I first met Japanese architect and Price's last collaborator - Keiichi Saiki - in London, years ago. In mid-June 2005, I had a launch with Shubert at the Frazers’ house, and I had to meet Juan at the opening of Cedric Price's retrospective exhibition at the Design Museum. John couldn’t attend, and Julia kindly took me in. Keiichi introduced me at the time to Mrs Eleanor Bron. I had researched hard on Price work for several years and I had a profound admiration through him. It was an extremely important moment for me. The following excerpt is a text that Keiichi attached to a letter to me during that year.
In Saiki’s own words: "…I decided to apply to join his ‘task force’ unit [at the AA]…. It taught the students to be independently minded as well as self critical and it continues to be the basis of how one operates to this day. After I graduated, I was offered a position in Cedric’s practice as his assistant. On my first day at work in the famous ‘white room’, Cedric showed me the early sketches of the Magnet…. The white room which was devoid of any electrical gadgets, including the phone, was the space of many open discussions, a forum for bouncing ideas off each other, to use Paul Finch’s words ‘a mental gymnasium’. Cedric’s favourite notions such as doubt, delight, choice, time, speed, interval, uncertainty, change, social benefit, technology etc were always used as a measure to test any new ideas. This proved to be the most stimulating, liberating and delightful two years of my architectural career.”
Keiichi Saiki, “Pigs did Fly” [Text attach to a lretter to the Gonçalo Furtado in 30-8-2005], 2005.