The Life and Career of Kaneji Domoto

Kaneji (Kan) Domoto was a landscape architect and architect born in Oakland in 1912, attended UC Berkeley for landscape architecture, and studied with Frank Lloyd Wright. Disrupting his Taliesin education, Domoto was incarcerated with his wife Sally Fujii at Amache, Colorado during World War II. After the war, Kan and Sally moved to New York and raised four children. Kan's career in architecture and landscape design spanned over 50 years and included both residential, commercial, recreational, and educational projects in the Bay Area and East Coast—including several homes at Frank Lloyd Wright's planned community, Usonia. He received many awards for his gardens including the Frederick Law Olmsted Award for his Jackson Park design in Chicago.

This exhibition, a retrospective on Domoto's life and career, explores the complex story behind the only American Japanese architect and landscape architect who designed for Frank Lloyd Wright's 1944 Usonia community in Westchester County, New York. Original correspondence, photographs, and drawings from the Domoto Collection held by the Environmental Design Archives will explore what it meant to be a midcentury American Japanese architect, and how Domoto's life experience and Japanese heritage influenced his work—illuminating the intersections between race, the designed environment, power, inequality, access, and ability.

The Life and Career of Kaneji Domoto begins with Domoto's roots, including his early professional work and education. It addresses his incarceration during WWII, and his post-war career. This exhibit features his role and designs in Frank Lloyd Wright's only fully realized Usonian community, as well as the work he accomplished after his involvement with Wright from the 1960s through the 1990s.

This exhibition is funded by the Arcus Endowment through the Diversity Platforms Committee of the College of Environmental Design.



Curator: Chris Marino; Exhibition Team: Katie Riddle, Emily Vigor, and Jason Miller