Nanako Umemoto

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  • Bachelor of Architecture, The Cooper Union, New York, 1983
  • Bachelor of Art in Urban Design and Landscape Design, Osaka University of Art, Japan, 1975


  • RUR Architecture, PC, Principal

Related websites


New York


Career in Architecture

Nanako Umemoto is a Principal of Reiser + Umemoto, which she co-founded with partner, Jesse Reiser in 1986. Reiser + Umemoto, an internationally recognized multidisciplinary design firm, 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. Reiser + Umemoto recently won the competition for the Taipei Pop Music Center, which is scheduled to begin construction in 2014. In 2006, they published the bestselling ‘Atlas of Novel Tectonics’ and in 2008 released the Japanese edition. Their office tower O-14 is currently under construction in Dubai, and is scheduled to be completed in late 2010. The work of Reiser + Umemoto has been extensively published, appearing in, among others, Assemblage, A+U, The New York Times, Newsweek, Architecture, Architectural Record, Praxis, Harvard Design Magazine, Arquitectura Viva, Metropolis, and Abitare, and was recently featured on the Discovery Channel in 2008 . Their work has also been exhibited widely, participating in shows in Amsterdam, Beijing, Bregenz, Kyoto, London, New York, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, Venice, and Vienna, and they have lectured at numerous educational and cultural institutions throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. The firm was awarded the Chrysler Award for Excellence in Design in 1999, the Academy Award in Architecture by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2000, and in May of 2008, Nanako Umemoto and Jesse Reiser both received the Presidential Citation from President George Campbell of the Cooper Union for outstanding practical and theoretical contributions to the field of Architecture. Nanako 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. Prior to joining PennDesign, Nanako has previously taught at various schools in the US and Asia, including Harvard University GSD, Columbia University, Hong Kong University, Kyoto University of Art, and the Cooper Union.

Institutional Affiliations

Fellow, Institute for Urban Design, New York
House Committee, Congregation Rodeph Sholom
Columbia University GSAPP, Visiting Professor
Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles, CA, Visiting Professor
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, Visiting Professor
PennDesign, University of Pennsylvania, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture