Spaces for Peace: Nagaoka/Honolulu


Sister cities since 2012, Nagaoka, Japan and Honolulu, Hawai‘i share the bond of war experience. During world war II, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, a Nagaoka native, planned the attack on Pearl Harbor. His hometown was later destroyed by American B-29 bombers, as were many other sites in Japan. Like many other locations in the world that have experienced conflict, these places have had long journeys of healing, recovery, and reconstruction.

In August 2015, commemorating the 70th anniversary of peace between the nations of Japan and the United States, the City of Nagaoka presented the City of Honolulu with a special firework display over Pearl Harbor, honoring the memory of the war’s victims and our nations’ renewed commitment to future generations. On this same occasion, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Architecture and the Nagaoka Institute of Design (NID) signed a Memorandum of Agreement establishing a new program of cultural and academic exchange.

Since 2017, this academic and cultural exchange has been conducted as part of an Undergraduate Elective taught in the Bachelor of Environmental Design program at the School of Architecture. As part of this elective, UH students have participated in a one-week Short Term Study Tour to Japan.

During the field trip to the Nagaoka Institute of Design, UH students collaborate with NID students on a short design project, hosted by NID. A similar program is held in reciprocity in Honolulu, when students from NID visit our campus and we host a one-week design project.

Over 60 students, 9 faculty, guest critics and supporting staff have participated in this program.

This course has been taught in the following iterations:

Spring 2017 / Arch 490 Peace Memorial. UHM Instructor Karla SIerralta. Students: Malu, Jason, Khan, Valerie, Calvin, Morgan / NID Instructors: Yoko Shiratori, Yuji Ueno, Seisuke Watanabe. Students: Nozomi, Ayami, Misuzu, Hatsune, Akari, Ryuki, Sarina, Nanako.

Spring 2018 / Arch 436 Design Exchange: Spaces for Peace. UHM Instructor Karla SIerralta. Students: My, Sherry, Krystin, Charissa, Gladys, Bryson / NID Instructors: Tetsuo Goto, Nozomu Mori, Seisuke Watanabe. Students: Anna, Yuzuki, Hiroyuki, Takuya, Yudai, Jun, Akito, Atsuchi

Spring 2019 / Arch 436 Design Exchange: Spaces for Peace. UHM Instructor Karla SIerralta. Students: Creesha, Carl, Rand, Micah, Marc, Dong, Renz, Solymar, Brandt, Reid. NID Instructors: Soichiro Ogawa, Nozomu Mori, Seisuke Watanabe. Students: Aoi, Shiho, Mizuki, Akane, Kanna

Spring 2023 / Arch 436 Design Exchange: Spaces for Peace. UHM Instructor Karla SIerralta. Students: Mike, Sophia, Cailyn, Caitlin, Eli, Zeke, Mia, Nevaeh, Camilo, Walker, Byrne, DElle. NID Instructors: Junya Sato, Yusuke Kita. Students: Moe, Rina, Shiho, Arisa, Mamana 


Architecture exchange shares culture, design with students from Japan,  Featured in UH News, March 29, 2023
Student Travel to Japan Enriches Exchange, Featured in UH News, March 7, 2023

Supported by:

The Design Exchange Program is supported in part by the Hawaiʻi Architectural Foundation