Charles Kaneshiro

Sarah Pacheco
Wednesday - April 08, 2009
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Charles Kaneshiro wants to redesign the definition of the word “architect,” starting from the ground up.

“There is a perception that architects only design brick-and-mortar buildings. On the contrary, we believe in building communities through thoughtful design,” says the chair of this year’s Architect Month. Kaneshiro and his planning committee, which includes volunteers Joy Davidson, Louis Fung, Mark Little, David Kaahaaina and Janice Li, have planned out a month full of free events open to the public. It kicks off this Sunday at the Academy of Arts. Members from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) will be at the academy and Bank of Hawaii’s regular Family Day helping keiki get hands on and layout a Washington D.C. cityscape in honor of Hawaii-born President Barack Obama. Themed “Unity,” this event will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will also showcase the documentary The White House: Inside America’s Most Famous Home.


Other events scheduled include an informational presentation and panel discussion with Howard Dicus of the video Transit is Coming: The Impact on Honolulu at the Honolulu Design Center at 6 to 8 p.m. April 21; a Design Studio Open House from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 24 featuring a wide array of firms such as Allana Buick Bers, Eight Inc., Group 70 International and RIM Architects; and back by popular demand, the third annual Downtown Walking Tour around significant and historic buildings led by AIA architects. Tours begin at 9 a.m. from the Stangenwald Building at 119 Merchant Street by advanced reservations only.

For reservations or more information about any of the free events, call 545-4242 or visit

“Buildings impact our health, safety and welfare,” says Kaneshiro. “Equally important, they also impact the way we as people relate to one another and to our environment.”

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