At the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, Rem Koolhaas set the theme "Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014" for the national pavilions, and many countries took it up through the lens of domesticity. The Taiwanese American designer Jimenez Lai examined the spaces and rituals of Taiwanese life with his exhibition Township of Domestic Parts. Lai created "superfurniture," overscaled, Memphis-inflected installations that interpreted ideas such as museum-like living rooms—part shrine, part show place, reserved only for guests. The result is a fantasy hangout space, which conjures up memories of childhood. Inside the neoclassical German Pavilion, the organizers built a modern house. The two structures intersect and "absorb" one another—a sofa is split by a wall, an outdoor fireplace undercuts the monumentality of the pavilion's central atrium. The pavilion turns amusing and strange—the kitchen is entirely formed by a glass wall and resembles a scientific lab—the installation is one of the best-crafted of the Biennale, though its meaning is largely opaque. The French Pavilion skewered Modernism as it met the realities of modernity. The central portion included a model of the house at the center of Jacques Tati's film Mon Oncle. The gallery behind includes a beautiful collection of prefabricated panels designed by Jean Prové, but also includes videos that detail the failure commercial failure of prefabricated architecture. The exhibition takes a decidedly sinister tone in the side gallery, which looks at an unsuccessful modernist housing development outside Paris, which was later used as an internment camp for French jews during the Holocaust. By asking the national participants to consider "Modernity" as a condition rather than "Modernism" as a style, Koolhaas has provided a useful framework for examining 20th century architecture in the culture of the 20th century. But few seemed prepared to engage with the state of architecture and culture today.
Posts tagged with "Jimenez Lai":
Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) has announced seven finalists for the $100,000 Wheelwright Grant which is awarded annually for travel-based architectural research. This prize was first given in 1935 to purely GSD grads until it was revamped in 2013 to be an open competition. The 2014 competition received nearly 200 submissions from 46 countries. The jury awarded special commendation to seven individuals for their exceptional design talent and imaginative research proposals. The winner will be announced on April 30th. Jose Ahedo Studio Ahedo Barcelona Wheelwright proposal: Domesticated Grounds: Design and Domesticity Within Animal Farming Systems. Jose Ahedo established his own firm, Studio Ahedo, in 2010. His first completed project is Blanca, a dairy complex in the Pyrenees, which includes 13 buildings comprising animal facilities, research labs, and an education center. Ana Dana Beros Think Space Zagreb, Croatia Wheelwright proposal: INTERMUNDIA: Re-Imagining Border-Scape in Mediterranean Countries. Ana Dana Beros is an independent architect, curator, editor, educator, and exhibition designer. Alison Crawshaw Alison Crawshaw Architecture London Wheelwright proposal: The Poison and the Cure: Rubbish in the Information Age. Alison wrote a thesis on illegal building practices in Rome during her time as a Rome Scholar. Masaaki Iwamoto Vo Trong Nghia Architects Ho Chi Minh City Wheelwright proposal: Tropical Skin: Study on New Building Envelope for Tropical Megacities. His work includes low-cost housing, a kindergarten, and workplaces, has been widely published. Jimenez Lai Bureau Spectacular Chicago Wheelwright proposal: Caricatures, Fictions and Hyperboles: A Revisit of the World of Wonders. Jimenez Lai is the principal of Bureau Spectacular and an assistant architecture professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sean Lally Weathers Chicago Wheelwright proposal: Climate Design: The Architecture of Energies. Sean Lally is the founder of the firm Weathers and assistant architecture professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Kaz Yoneda Takram Design Engineering Tokyo Wheelwright proposal: Utopics of Cities: Amorphous Contemporaneity of Ideal. Kaz Yoneda is the founder of the Architecture and Space Design Unit at Takram Design Engineering
Chicago-based architect Jimenez Lai, principal of Bureau Spectacular, has been awarded the first BPC Debut Award for architects under 35. Lai is known for his bold, formally-inventive work, which he describes as "cartoon narratives" that "swerve into the physical world through architectural installations models, and small buildings." He is the author of Citizen of No Place and an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Selected from a pool of more than 180 entrants, Lai's work was recognized for its "original design thinking and pursuit of critical ideas." The prize comes with a modest monetary award of 5,000 euros.
The results are in and the winners of the 31st annual Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers were announced on Friday. The recipients of the 2012 awards are: Jorge Arvizu, Ignacio del Rio, Emmanuel Ramirez, and Diego Ricalde, MMX Studio, Mexico City; Jimenez Lai, Bureau Spectacular, Chicago; Sean Lally, WEATHERS / Sean Lally, Chicago; Seung Teak Lee and Mi Jung Lim, STPMJ, Brooklyn; Michael Szivos, SOFTlab, New York; and Koji Tsutsui, Koji Tsutsui & Associates, San Francisco and Tokyo. Formerly the Young Architects Forum, the League Prize is considered one of North America's most prestigious awards for young architects. The renderings and images reflect the theme of this year's prize, No Precedent. League committee members and competition jurors valued the competition entries based on a perception of the career of a young architect. According to the League's announcement, jurors sought "ideas, works, and methodologies that are unfounded, ungrounded, and suspect…the things no one has done before, and that one has little experience with.” The winners reflected the notion of their burgeoning careers by displaying work that is, “suggestive, speculative, and on the brink." Beginning June 21st, the winners will display their work at Parsons The New School for Design. Their work will also be featured in a new volume of the Young Architects series jointly published by Princeton Architectural Press and the League.