Jimenez Lai is currently an assistant professor at University of Illinois at Chicago and the leader of Bureau Spectacular. He graduated with a Master of Architecture from University of Toronto. Previously, Lai has lived and worked in a desert shelter at Taliesin, AZ, and resided in a shipping container at Atelier Van Lieshout on the piers of Rotterdam. Professionally, Lai has worked for MOS, AVL, RE X, OMA /Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam and New York. Since 2008, Lai s work has been exhibited in many cities including New York, Boston, Athens, Madrid, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Louisville and Toronto. His short stories and drawings have been published in numerous journals around the world.
"Follows in the tradition of Rem Koolhaas's Content, but makes the page come alive for a generation raised on This American Life and manga.... Intensely beautiful, whimsical, and profound.... It's as if the Little Prince grew up to become an architect." -- Metropolis
"By distilling architectural discourse through cartooning in Citizens, Lai has developed an accessible and lively platform from which he can entertain weighty architectural, planning, and policy concepts about utopias; subjective perception; alternative spatial dimensions; and human interaction with design. His deft illustration--whose palette includes manga, DC comics, and OMA-infused photographic collage--weaves a magical experience. Filled with humor and polemic, the vignettes combine the energy of Hayao Miyazaki's 2001 film Spirited Away with the knitted lines of Daniel Libeskind's The Space of Encounter from the same year" -- Blueprint
"Blends the ethos of urbanism with the sensibility of manga to deliver a stunning black-and-white manifesto for place, public space, and the function of the imaginary and the implausible in architectural theory and criticism." -- Brain Pickings