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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

Introduction  

Design   is   like   a   journey   with   a   zigzag   route   from   point   A   to   point   B.   Rethinking   about   my   past   design   projects,   I   totally   agree   with   that   saying.   There   is   an   architecture   thread   exists   in   the   process   of   any   design.   When   I   was   doing   those   designs   in   the   past   years,   I   did   not   realize   my   thread  that  clearly.  But  carefully  analyzing  my  projects  give  me  a  chance  to  find  out  that  thread.  

The  system  I  used  to  analyze  my  project  is  the  same  one  plays  an  important  role  in  designing,  it   consists  of:       1.  Context  Analysis   Context  analysis  is  the  first  step  I  engage  the  project,  what  is  it?  What  is  the  context?  This  part  of   the  process  focuses  on  seeking  for  the  problems.     2.  Narrative  and  Stories   After  knowing  something  of  the  existing  environment,  I  start  to  figure  out  what  events  I  want  to   make  to  happen  at  this  area.  Try  to  imagine  the  images  of  the  change  of  people's  behaviors  and   acitivities.  The  difference  of  these  changes  is  the  meaning  of  my  design.  This  part  of  the  process   shows  the  ambition  of  my  building.     3.  Function  and  Form   Think  big,  do  specific.  In  order  to  make  those  images  into  reality,  I  begin  to  calculate  how  much   functional  space  I  need  and  the  way  of  distribution.  Form  is  another  issue  to  be  considered  at  the   same  time.  These  two  parts  are  closely  connected  and  reflect  to  each  other  in  every  step  of  the   design  development.       Projects  Selection   I   choose   3   projects   of   my   student   work   in   my   bachelor   degree   to   analyze.   They   were   designed   in   my  3rd  year,  4th  year  and  5th  year  of  bachelor  study  respectively.  These  projects  have  different   topics,   scales   and   levels   of   difficulties.   By   analyzing   these   continuous   works   within   three   years,   the   change   of   my   design   thinking   can   be   observed,   so   does   those   blind   points   of   my   design   process.  They  are:                

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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

I     Community  Centre,  Shenzhen,  China  (3rd  year's  studio  work)     Community  public  building  for  residents,  simple  functional  space,  simple  complexity.  

  II     High-­‐rise  Office  Building,  Shenzhen,  China  (4th  year's  studio  work)   Office  building  with  public  space,  different  functional  space,  medium  complexity.  

    III     Redevelopment  of  Shenzhen  Citizen  Centre,  Shenzhen,  China  (Graduation  Thesis)   A   groups   of   public   and   office   serving   both   government   and   the   normal   residents,   various   functional  space,  high  complexity.  

                                     

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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

1.  Context  Analysis  

Every  design  happens  for  reasons  and  problems,  this  is  a  process  for  discovering  the  challenges   and  opportunities.     Community  Centre  (Nanshan  district,  Shenzhen)   The  site  is  located  in  a  triangle  shape  closely  relates  to  the  Nanshan   bookstore   building   nearby.   There   are   six   to   seven   residential   areas   surrounding   the   site.   However,   the   interaction   of   neighbourhood   is   weak.  As  being  in  the  central  position  of  the  neighbourhood,  it  gives   the   site   an   opportunity   to   be   developed   as   a   central   stage   for   community  events.       First,   I   try   to   treat   the   community   centre   and   Nanshan   bookstore   as   a   whole,   which   provides   interconnected   services   to   the   public.   Then   make   the   community   centre   echo   with   Nanshan   Bookstore  in  terms  of  building's  volume  and  shape.  

  In   this   process   of   the   project,   the   status   of   the   site   is   quite   stable   as   it   is   in   an   enclosed   area   surrounded  by  lots  of  high-­‐rise  buildings.  Although  there  are  some  relationships  and  restrictions   from  the  surrounding  environment  I  mainly  focused  on  building's  own  character  in  this  district.     High-­‐rise  Office  Building  (Futian  district,  Shenzhen)  

  Comparing   to   the   site   analysis   in   the   3rd   year,   this   4th   year's   analysis   is   more   specific   and   convincing.   As   the   character   of   the   area   is   developing   its   character   from   an   industrial   one   to   a   new  CBD,  I  observed  the  influence  of  the  building  from  urban  scale  to  site  scale  to  figure  how  my   building  should  be  looked  at  in  this  district.     The  site  is  quite  open  to  the  public.  It  locates  at  the  edge  of  this  future  CBD  with  its  south  facade   facing   to   the   main   avenue   of   the   city.   Comparing   to   the   existing   high-­‐rise   building   nearby,   this   building  has  its  multi-­‐functional  space,  such  as  theatre,  shopping  area  and  office  area,  to  activate   the  CBD's  develpoment.    

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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

In  order  to  get  to  know  how  intensive  people's  activities  can  be  around  the  site,  I  collaborated   with  my  classmates  to  calculate  the  number  of  people  passing  by  the  site  in  normal  working  days.   The  conclusion  of  the  operation  is,  our  site  is  able  to  have  some  stage-­‐effect  at  this  area.     Redevelopment  of  Citizen  Centre  (Futian  district,  Shenzhen)  

  The  Citizen  Centre  project  is  a  redeveloped  project,  rather  than  designing  a  new  one.  The  project   is  to  re-­‐allocate  the  interior  space  to  be  more  efficient  and  insert  functional  space  into  its  world's   biggest  roof.  Citizen  Centre  is  a  building  offering  public  space  to  the  citizen  and  office  space  to   the  government.  It  is  standing  at  the  central  axis  of  Shenzhen  city.       The   site   analysis   is   a   group   work,   allocated   to   every   member   in   this   studio.   We   analyzed   the   building   types   distributed   at   the   central   axis,   the   urban   design   at   this   district   and   realize   the   difference   of   what   should   be   and   what   it   is.   In   short,   the   problem   of   current   Citizen   Centre   is:   no   citizen  in  the  citizen  centre.  Attracting  people  to  be  here  is  the  priority.     Conclusion   The   complexity   and   the   workload   of   the   context   analysis   in   these   three   projects   show   a   rapid   increase.   In   the   Citizen   Centre,   we   used   more   than   three   weeks   to   do   the   site   analysis,   read   numerous  context  readings  and  communicate  with  the  government  officials.  In  my  opinion,  the   analysis  work  should  be  rational  and  reasonable  or  we  may  at  a  risk  to  do  some  utopian  design.   However,  no  matter  if  I  facing  to  a  simple  or  extremely  complex  site  design,  I  make  an  effort  to   simplify   the   cues   to   reach   the   heart   of   the   problems.   I   can   hardly   see   anything   important   has   been   omitted   at   here,   but   there   are   always   those   details   to   be   improved   to   gain   more   useful   context   information,   for   example   architect's   own   analysis,   reference   reading   of   context   and   interview  with  the  clients  and  future  users.                          

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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

2.  Narrative  and  Stories  

Except   I   know   what   events   I   want   to   happen   in   my   building,   I   can   not   design   anything.   All   the   buildings  serve  certain  group  of  people.  If  we  ignore  the  requirement  of  people,  the  design  can   never  make  sense.  It  is  like  you  are  writing  scripts  for  people  as  your  actors  to  perform  in  your   space.     Community  Centre  

  I   did   some   research   towards   people's   behavior   in   open   space.   Obviously,   the   completely   open   space  is  not  suitable  for  public  activities.  A  piece  of  roof  or  wall  can  define  the  boundaries  of  an   area  and  offer  people  a  'safe  place'  feeling.       High-­‐rise  Office  Building   Being  as  the  CBD  stage,  people  will  be  at  the  building  to  tackle  various  activities.  They  are  free  to   across  the  site,  sit  at  some  corner  of  the  site  to  have  a  coffee,  go  to  the  theatre  to  enjoy  a  play   and  go  to  work  upstairs.       Redevelopment  of  Citizen  Centre  

  The   central   axis   comprises   almost   all   the   types   of   people's   activities,   working,   living,   shopping,   exhibiting   and   wondering.   However,   Citizen   Centre   mainly   offers   citizen   a   tunnel   to   pass   from   this   end   of   the   axis   to   the   other,   people   are   forbidden   and   not   willing   to   stay.   What   I   want   to    

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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

reach   is   to   grab   all   those   main   activities   into   the   Citizen   Centre   by   redeveloping   the   existing   space  and  adding  new  functional  space  to  its  roof.     Conclusion   When  I  recalled  the  design  thinking  in  my  projects  and  put  them  together  to  compare  with  each   other,  I  found  there  is  a  problem  of  my  narrative.  Although  I  tried  so  hard  at  the  analysis  part  and   figure  what  might  happen,  sometimes  I  failed  to  set  a  clear  priority  between  different  activities.   The  problem  is  that  I  always  attempt  to  insert  too  many  stories  into  a  space.  In  high-­‐rise  office   building   design,   although   it   has   its   multi-­‐character,   office   function   is   the   key   point.   Because   I   want   to   add   so   many   activities   into   the   project,   it   once   blocked   me   for   two   to   three   weeks   to   rearrange   the   space   for   shopping   and   other   activities.   Finally,   I   simplify   the   functions   of   the   project  and  remove  the  commerce  space  at  the  ground  floor  to  progress  the  design.   I  think  that   was  the  moment  I  was  confused  by  my  many  ideas  at  the  same  time,  only  being  too  ambitious  to   feel  hard  to  identify  the  priority.                                                                

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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

3.  Function  and  Form  

Community  Centre  

  In  a  period  of  ten  weeks,  I  did  a  lot  of  research  of  different  plans  to  progress  the  design.  By  trying   different  approaches,  I  have  an  idea  of  the  proper  volume  of  the  building  belongs  to  this  site,  and   finally  pick  up  the  most  reasonable  to  develop  to  be  my  final  project.   I  used  a  large  folding  plate   to  as  a  tool  to  connect  the  different  space  and  offer  people  an  area  of  safety.    

  In  the  process,  I  also  considered  the  color  and  material  issues  of  forming  this  'community  belt'.  I   tried   another   metal   board   with   golden   color   in   the   rendering   software   to   check   the   results.   Through  the  comparison,  I  thought  the  thin  and  light  concrete  plate  seems  better  to  reach  the   feeling   of   simplicity   and   highlight   the   linear   appearance   of   the   building.   Whereas,   the   construction  detail  design  of  this  main  feature  has  been  omitted.  I  did  not  offer  any  evidence  to   support  my  design  at  this  part.  

  When   the   people   are   having   activities   in   this   building,   they   can   feel   a   changing   experience   of   hollowness  and  solid.  Sometimes  they  are  exposed  to  the  sunlight  when  they  are  standing  under   the  holes  of  the  folding  plate,  or  may  feel  peaceful  when  they  are  staying  the  sinking  down  plaza   space  covered  by  the  shelter  stuff.            

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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

High-­‐rise  Office  Building  

  Using   sketching   model   to   test   the   relationship   between   my   building   and   the   site   is   one   of   my   favourite  design  approaches.  This  gives  me  a  quick  look  of  how  high  and  big  my  building  should   to  orientate  the  environment,  especially  for  those  big  projects  with  hybrid  space.    

  Gathering   the   basic   information,   I   began   to   engage   the  space  design.  Instead  as  of  laying  the  same  floor   plate  one  after  another,  I  extended  the  building  area   at   each   floor   to   decrease   the   height   of   my   building.   So  the  sight  will  not  be  totally  blocked  through  the  south  facade.  Furthermore,  as  the  each  floor   has  more  area,  I  have  the  freedom  to  design  some  flexible  inner  space  and  use  another  linkage  to   pass   through   the   building.   The   irregular   and   twisted   transparent   tunnel   space   is   designed   to   across  different  functional  space  inside  the  building  and  change  its  position  at  each  floor.  Those   people  working  at  different  level  are  likely  to  have  various  senses  towards  this  'hybrid  tunnel'.  

  Again,  I  lost  the  opportunity  of  figure  out  the  construction  composition  of  the  soul  of  my  design.  I   just  know  how  it  may  perform  in  my  space,  but  have  no  idea  how  it  can  be  built  exactly.  

     

 

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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

  Both  the  floor  plate  and  the  'hybrid  tunnel'  are  changing  at  each  floor.  The  trip  from  the  ground   level  to  the  roof  is  quite  exciting,  people  are  passing  a  cluster  of  inner  space  and  exterior  space.    

  The   construction   method   is   stick   to   the   traditional   frame   construction   system.   But   I   also   seek   for   the   construction's   attribution   to   the   creation   of   space   atmosphere.   Instead   of   wrapping   the   whole   construction   with   concrete,   at   the   central   part   of   my   building,   part   of   the   construction   components   are   exposed   to   the   open   space.   The   beam   and   column   are   made   of   steel   to   have   an   impressive  of  comparison  of  different  architecture  materials  in  the  atrium  space.                              

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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

Redevelopment  of  Citizen  Centre     The  whole  project  is  divided  into  two  parts,  redistribution  of  the  existing  space  and  Roof  space   design.     -­‐  Redistribution  of  the  existing  space  

  What  makes  the  citizen  stay  away  from  the  citizen?   The  public  space  in  the  central  part  of  the   building  is  usually  locked  by  the  authority.  This  results  from  the  lack  of  the  separation  of  public   and   government   office   space.   So,   I   tried   to   move   all   the   citizen   space   to   the   middle   to   engage   those   activities   happening   at   central   axis   of   the   city.   All   the   government   office   space   were   allocated  to  both  wings  of  the  building  to  increase  working  efficiency.    

  The  redeveloped  Citizen  Centre  has  a  very  clear  separation  between  public  and  the  government   areas.  The  new  public  areas  offer  more  possibilities  to  the  citizen's  intercommunication.    

  The  vertical  circulation  space  is  messy  distributed  at  both  wings  of  Citizen  Centre.  As  the  roof  will   be  added  with  diverse  functional  space,  it  needs  extra  construction  support  from  the  bottom.  I   rearranged  the  traffic  and  extended  the  cores  to  the  roof  as  columns  to  support  the  new  roof.                      

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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

-­‐  Roof  space  design  

  In   case   of   developing   functional   space   in   the   huge   roof,   the   existing   roof   volume   is   not   thick   enough   to   be   inserted   with   so   much   space.   I   adjusted   the   outline   of   the   roof   to   meet   the   requirements  of  both  functional  space  and  being  harmonious  to  the  urban  context.    

  Then   to   think   about   what   kind   of   space   should   be   added   at   here   under   the   name   of   "Citizen   Centre".  It  should  consists  of  residential  (or  hotel)  and  public  space,  such  as  museum,  restaurants   and  recreation  centre.  

  Is  it  reasonable  to  insert  so  many  things  into  the  roof,  and  what  kind  of  urban  texture  this  roof   could   be?   I   did   a   research   of   the   principal   cities'   urban   context   around   the   world.   In   normal   situation,  the  area  of  roof  can  accommodate  3  to  4  streets  of  buildings  at  here.    

  Finally,  the  new  roof  is  presented  with  much  public  space  and  a  bunch  of  residential  area  along    

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Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

the   side   of   the   roof.   There   is   a   swimming   pool   in   the   centre   of   the   roof.   Once   again,   the   construction   problem   happened.   As   my   tutor   really   want   me   to   get   rid   of   the   restriction   of   construction,   he   asked   me   to   ignore   the   construction   solution   and   add   anything   that   is   fit   for   citizen  activities.  I  tried  to  develop  the  core  space  as  the  big  cores  to  support,  but  it  will  not  work   out  obviously.  This  roof  redevelopment  is  a  beautiful  but  utopian  idea.    

  The  distribution  of  functional  space  on  the  roof:  commercial  space  took  up  a  lot  in  the  middle,   residential   part   was   set   along   the   edge   area,   public   open   space   was   added   at   the   junction   and   corner,  a  five-­‐star  hotel  is  located  at  the  central  part  of  the  roof  with  its  swimming  pool  and  the   museum  space  extended  from  the  bottom  of  two  towers  (square  and  circle)  to  the  roof.      

 

  I   intended   to   keep   the   existing   facade   of   the   office   building,   but   developing   another   style   of   skin   for   the   roof   to   have   a   very   strong   comparison   between   these   two   kind   of   functional   spaces,   which  shows  public  and  government,  lively  and  serious,  random  and  uniform.  The  facade  of  the   'functional  roof'  is  a  series  of  curved  and  irregular  openings,  it  decreased  from  the  centre  to  the   sides   according   to   the   increase   of   privacy   of   different   functional   space   (from   commercial   to   residential).  

 

12  


Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

  The  design  of  central  residential  area  was  developed  into  details.  As  these  rooms  are  surrounded   by  the  commercial  and  public  areas,  they  were  not  facing  to  the  exterior  space  directly.  Sunlight   could  only  enter  the  space  through  the  top.  So  atrium  space  is  the  key  of  light.  In  order  to  add   some  Chinese  element,  I  put  some  bamboo  at  here.  However,  inspired  by  the  lecture  of  'Chinese   scholar  garden',  I  think  these  house  can  be  planned  together  and  have  a  big  sharing  atrium  space   with  Chinese  garden  landscape  design.  By  doing  this,  the  landscape  can  be  more  interesting  and   the  residents'  intercommunication  is  strengthen.    

  The  roof  of ��the  two  office  buildings  was  designed  to  be  the  platform  to  connect  citizen  from  roof   to   the   ground.   Actually,   through   such   a   large   building,   I   aimed   to   control   and   gather   people's   activities   and   circulation   through   10   platform   area.   There   are   basically   3   options   for   them   to   travel   through   the   Citizen   Centre,   when   they   arrived   at   the   central   platform   they   can   take   elevators  to  reach  the  roof  directly,  or  they  may  choose  to  go  to  the  public  area  located  at  the   roof  of  both  office  buildings  to  have  a  coffee  or  go  shopping  before  going  back  to  home.                        

13  


Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

Conclusion   When  I  finished  my  projects,  I  always  ask  myself  some  questions:  is  this  plan  really  your  answer   response  to  this  design  task?  Does  it  still  exist  a  huge  difference  between  what  it  is  and  what  it   could   be?   Are   you   really   satisfied   with   your   current   work?  And   do   you   think   it   will   work   and   play   a  role  you  set  up  in  your  previous  analysis  processes?     In   general,   I   think   all   the   final   plans   in   different   projects   are   the   best   I   have   through   different   experiments  of  approaches.  All  my  projects  achieve  their  aim  at  a  basic  level,  but  how  convincing   they   are   finally   depends   on   the   level   of   design   thinking   in   details.   This   is   what   I   have   been   seriously  omitted  in  my  projects.     Detail   design   not   only   refers   to   the   construction   detail,   but   events   detail   and   those   design   to   make   these   events   to   happen.   For   example,   the   conversation   between   the   people   been   to   my   Citizen  Centre  may  presents  like  this:     A:  "Do  you  know  that  new  Citizen  Centre?  I  have  been  to  there  last  weekend?"   B:  "Oh,  really?  I  heard  it  is  fantastic.  There  are  a  lot  of  interesting  places  in  the  roof,  isn't  it?"   A:"Ye........ah.   It   is   quite   different,   my   wife   and   I   had   our   dinner   in   the   restaurant   in   the   roof   space,  the  view  of  central  axis  is  really  great.  But  when  we  were  walking  in  those  space,  you  have   the   feeling   of   hollowness,   especially   at   the   present   time   when   there   are   not   a   great   many   of   people."   B:"How  it  happen?"   A:"Uh......  going  to  the  roof  to  enjoy  broad  views  of  the  city  is  quite  amazing,  but  the  placement   and  design  of  those  gardens  and  public  space  is  a  little  bit  uniform  and  not  lively  enough.   When  I   walked  from  the  east  part  to  the  west  one,  you  know  what?  The  space  is  completely  the  same,   that's   not   an   exciting   experience.   It   may   be   a   place   for   to   go   to   there   once   in   a   while,   but   I   don't   want  to  be  there  too  often."     This   conversation   is   generated   by   my   mind,   when   I   staring   at   my   work   before   the   final   presentation.   I   think   the   problem   of   the   design   results   origins   from   a   serious  of  omitting  details  and  one  omitting  behavior   results   in   another   omitting   behavior.   Finally   you   see   the  difference  of  what  it  is  and  what  could  be.   At  the   moment   I   sitting   at   there,   I   feel   extremely   disappointing   and   lack   of   confidence.   Although   I   standed  at  the  stage  with  a  tough  and  extremely  confident  gesture  and  gained  the  highest  mark   (87/100)  of  the  final  presentation,  the  problems  are  still  there.  What  I  did  is  using  my  powerful   presentation  skills  to  lead  those  critics'  attention  to  follow  the  thread  of  my  design  to  make  them   believe  everything  is  quite  reasonable.  However,  as  a  designer,  you  can  persuade  your  clients  but   you  can  never  cheat  on  yourself.       In  terms  of  the  other  specific  disadvantages  of  my  design  thinking,  I  think  most  of  them  derived   from  the  practical  weakness.  That  is  the  ability  to  present  your  ideas  to  be  something  tangible  for    

14  


Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

you   to   do   the   further   development.   I   realize   the   difference   between   the   best   students   and   I   is   not   creative   thinking,   we   all   have   exciting   ideas   all   the   time.   But   unless   you   present   it   on   your   computer  screen  or  through  physical  models,  you  will  never  what  needs  to  be  developed  as  the   next   step.   Taking   the   Citizen   Centre   again   as   example,   I   have   numerous   ideas   through   the   whole   design   process.   The   roof   floor   plan   does   not   have   to   be   mirrored   at   both   sides,   the   garden   could   have   more   Chinese   elements,   the   traffic   tunnel   connecting   the   ground   platform   to   the   roof   does   not   have   to   be   linear   but   a   changing   prototype.   I   did   not   make   all   of   these   changes   to   happen   because   I   was   not   able   to   pull   up   my   roof   model   in   Rhino   until   2   weeks   before   the   final   presentation.  All  I  could  do  is  endlessly  calculating  the  area  for  redistribution  and  think  about  the   changing  slope  space  in  the  roof  through  2d  floor  plan.  This  is  not  something  directly  related  to   the   normal   design   thinking,   but   it   is   most   important   factor   which   blocked   my   design   thinking   from  developing  and  results  in  the  unfinished  status  of  my  project  in  the  final  submission.     Another  area  that  I  have  usually  omitted  is  the  application  of  construction  detail.  In  fact,  I  paid   much   more   interest   towards   the   forms,   function,   atmosphere   and   psychological   behavior   of   human  and  always  tried  to  stay  away  of  the  technical  construction  stuff.   The  consequence  is,  I   always  design  something  I  really  have  few  ideas  how  it  can  be  worked  out.       Moreover,  the  attempts  to  use  different  materials  and  different  forms  of  construction  system  are   quite  poor.  Although  in  some  of  the  design,  I  had  experiments  towards  different  materials  and   different  styles  of  exposing  the  structure  to  the  public,  these  researches  only  take  little  part  of   my  time  in  my  design.  The  application  of  different  materials  has  no  detail  strategies  for  certain   space.   The   framework   construction   system   is   the   only   I   used   in   my   projects.   Citizen   Centre's   utopian  construction  method  is  not  even  worthy  to  be  mentioned.     One  more  thing,  my  skills  for  dealing  with  the  narrative  and  cues  of  the  architecture  space  still   need  to  be  discussed.  This  is  the  part  I  once  felt  I  was  quite  good  at  it,  as  many  ideas  comes  to  my   mind  to  imagine  all  the  possibilities  of  people's  interaction  in  certain  project.  But  having  ideas  is   one  thing,  using  it  effectively  to  progress  your  design  is  another.  Sometimes,  I  felt  I  was  restricted   by   those   too   many   possibilities   and   fail   to   find   out   the   priorities.   This   makes   me   struggling   in   the   brainstorm  and  design  research  processes.                              

15  


Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

                   

Comparison  to  the  Current  work  (Studio  D)  

Light,  Shadow  &  Time  (Annemarie  Brennan)  

  This   semester's   studio   work   is   composed   of   a   cluster   of   lighting   experiments,   fixtures   and   a   housing  prototype  design.  Unlike  process  of  my  past  projects  in  my  bachelor  degree,  Annmarie   made  us  to  think  a  design  from  the  detail  to  the  building.  The  final  project  only  takes  up  less  than   three   weeks.   We   have   spent   most   of   our   time   to   think   and   develop   many   experiments   and   fixtures   related   to   natural   lighting   and   artificial   lighting.   Finally,   we   insert   the   fixtures   into   the   final  project  as  the  soul  of  this  lighting  house.     Actually,  the  process  of  this  studio  totally  opposes  my  design  thinking.  As  I  am  always  trying  to   show  my  respect  to  the  context  and  seek  for  inspiration  from  the  existing  environment,  I  can  not    

16  


Analysis  of  Past  Design  Projects                                                                                                   Peien  Zhang  (375568)  

understand   the   aim   of   doing   a   design   in   this   way.   We   did   not   even   have   the   site   when   we   began   to  tackle,  only  to  be  told  about  the  approximate  size  of  the  site.  What  is  the  relationship?  What  is   the  narrative?  In  the  end,  I  choose  to  create  a  'inner  universe'.  That  is,  design  an  enclosed  house.   People  get  in  touch  with  the  sunlight  through  direct  and  indirect  ways.  I  do  not  think  a  building   should  open  to  the  exterior  space  all  the  time,  under  the  help  of  darkness,  the  light  can  prove  its   existence.  I  insisted  to  take  narrative  in  front  of  all  the  factors,  all  my  space  and  lighting  fixtures   are  serving  for  making  the  images  of  my  mind  into  reality.  Whereas,  Annmarie  was  not  agreed  in   this  way,  that  is  the  reason  why  I  feel  so  tough  in  the  last  three  weeks  to  finish  my  final  project.   Sarcastically,  the  critics  in  the  final  presentation  were  quite  satisfied  with  my  work,  she  insisted   to  claim  that  I  have  'a  great  lost  of  opportunities'  in  my  design.  But  I  think  architects  should  have   their   own   faith   and   be   confident   and   true   to   themselves.   To   be   honest,   if   I   have   enough   money   I   would   probably   build   out   this   project   to   be   my   own   house.   Even   there   is   always   something   to   be   improved,  I  am  satisfied  with  it.  That  is  enough.     However,   in   the   process   of   the   whole   studio   work,   I   showed   a   great   improvement   of   the   construction  detail  design.  Actually,  I  am  not  that  disagree  with  the  design  thinking  start  from  the   detail.   By   inserting   those   lighting   fixture   systems,   my   building   is   able   to   has   its   own   multi-­‐character   with   natural   light   and   artificial   light.   When   I   finished   this   design,   I   am   curious   about   if   I   can   tackle   a   design   from   the   both   sides.   At   one   side,   I   continued   to   engage   the   context   analysis   and   narrative   to   seek   for   problems   and   inspirations.   At   the   other   hand,   I   spend   some   time   on   the   detail   research   to   meet   the   potential   development   of   my   design.   How   to   balance   these  two  thinking  and  make  them  stimulating  each  other  would  be  something  interesting.                    

 

 

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Peien Zhang-past projects