Projection & Reception

Jesse Reiser

At best, technology can deliver conclusive solutions to trivial problems of culture, while culture in its most robust forms resists final capture by technology. Technique is thus a way of combating technological inertia: it forms the essence of style. The mark of a mature project in architecture is characterized by the systematic flouting of its founding principles. Youthful reliance on the rigor of the exact disciplines (i.e. mathematics, engineering, computation) matures into the ability to craft precise forms of fiction; it is what separates an architect’s use of geometry from that of a mathematician, or the architect’s use of forces from that of the engineer. Maturity thus is a process of becoming undisciplined.

Reiser’s Sliver lecture explores the groundbreaking exo-skeleton O‑14 tower in Dubai by New York-based practice, Reiser + Umemoto. Jesse Reiser will give an account of the design’s realization and present a manifesto of sorts, as he delves into the complex interrelationships this architectural model weaves between technology, expression and politics in the context of the nowhere place’ of the global city.

Jesse Reiser received his Masters of Architecture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He was a fellow of the American Academy in Rome in 1985 and he worked for the offices of John Hejduk and Aldo Rossi prior to forming Reiser + Umemoto with partner, Nanako Umemoto. Jesse is a Professor of Architecture at Princeton University and has previously taught at various schools in the US and Asia, including Columbia University, Yale University, Ohio State University, Hong Kong University, and the Cooper Union.

Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture, PC, is an internationally recognized multidisciplinary design firm, which has built projects at a wide range of scales. Recently, both the Taipei Pop Music Center and the Kaohsiung Port Terminal began construction in Taiwan in 2013, and O‑14, a 22-story exoskeletal office tower in Dubai was completed in 2012.