Toyo Ito seeks to simultaneously express the physical and virtual worlds. He is a leading exponent of architecture that addresses the contemporary notion of a "simulated" city, and has been called one of the world's most innovative and influential architects.
Ito was born in Korea to Japanese parents in 1941 when Korea was part of Japan. In 1943, he moved to Japan and graduated from the University of Tokyo's department of architecture in 1965.Ito's work is often said to have affinities with the ideas of philosophers such as Munesuke Mita and Gilles Deleuze. Ito has defined architecture as "clothing" for urban dwellers, particularly in the contemporary Japanese metropolis. This theme revolves around the equilibrium between the private life and the metropolitan, "public" life of an individual.
The current architecture of Toyo Ito expands on his work produced during the postmodern period, aggressively exploring the potentials of new forms. In doing so, he seeks to find new spatial conditions that manifest the philosophy of borderless beings.
In 2013, Ito was awarded the Pritzker Prize.