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Jimenez Lai: The Latest Architecture and News

The Second Studio Podcast: Interview with Jimenez Lai

The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by Architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions.

A variety of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or casual explorations of everyday life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

This week David and Marina are joined by Jimenez Lai, Founder of Bureau Spectacular to discuss civic and infrastructural spaces in cities; collage architecture; what makes a living room, a living room?; his current project, “Citizens With No Places”; his book “Citizen of No Place”; living and studying at Taliesin West; and suburban developments.

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The Best Architect-Designed Pieces from Design Miami/ Basel 2017

With Design Miami/ Basel 2017 well underway (from June 13-18), ArchDaily has compiled a list of the best architect-designed furniture pieces on display at the event. This year, notable items include works by MAD Architects, Christ & Gantenbien, Trix & Robert Haussman, John Lautner, Jonathen Muecke, Jean Prouvé and Sou Fujimoto.

50 Architects Tell Us What They Are Looking Forward to in 2016

As the first month of 2016 draws to a close, we decided to tap into our network and ask an esteemed group of architects, critics, theorists and educators to tell us what they are looking forward to this year in architecture. 

What are you looking forward to in architecture this year?

Treatise: Why Write Alone?

Drawing inspiration from Steven Holl and William Stout’s brainchild Pamphlet Architecture, a new collaborative project, Treatise: Why Write Alone?, unifies fourteen design firms to examine the architectural treatise as a method of exploring theoretical questions and sparking discussion. The project was developed by designer Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular in response to receiving a grant from the Graham Foundation. His unconventional ideas on the architectural process made him wonder, "Why write? And, why write alone?" The resultant collection of publications delves into these questions, both collectively and individually, with a collaborative piece as well as submissions from each firm.

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The "Urban Interior" of Jimenez Lai's Biennale Pavilion for Taiwan

UPDATE: We've added our interview with Jimenez Lai.

Jimenez Lai
, leader of Bureau Spectacular and curator of Taiwan's Pavilion for the 2014 Venice Biennale, claims that "domesticity is possibly one of the origins of architecture" and that "the standardization of the domestic program was...a very modern development." Thus, Lai built nine single-program houses within the Palazzo della Prigioni, each dedicated to one specific domestic act--such as sleeping, eating, etc. The result is a vibrant, colorful response to Rem Koolhaas' unifying theme: "Absorbing Modernity."

Township of Domestic Parts: Made in Taiwan, delves into the part-to-whole relationship and political implications of our domestic lives. But Lai also believes that, from this relationship, we can learn something about the way that cities function. See more images from the exhibition and read on for the curator's statement.

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Venice Biennale 2014: Jimenez Lai to Construct Taiwanese "Township of Domestic Parts"

Taiwan-born architect Jimenez Lai’s proposal Township of Domestic Parts: Made in Taiwan has been selected to represent Taiwan in the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. Scattered throughout the Palazzo delle Prigioni, the installation will be comprised of nine small house, each with a single program, that will make up an “interior township of misfit parts.”

Read on for the complete curatorial statement... 

Jimenez Lai Wins Inaugural Lisbon Triennale Millennium BCP Début Award

Jimenez Lai, founder of Chicago-based Bureau Spectacular has been selected as winner of the first Lisbon Triennale Millennium BCP Début Award. The award, presented by Millennium BCP president Fernando Nogueira, distinguishes a young architect or studio under 35 on outstanding work, development of original design thinking and the pursuit of critical ideas with a monetary prize of €5,000.

A Bureau Spectacular spectacular, one week from today!

Cartoonish Metropolis - Courtesy Jimenez Lai
Cartoonish Metropolis - Courtesy Jimenez Lai

One week from today, Chicago-based architecture practice Bureau Spectacular will transforms The Architecture Foundation’s Project Space into an inhabitable installation and a graphic sequence of imaginary worlds, through the studio’s trademark mixture of built structure and cartoon. Founded by emerging architect Jimenez Lai in 2008, Bureau Spectacular is a studio of architectural affairs, who describe their strategy as one of making “absurd stories about fake realities that invite enticing possibilities”. Fascinated by the interplay between storytelling and building, absurdity and speculation, Bureau Spectacular weave architectural design and theory into comic strips that pop from the page into the real world as installations and small buildings.

Jimenez Lai: “This installation – Three Little Worlds – is a cartoonish blow up of a fragment inside the Cartoonish Metropolis. It is a comic book someone can walk into, a window into another reality.”

Continue after the break to learn more.

Lecture: Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular

Known as an architect, artist and cartoonist, Jimenez Lai has lectured on and exhibited his work nationally and internationally. He is known for his imaginative cartoon narratives and architectural installations. He is the founder of Bureau Spectacular and currently an assistant professor at University of Illinois at Chicago. His graphic novel, Citizens of No Place, will be published by the Princeton Architectural Press with a grant from the Graham Foundation this year.

The Briefcase House / Jimenez Lai

 © Lai
© Lai

Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular shared his residential project for a warehouse loft. The 1400 sf space is conceived as a house within a house where all the material possessions are compacted into one oversized briefcase, which the subject sleeps inside. The project focuses on engaging two architectural issues: the inside/outside and S/XL.

More information, including Lai’s illustrated storyboards after the break.