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CAP Lecture Series: Alex Yueyan Li

Building Rehearsal

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About Alex Yueyan Li

Alex Yueyan Li is the founder and director of AYL, a research practice working at the intersection of architecture, computation, and material cultures. And this year, CAP is excited to welcome Alex as our  JEDI Visiting Assistant Professor.

Li's experimental research explores the real-time capacity of computational tools to develop material techniques that are sensitive to time, process, and other environmental conditions. His research has taken various forms ranging from machines, mock-ups, furniture, buildings, images, and texts, all converging under three distinct yet interrelated themes: material properties, construction standards, and tectonic assemblies. His most recent exhibition, Particulate Signals, investigates the standardized protocols of concrete-handling—from formwork to labor practice—through the lens of calculability, predictability, and reproducibility.

Li has held teaching positions at Harvard University and Syracuse University. He was the 2021-2023 Irving Innovation Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where his research and teaching focused on historical and contemporary material techniques in architecture. Together with Sean Canty, he co-directed the “All About This One Thing” (AATOT) program as part of the graduate core curriculum. At Syracuse, he teaches undergraduate design studios and graduate design seminars. He has given lectures and served on juries at many institutions including Harvard, Cornell, SCI-Arc, the University of Toronto, RISD, CU Denver, Washington University in St. Louis, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Northeastern University.

Prior to establishing his own practice, Li worked internationally in the United States, Canada, Japan, and China, including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Höweler + Yoon, and Shigeru Ban Architects. He was a project manager at MILLIØNS where he led architecture and art installation projects in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Taipei, and France. This includes leading the renovation of I.M. Pei’s Everson Museum where he collaborated with ceramicists, conservationists, and contractors to develop material research and adaptive reuse strategies specific to the building scale.

Li received a Master of Architecture I AP with Distinction from Harvard GSD, where he was the recipient of the Clifford Wong Housing Prize and the Architecture Research Grant. He also holds a Bachelor of Architectural Studies with Distinction from the University of Waterloo, Canada, where he received the President’s Scholarship and the First in Class Award.

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