Jimenez Lai (Bureau Spectacular), view of Township of Domestic Parts: Taiwan Pavilion, 14th International Architecture Exhibition, 2014, Venice, Italy. Photo: Iwan Baan.
The 2014 Taiwan Pavilion investigates domesticity as a possible fundamental origin of architecture, while looking at the compartmentalization of the house as a modern event. This project outlines Taiwan as a cosmopolitan composite, with subtle layers of multiculturalism evident in the ideologies of its people. In the exhibition space, the physical pavilion deconstructs into nine single-program houses, allowing visitors to freely circulate inside, between and throughout the little interior urbanism inside of the Palazzo della Prigioni. Much like a set, these houses revisit the thought, "If you set the stage, players will play their parts." Furthermore, film is presented as an additional platform for the exhibition, which features various artists and architects who have contributed to the fluid motions of architectural and cultural imports and exports in Taiwan.
Jimenez Lai is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and leader of Bureau Spectacular. He received his MArch degree from University of Toronto. Previously, Lai lived and worked in a desert shelter at Taliesin and resided in a shipping container at Atelier Van Lieshout, on the piers of Rotterdam. Before founding Bureau Spectacular, Lai worked for various international offices, including OMA. In previous years, Lai has built numerous installations, while exhibiting and publishing around the world; his work White Elephant is held in the MoMA collection. His first manifesto Citizens of No Place was published by Princeton Architectural Press, with a grant from the Graham Foundation; Draft II of this book has been archived by the New Museum as a part of the show Younger Than Jesus. In 2012, Lai won the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects, and in 2013, the Debut Award at the Lisbon Triennale.