Yutaka Sho
Associate Professor

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design; MArch, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Yutaka Sho’s research focuses on roles of architecture in the global development industry, pressured by both modernization and internal desires for economic, social and environmental sustainabilities especially in Rwanda. Sho also writes and teaches about the recovery efforts after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster. Sho has practiced, researched and taught in the US, Bangladesh, Japan, Lebanon, Rwanda and Turkey. 

Sho is a founder and a partner at GA Collaborative, a non-profit design firm comprised of architectural and landscape architectural designers that work with people whose access to thoughtfully designed space is limited. GAC opens design and building processes to local stakeholders, municipal and academic partners to gain sustained support. In Rwanda in 2019, GAC has completed Masoro Learning and Sports Center, a 2-hectare campus with 7 buildings and sports amenities including a library, classrooms, indoor exercise hall, basketball court and a soccer field. In 2018, GAC completed Masoro Health Center, comprised of 7 new buildings and 3 renovation projects. GAC also builds homes with low- and no-income rural Rwandans, and its first house received EDRA Great Places Award in 2014. In order to better understand the housing needs and aspirations of rural Rwandans, GAC is surveying 370 rural homes with a support from Kate Spade NY’s OnPurpose Foundation.

All GAC projects are offered free of charge to the community.

Sho received MArch from Harvard Graduate School of Design and Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design.

Buildings and Projects

  • Masoro Learning and Sports Center, Masoro, Rulindo, Rwanda. With GAC, 2019.
  • Masoro Health Center, Masoro, Rulindo, Rwanda. With GAC, 2018.
  • Jabana Preschool Playground, Jabana, Gasabo, Rwanda. With GAC, 2018.
  • That Day Now event series, Syracuse University and Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York. With Keiko Ogura and the Canary Project, 2017.
  • Jabana House, Jabana, Gasabo, Rwanda, 2015.
  • The Rwanda Conversations, Goethe Institut in Kigali and Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Science in Huye, Rwanda. With Tyler Survant and Dr. Kazuyuki Sasaki, 2015.
  • Masoro House, Masoro Rulindo, Rwanda, 2013.
  • Perpetual Peace Project, Conversation and exhibition on Kant’s secret paper, at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology Kigali, Rwanda. With Aaron Levy, the Slought Foundation, 2011.
  • Where I’m From, a film by Alex MacInnis, based on the Rwanda Picture Project
  • Art=Relief, Studio X, Columbia University, NY. With GAC, 2011.
  • Rural self-build home project in Rwanda, 2009-


  • Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Seoul, Korea. With GAC and Vittorio Lovato, 2019.
  • “The Business of Design,” Yale University School of Architecture. Curated by Vittorio Lovato. With GAC, 2019.
  • Chilean Architecture and Urbanism Biennial, Valparaíso, Chile. With Peter Lee, 2017.
  • Urban Rest Stop, organized by UPSTATE, Syracuse, NY. With Stephen Mahan, Mary Lynn Mahan and the seventh-grade students from Edward Smith Elementary School, 2014.
  • “Afritecture: Building Social Change,” Architekturmuseum der TUM, Munich, Germany. With GAC, 2013.
  • People Meet in Architecture: Biennale Architettura: La Biennale di Venezia. “Tirana Local: Albanian Cultural Delivery Service on Rails.” With GAC, 2010.

Grants and Awards

  • OnPurpose Pilot Project Fund from Kate Spade NY, 2019.
  • Great Places Award, The Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) for “Masoro Village Project,” 2014.
  • Arnold W. Brunner Grant, New York Center for Architecture: The American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation for “Sustainable Housing in Rwanda,” 2013.
  • ARES Sustainable Emergency Shelter Competition, Boston natural disaster preparedness manual: converting big-box parking lots in Boston to emergency community, 2007.
  • Deborah J. Norden Fund Architectural League of New York Travel Grant for research in Rwanda, 2007


  • “Design as Interface: Case of Rwandan Development Architecture” in All-Inclusive Engagement in Architecture ed. by Farhana Ferdous and Bryan Bell. Co-authored with James Setzler, forthcoming.
  •  “Rwandan Global Development Industry and Contemporary Commons” (ルワンダの国際開発業界と総有) 法政大学法学部総有研究会 (Hosei University Graduate School of Public Policy and Social Governance, Tokyo, Japan, 2019).
  •  “The Darker Side of Engagement” in The Routledge Handbook of Architecture and Social Engagement. ed. by Farhan Karim and Farhana Ferdous (Routledge, 2018).
  • “Thinking International Development Cooperation Projects Through Toilets” (トイレから考える国際開発協力), The Directions of Public Toilets, Lixil Business, April 25, 2018.
  • BERLOGOS “Women and communities integration in construction and architecture” On-line conversation among six globally practicing designers, Russia, 2017.
  • “Fukushima Dark Tourism” in Planning for Community-Based Disaster Resilience Worldwide: Learning from Case Studies in Six Continents, ed. by Adenrele Awotona (Routledge, 2016).
  • “The Masoro Village Project” in UN Habitat Accessibility of Housing: A Handbook of Inclusive Affordable Housing Solutions for Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons, Marja Edelman, principle author (UN Nairobi, 2015), with GAC.
  • ARCHIVE Global On-Line Journal “’Who, Then, Has Commissioned Us?’ – A Question for Designers in Development,” September 29, 2015.
  • “Architecture After Fukushima: Spaces of Bara Bara, Spaces of Reciprocity” in Monstrous Geographies: Places and Spaces of the Monstrous, ed. by Sarah Montin and Evelyn Tsitas. (Oxfordshire, UK: ID Press, 2014).
  • “Looking Like Developed: Aesthetics and Ethics in Rwandan Housing Projects” in Journal of Architectural Education “Building Modern Africa,” 68:2, 2014.
  • “Thick Food – Food Systems in Reconstruction: Beyond the Regional Planning that Created Fukushima” in Food Studies Journal (Common Ground Publishing, Champaign, 2014), 19-32.
  • “On Membership” in SLUM Lab, the Africa Issue, eds. Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner. Guest editors Alexis Kalagas and Scott Lloyd, ETH Zurich, 2014.
  • Spaces of Everyday Rwanda: The Rwanda Picture Project, edited by Yutaka Sho (NY: Standing Stone Books, 2013).