment buildings, to office interiors and exhibition design, including the completed Fudomae apartments and work-in-progress Mituzawa house. The practice aims for the near future to do some work overseas, and to keep communication with the world of architecture and popular culture as one of their top priorities.