Graduate Architecture

Nanako Umemoto & Jesse Reiser: Just Architecture

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 6:30pm
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Plaza Gallery, Meyerson Hall

210 South 34 Street, Philadelphia


To ensure the health and safety of everyone at Weitzman events, visitors to Penn’s campus are required to register in advance and complete PennOpen Campus on the day of the event. Members of the Penn community do not need to register in advance, but will be required to present a valid PennCard as well as PennOpen Pass for entry to in-person events. Please plan to arrive early. Double masking, or use of a KN95 or N95 mask, is required in Penn buildings.

The Department of Architecture welcomes Nanako Umemoto and Jesse Reiser, principals of the RUR Architecture DPC.

Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture DPC, is an internationally recognized multidisciplinary design firm, which has built projects at a wide range of scales: from furniture design, to residential and commercial structures, up to the scale of landscape, urban design, and infrastructure. In 2010s, the firm was awarded first prize for the Taipei Music Center and the Kaohsiung Port Terminal in Taiwan, both of which began construction in 2013. The Kaohsiung Port Terminal received the 2014 Progressive Architecture Award.  The firm celebrated the grand opening of Taipei Music Center in Taiwan in 2020. Their O-14 tower, a 22-story exoskeletal office building in Dubai completed in 2012, has received numerous international honors, including an AIA Design Award, the Concrete Industry Board’s 2009 Award of Merit and the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 2009 Diamond Award. Recently, it is awarded 10 Year Award of Excellence by Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. A comprehensive monograph of the building, entitled O-14: Projection and Reception, was released in 2013 in collaboration with AA Publications.

Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto have received numerous awards for their speculative work and built projects, including the Chrysler Award for Excellence in Design, the Academy Award in Architecture by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Presidential Citation and John Hejduk Award from the Cooper Union, and the USA Booth Fellowship from United States Artists for Architecture & Design. They published the Atlas of Novel Tectonics in 2006, and released the Japanese version in 2008.  The firm’s first comprehensive monograph, Projects and Their Consequences, was published in 2019 and traces thirty years of innovative, multidisciplinary investigations of form, structure, technique, and planning.

Jesse Reiser is a registered architect in New York and a principal of RUR Architecture DPC. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Cooper Union in New York, and completed 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 has lectured widely at various educational and cultural institutions throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Recently, he also received an honorary fellow from University of Tokyo, School of Engineering.

Nanako Umemoto is a principal of RUR Architecture DPC. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from Cooper Union in New York in 1983, following studies at the School of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at the Osaka University of Art, and formed Reiser + Umemoto with partner, Jesse Reiser in 1986.  Nanako has taught at various schools in the US, Europe and Asia, including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, EPFL in Lausanne Switzerland, Hong Kong University, Kyoto University, and the Cooper Union, and she has lectured widely at various educational and cultural institutions throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. She is a Professor of Practice at Washington University in St. Louis.

Advance registration is required for visitors, who must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.​ In addition, visitors are required to complete PennOpen Campus screening on the day of the event, before arriving on campus.

If you are a Penn student, faculty member, or staff member, you do not need to register in advance. You will be admitted using your PennCard.

Based on the latest CDC guidance, face coverings are required indoors in public and shared spaces on the Penn campus.

If you require any accessibility accommodation, such as live captioning, audio description, or a sign language interpreter, please email news@design.upenn.edu to let us know what you need. Please note, we require at least 48 hours’ notice. If you register within 48 hours of this event, we won’t be able to secure the appropriate accommodations.