Born in Tokyo in 1957, Shigeru Ban graduated from Cooper Union School of Architecture. In 1985, he established Shigeru Ban Architects, a private practice in his native Tokyo. Through his firm, he created revolutionary architectural designs such as Curtain Wall House, Japan Pavilion Hannover EXPO 2000 and the Nicolas G. Hayek Center.
In 1995, Shigeru Ban began working as a consultant of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and during that same time founded the NGO, Voluntary Architects Network (VAN). He worked as a professor at Keio University, Japan from 2001 to 2008, then became a visiting professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2010 as well as visiting professor at Cornell University.