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Jan. 17: Carnegie Mellon's Watson Lecture Series Brings Japanese Architect Kazuyo Sejima to Campus


Eric Sloss                           

Carnegie Mellon's Watson Lecture Series Brings
Japanese Architect Kazuyo Sejima to Campus

PITTSBURGH — Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima will give the 2008 Jill Watson Distinguished Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22 in McConomy Auditorium in the University Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.

"We are honored and privileged to have one of the world's leading architects featured as this year's Watson distinguished lecturer," said Laura Lee, head of the School of Architecture. "Kazuyo Sejima's work has received prestigious awards for its extraordinary invention and ingenuity. Sejima's creative sensibilities position her as a perfect representative for the Watson series, which serve to celebrate interdisciplinary approaches."

Japan's 1992 "Young Architect of the Year," Sejima created the Tokyo-based firm SANAA with Ryue Nishizawa in 1995 and has designed structures in the United States, Germany, France, Spain and Japan. Her structures include an extension of the Institute Valencia d'Art Modern in Valencia, Spain; the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; a satellite Louvre in Lens, France; and numerous buildings in Tokyo. Images and information on many of SANAA's structures are online at

Sejima studied at the Japan Women's University and started her own practice in 1987. She teaches at Tama Art University and Keio University in Tokyo and at Princeton University with Nishizawa. SANAA won a Golden Lion Award at the 2004 Venice Biennale.

Sejima and Nishizawa described their style in an October 2005 interview with "Probably our interest now is more how to organize 'a program' within a building - the layout of rooms and how people move inside, but also how to keep a relationship between the 'program' and the outside and then how the outside fits to the surroundings," Sejima said. "In each project we have different requirements and the site is different, we try to find our way."

The Jill Watson Distinguished Lecture Series is made possible by the Jill Watson Family Foundation. Watson, a Carnegie Mellon alumna and acclaimed architect who later became an adjunct faculty member in the School of Architecture, died in the TWA 800 plane crash on July 17, 1996. The lecture series honors Watson's commitment to an interdisciplinary philosophy as an artist by bringing emerging and recognized artists, architects, musicians and designers to Pittsburgh.

For more information on the lecture, contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or