Shigeru Ban is one of the most celebrated architect in Japan. According to some sources, he is one of the strong contender for the 2010 Pritzker Prize, one of the Holy Grail in architecture, along with Steven Holl and Toyo Ito.
Shigeru Ban is known for his awesomely innovative work with paper. No, not as an architect who writes. But literally builds things from paper, as shown in this video below, where a bridge is constructed from paper :
Ban is most-famous now for his innovative work with paper and cardboard tubing as a material for building construction. He was the first architect in Japan to construct a building primarily out of paper, with his paper house and required special approval for his building to pass Japan’s building code. Ban is attracted to using paper because of its low-cost, its recyclable, low-tech and they’re replaceable. The last aspect of Ban’s influences is his humanitarianism and his attraction to ecological architecture. Ban's work with paper and other materials is heavily based on its sustainability and because it produces very little waste. As a result of this, Ban's Do-It-Yourself refugee shelters (used in Japan after the Kobe earthquake, in Turkey, Rwanda and around the world) are very popular and effective for low-cost disaster relief-housing.
Ban fits well into the category of “Ecological Architects” but he also can make solid claims for being modernist, a Japanese experimentalist as well as a rationalist. “I don't like waste” is an apt quote from Ban, summing up his philosophy, known as "Paper Architecture".