will galloway

will galloway

Tokyo, JP



I split my days between teaching at Toronto Metropolitan University and running my office frontoffice tokyo

frontoffice is a planning and architecture firm located in the heart of what is (for now) still the largest mega-city in the world, Tokyo.  Taking advantage of our location we are interested in how we can build better places to live and play if we treat the city like a landscape.

Ostensibly my specialty in academia is the compact city and suburbia, but my interests changed in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that hit japan in March 2011.  In the intervening years we have been looking at how to rebuild with community at the center of architectural practice. Our approach has two parts - the soft power of resilience, and the hard reality of developing new construction methods.

Recently I am focused on digital fabrication, emerging forms of practice and working out ways to scale sustainable design with urban planning. It feels like we are at the cusp of a new kind of architecture practice and I am interested in documenting the process, (and being part of it) as it unfolds.


will's School Blog on Archinect:

KEIO UNIVERSITY : Learning by doing in Japan

keio university's architecture program is probably the best kept secret in the country. Hidden away on a campus an hour from tokyo the curriculum is wide open and connected to a campus-wide project aimed at community-driven innovation. students of economics can take courses in architecture and vice versa but we all are expected to take part in real projects somewhere in the world. there are a few starchitects on the faculty but mostly we are hoping to make a difference.

Category Title

will's Featured Articles on Archinect

Talking with Assemble – before they won the Turner, Tue, Feb 9 '16

My first meeting with Assemble was at their studio in London, in a search to find and speak with interesting people who think that building stuff at 1:1 scale sounds pretty normal. I wanted to convince them to host a workshop at Keio University, where I teach, and I succeeded: our run in with ...

Talking with Assemble – before they won the Turner

Making space (and a business), one thread at a time, Tue, Jan 12 '16

I met with Samira Boon earlier this year at her studio in Amsterdam, while on a trip around Europe and Asia to talk with people who are carrying the profession of architecture in new directions. I admit this is a bit of a red herring, because practice is always changing, but we are now witnessing ...

Making space (and a business), one thread at a time

UpStarts: 5468796 Architecture, Tue, Oct 26 '10

by William Galloway Sometimes it is possible to catch a group of people who are literally taking their first steps towards something interesting. If luck is on your side you can find out what they are thinking about - before hindsight settles in and the interesting things have become normal, and ...

UpStarts: 5468796 Architecture

Archinect Op-Ed: Big Bangs, Slums, and Suburbia, Sun, Mar 29 '09

This is not a scientific statement by any means, but I think it’s reasonable to assume that every universe pretty much gets just one big bang. However, architecture and planning (both professions in which I have some experience) generally are practiced as if the opposite was the case. Not in a ...

Archinect Op-Ed: Big Bangs, Slums, and Suburbia


Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, ON, CA, Assistant Professor

Teaching architecture and researching ways to scale sustainable design as fast as possible. Government is too slow (but a necessary part of the process!), meaning we have to learn to hack cities, buildings, and culture to move things faster. I have some ideas about what that is going to mean for architecture, and will be spending some time trying to work that out.

Jan 2020 - current

frontoffice tokyo, Tokyo, JP, founder and director, head of design

Sep 2008 - current

KEIO UNIVERSITY, Tokyo, JP, project associate professor

+ teach design studio and sustainable design
+ design lead on an international research project aimed at normalizing the combination of food energy and water in architecture and urban planning.
+ design lead on research project in Oimachi, Shinagawa designed to rethink the future of Tokyo as the mega-city changes its character in the next decades of predicted social and physical change.

Mar 2017 - Sep 2020

Waseda University, toyko, studio crit

Jun 2019 - Mar 2020

Open Architecture Collaborative, tokyo, co-director

Jan 2016 - Mar 2018

KEIO UNIVERSITY, Project Assistant Professor

+ researching and teaching sustainability in architecture and urban planning
+ teach studio course in architecture to graduate students
+ teach design thinking to multi-disciplinary groups (architects and scientists)
+ co-administrator, Environmental Innovators program (2011-2015)
+ co-leader and co-administrator, EDGE program (2015-2017)

Nov 2010 - Mar 2017

Architecture For Humanity Tokyo, Tokyo, JP, co-director

Nov 2011 - Dec 2015

Waseda University, lecturer

+ history of modern architecture
+ Tokyo - planning and architecture from Edo to the present
+ sustainable architecture and urban planning

Sep 2009 - Apr 2011

JUMP studios, project architect

Jan 2003 - Jan 2004

Matthew Priestman Architects, project architect

Sep 2002 - Mar 2003

fukumi architects and associates, senior design architect

Sep 1996 - Sep 2002


University of Tokyo, Tokyo, JP, PhD, Socio-Cultural Environmental Studies

Studied the theory and practice of the Compact City in Japan and how well it matched actual processes of change and development.

Sep 2004 - Oct 2008

University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, CA, MArch, architecture

Thesis Project - Sougawa Elementary School

Sep 1999 - Sep 2001

University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, CA, Bachelors, architecture

Sep 1991 - May 1996


World Architecture Award, 1st Place

The World’s Foremost International Distinguished Building, Landscape Architecture, and Urbanism Awards Program

Since 2004, The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and Metropolitan Arts Press, Ltd. have organized The International Architecture Awards as a way in which to honor the best, significant new buildings, landscape architecture, and planning projects designed and/or built around the world’s leading architects, landscape architects, and urban planners practicing nationally and internationally.
The International Architecture Awards give an important global overview of the current aesthetic direction of today’s commercial, corporate, institutional, and residential work to the real estate, banking, business, and corporate community, as well as to the press and general public worldwide.

The program is one of the Museum’s most important public education outreach initiatives produced throughout the year-to the Museum’s international audience.


Monbukagakusho Research Scholarship, Scholarship


Archiprix International, Honorable Mention


Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Honor Roll, Award


American Institute of Architects Student Medal, Award


Areas of Specialization