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Taeg Nishimoto
  • Architect (1955)

In addition to traditional Japanese references, Taeg Nishimoto draws inspiration for his architecture from contemporary philosophical thought influenced by post-structuralist and deconstructivist influences. Through his successive architectural commissions and installations, his thinking increasingly focused on concepts of space, material and program, which, according to him, are the basic theoretical and practical elements of architecture. Nishimoto considers architecture to be “a means for redefining reality,” and thus seeks to deconstruct the process of its conception in order to rethink and question the definition of “reality” itself. Close to the philosopher Nelson Goodman in this sense, his work can be understood as an attempt to “create new worlds” with architecture. Writing holds an important place in Nishimoto’s work as it not only enables him to describe and complement his drawings and models, but is also and especially, thanks to its own structure, the driving force behind a new logic of architectural organization. At the heart of this research lies the concept of the program, which he has rethought in terms of “descriptive programming.” Nishimoto analyzes reality as a succession and a juxtaposition of different situations. Therefore, the program must be rethought to agree with the multiplicity of situations in daily existence. The question: “What space is required, and why?” must be replaced by: “What happens if, and then what occurs?” By using this approach, architecture is no longer conditioned by purely spatial considerations but also temporal ones.

Taeg Nishimoto (1955, Osaka) began his study of architecture at Waseda University in Tokyo and completed them at Cornell University in New York in 1985. In 1987, he created his own firm Taeg Nishimoto + Allied Architects, which then became Nishimoto Atelier in 2001. In 2007, he ceased his architectural practice to exclusively concentrate on teaching. After teaching at Pratt Institute and Columbia University in New York, he moved on to Texas A&M University, College of Architecture. He has been a professor at the University of Texas in San Antonio since 2007.