Internship: Shigeru Ban Architects, Tokyo
When I had just started highschool elective subjects weren’t really an option, so I reluctantly ‘agreed’ to take a class in Japanese language and culture. Although initially hesitant I had heard from a friend that if the class were to behave our reward would involved some sort of screening of a Miyazaki film.
Say no more, I was in.
Howl’s Moving Castle was an unsettling classic and fortunately/unfortunately we had the English dubbed version on deck, which in retrospect is quiet sacrilegious really. Fast forward a few weeks and I was (surprisingly) holding down a solid few phrases, “Konichiwa”, “Sayonara”, “Ringo” (that’s Apple in Japanese, in case you didn’t know) “Robott-o”, pretty self explanatory and well the rest, who knows. Little did I know years later my inattention would come back to haunt me, specifically the morning I stepped into the office reception of Shigeru Ban Architects Tokyo to commence day one of interning.
Like any good architecture student-cum-saleswoman, as my cover letter indicated I could of course speak Japanese at a confident level, enough to say, work in a Japanese architecture office in the middle of Tokyo for a few months.