Architecture has become an increasingly interdisciplinary profession, and the language with which architects envision and articulate their ideas has radically diversified in recent years. Architect Jimenez Lai has pioneered an unexpected and wholly unique approach that moves beyond contemporary architectural renderings and models. Citizens of No Place is a groundbreaking graphic novel on architecture and urbanism. Inspired by the theoretical drawings of paper architects, Lai uses manga-style storyboards to explore the role of fantasy and storytelling in architecture, and in the process ushers in the next generation of theory and criticism. A key reference for representational techniques, Citizens of No Place showcases provocative design examples for architecture studio courses at all levels.
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 / drawings have been published in numerous journals around the world.
"Intensely beautiful, whimsical, and profound....follows in the tradition of Rem Koolhaass Content, but makes the page come alive for a generation raised on radio shows like This American Life and manga."
"It's not hard to find the appeal in Lai's archi-comics, which manage to do something most architects fail to accomplish: insert fiction into architecture....the sense of place is so strong, much more tangible than even the flashiest architectural rendering. Such is the power of fiction and the graphic novel in the hands of somebody with Lai's talents."
"Jimenez Lai's Citizens of No Place is a highly refined, robust blend of design criticism, cutting-edge theory, and masterful representation. Maybe from now on, they will be careful what they ask for."
"A good source for graphic ideas that can be potentially applied to the real world of architectural practice. This book is a great contribution to the world of utopian and futuristic architecture as it re-frames architectural representation."