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Shohei Shigematsu and Christy Cheng at Le Laboratoire Cambridge

  • Le Laboratoire Cambridge 650 Kendall Street Cambridge, MA, 02142 United States (map)



Shohei Shigematsu and Christy Cheng will discuss topics related to their course and research studio at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Alimentary Design,which investigates the intersection of food, architecture and urbanism. 

RSVP to Space is limited.

This year, the Alimentary Design studio addresses the more tacit and palpable relationship that we have to food by working closely with leading experts on highly specific architectural programs and sites. For the past two fall semesters, the studio has investigated the relationship between the alimentary, architecture, and urbanism, looking at a broad range of topics and programs. Alimentary is defined as of or relating to nourishment or nutrition. The global food and beverage industry is the largest in the world, not only because of its size but also because of the multi-scalar breadth of the industry. Food consists of the full process from farming + harvesting, post-harvesting handling, processing + warehouse, retailers + distributors, consumers, to waste. 

Counter to overall globalization trends towards sameness and the degradation of vernacular site-specificity, food and beverage is one industry in which diversity continues to increase. While modernism has changed urban metropolises into copies of each other worldwide, global cuisines have remained individual. Food is unique, and it is also highly relevant today, as seen in the current Expo Milano's basic theme of "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life". Work from previous Alimentary Design studios is featured at the Expo as part of the American Pavilion's presentation.


Shohei Shigematsu joined OMA in 1998 and became a partner in 2008. He has led the office in New York since 2006. Sho's designs for cultural venues include the Quebec National Beaux Arts Museum and the Faena Arts Center in Miami Beach, as well as direct collaborations with artists, including Cai Guo Qiang, Marina Abramovic and Kanye West. Sho is currently designing a number of luxury, high rise towers in San Francisco, New York, and Miami, as well as a mixed-use complex in Santa Monica. His engagement with urban conditions around the world include a new civic center in Bogota, Colombia; a post-Hurricane Sandy, urban water strategy for New Jersey; and a food hub in Louisville, Kentucky. He is a design critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he is conducting a research studio entitled Alimentary Design, investigating the intersection of food, architecture and urbanism. 

Christy Cheng is a New York-based architect, writer, and editor who received her master of architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and her bachelor of arts in English and Communications from the University of Pennsylvania.  Christy's educational and professional background has led her personal interests in the interdisciplinary potentials of architecture, design, art, research, and writing.  Christy has worked as an architect at a number of offices worldwide, including OMA, where she was a key member of the 23 East 22nd Street team and a number of architecture and research based projects; Toshiko Mori Architect, where she worked on cultural, residential, and exhibition projects; and the artist Ai Weiwei's architectural design firm, Fake Design, in Beijing, where she was the project architect for the Archaeological Archives in the Jinhua Architecture Park.  She currently works independently on a variety of scales and types of projects. 

Christy has taught graduate level architectural studios for the past several years at Columbia GSAPP, Cornell AAP, and the CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture, and has been an invited critic at Harvard GSD and University of Pennsylvania's School of Design.  Her work has been exhibited at the Storefront for Art and Architecture and the Center for Architecture, and published in numerous global publications.   Christy is a registered architect in New York and California. 

Later Event: November 16
Pelin Tan at MIT