Jimenez Lai

Robert Gwathmey Chair

Jimenez Lai was born in Taiwan, grew up in Canada, and lives in Los Angeles. Before establishing Bureau Spectacular, Lai lived in a desert shelter at Taliesin and resided in a shipping container at Atelier Van Lieshout on the piers of Rotterdam. Lai's first book, Citizens of No Place: An Architectural Graphic Novel, was published by Princeton Architectural Press with a grant from the Graham Foundation. Lai has won various awards, including the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects, the Debut Award at the Lisbon Triennale, and the Designer of the Future at Art Basel. Lai represented Taiwan at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. Lai's work is in the permanent collection of MoMA, SFMOMA, Art Institute of Chicago, and LACMA.

Lai's CV is available here

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.