Talking Practice: Shohei Shigematsu

Milstein Hall Cornell University

Milstein Hall Cornell University

In this episode, Talking Practice host Grace La interviews Shohei Shigematsu, partner at Office of Metropolitan Architects (OMA) and head of the New York office. Tracing his career from the suburbs of Japan to OMA’s Rotterdam headquarters in 1998, and his later transition to partner at the firm’s New York office in 2006, Shigematsu discusses the evolving ethos of practice at OMA, and what it means specifically to lead OMA New York. With OMA currently maintaining multiple international branches, Shigematsu outlines the independent architectural and social agenda for OMA New York. He also addresses questions of collaboration within the firm, his dream projects, opinions on AMO (OMA’s research division), architectural “turbulence,” and OMA progenies such as Bjarke Ingels (BIG Architects).

Shigematsu provides an inside glimpse into the management structure of this influential architecture practice and considers what happens next for OMA, the New York office, and architectural thinking in the profession.  For more of his thoughts on practice, watch the roundtable discussion, “Emergence of a Modern Practice,” from the 2017 symposium “Rethinking Pei.”



Sshigematsu3Shohei Shigematsu is a partner at the Office of Metropolitan Architects since 2008, and the head of OMA’s New York branch, leading several projects across North America including Milstein Hall, in Cornell, Ithaca, the Faena Forum in Miami Beach, the Quebec National Beaux Arts Museum in Canada, and the Costume Institute Exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His current projects include, among others, the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, a Facebook campus masterplan in Menlo Park, and a new addition to the New Museum in New York City.

About the Show

Developed by Harvard Graduate School of Design, Talking Practice is the first podcast series to feature in-depth interviews with leading designers on the ways in which architects, landscape architects, designers, and planners articulate design imagination through practice. Hosted by Grace La, Professor of Architecture and Chair of Practice Platform, these dynamic conversations provide a rare glimpse into the work, experiences, and attitudes of design practitioners from around the world. Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and timely, Talking Practice tells the story of what designers do, why, and how they do it—exploring the key issues at stake in practice today.

About the Host

Grace LaGrace La is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and former Director of the Master of Architecture Programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.  She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type.  The practice is noted for works that expand the architect’s agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites.

Show Credits

Talking Practice is produced by Ronee Saroff and edited by Maggie Janik. Our Research Assistant is Julia Roberts. Practice Platform Support is provided by Jihyun Ro. The show is recorded at Harvard University’s Media Production Center by Multimedia Engineer Jeffrey Valade.


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