Asymptote Architecture

(New York City, New York, Established 1987)

Founded in 1989 by husband-and-wife principals Lise Anne Couture and Hani Rashid, Asymptote Architecture is a collaborative architectural, design, and art practice based in New York City. Couture and Rashid (whose brother is industrial designer Karim Rashid) met as undergraduates at Carleton University in Ontario, Canada, and established Asymptote after completing their graduate work in architecture in the U.S. The firm draws its name from the mathematical term for a straight line that approaches but never quite forms a curve, extending into infinity. Couture and Rashid consider this a metaphor for the "dialectics" of their personal and professional collaboration.

Asymptote is known for creating visionary building designs, master plans, and spatial experiments that challenge the traditional boundaries of architecture and integrate the potential of new technologies. In the 1990s the firm designed several high-profile, digital interactive environments, such as a virtual trading floor for the New York Stock Exchange (1996) and a virtual museum for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1998), New York. Rashid represented the U.S. with installations at the Venice Biennale in 2000 and 2004.

In recent years, Couture and Rashid have turned their attention from conceptual architecture to realizing a flurry of building commissions — including the HydraPier Pavillion in Holland (2002), the Alessi flagship store in New York City (2006), and skyscrapers in Malaysia, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.


From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

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