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Through my architecture education and practice, I found my interests fall into a variety of subjects. I try to approach each project from a different perspective and use various kinds of media and ways of representation. My attitude towards design is to apply the thinking of architecture into a network of things. During the design process, I want to stage a moment, or a narrative in the architecture through my thinking and translation of space. In my projects, I want to constitute critical thinkings towards a subtle scenario, or conflict, and design the architecture that exaggerates those moments. I’m interested in the drama in everyday life, and I’d like to regard the architecture I’m designing as an intervening apparatus that manifests for itself. In the portfolio, it complies the network of my thoughts to architecture, and the network of my interests in different places. This portfolio selects ten of my representative work from five different categories, from studio projects, digital fabrication, to research and professional work.

Backpacking in Joshua Tree National park, 2014


The Theatre of Reversal Pittsburgh, PA Silent Wave Winter Stations, Toronto Lens Hotel Budget Hotel, Ann Arbor, MI The Fall of Order Rock-climbing Sports Center


The Flow of Curve Grasshopper, CNC Routing, vacuum forming LULU Chair CNC Routing, furniture design


Capturing the Movement Music Vs. Space


B.A.S.E Beijing


Uppsala Stadshuset Henning Larsen Architects Winning Proposal, Uppsala, Sweden

More projects available on

Wood work, UG2

DESIGN PROJECT The Theatre of Reversal Pittsburgh, PA Silent Wave Winter Stations, Toronto Lens Hotel Budget Hotel, Ann Arbor, MI The Fall of Order Rock-climbing Sports Center

* This photo features the practice project I did earlier in the semester. The project is to design a Puppet Theatre at 1:1 scale within a 20” by 15” by 15” black box. The design illustrates two worlds on top of each other connected by a Ferris wheel. This study of the connection and reversal between the two world also becomes the main stretegy of the theatre project.

Design Project - The Theatre of Reversal


The Theatre of Reversal is located at Culture Trust district in downtown Pittsburgh. The entire neighborhood has multiple theaters and galleries with hundreds of performances and exhibitions going on every year. The theatre sits between 7th Street and 8th Street, surrounds by two residential buildings and a few parking structures. The site is close to the riverfront, but you need to get up to 50 feet above the ground to have a river view. The design addresses to the idea of reversal. The theatre space itself is lifted above the ground, and reveals all the programs you wouldn’t be able to see conventionally from a theatre to the public. In most theatres, the building is usually only accessible to the audience and performers; however, in this project, the entire ground floor is turned into an open urban pocket space, with a golden ramp connects to the theatre space above.

SITE ANALYSIS During our site visit in the neighborhood, we witnessed and joined many street art performances in different pocket spaces. In the Cultural Trust Area, apart from the clusters of theatre, the clusters of urban space is another attraction to the visitors. The vision of the project is to bring the civic urban space to the site, and give the visitors an unexpected experience of the theatre and the city. People might not visit the theatre everyday, but the public programs offered by the theatre can give people another reason to stop by. The design addresses to the reversal on many aspects of a theatre. I want to challenge the spatial layout of a conventional theatre. Normally, the backstage would be embedded in the pochĂŠ, and only accessible to the audience and performance group. In the Theatre of Reversal, the backstage would be exposed, and the entire ground level will be open to the public. The reversal also happens in the audience-stage relationship. Opening up the ground floor curates the city performance to happen simultaneously with the performance inside the theatre.

Design Project - The Theatre of Reversal


Golden ramp linking public space to the theatre, manipulate the ground to create urban space

Open up the ground level, expose the backstage

Splitting the ground level through the alley way, open up the west side as public space, east side as backstage

Ramps accessible to public

Linear facade

Performance art in the alley way that cuts through the site, participated by my studio classmates

Panoramic view around the neighborhood from riverfront, bringing the urban space into the site

The golden ramp is the key figure of the project. It is fully accessible to everybody and serves as the main access to the theatre space. The ramp connects the mundane world to the perfected theatre space. Below the ramp, an open urban plaza invites everybody in the city to pause and sit down for a moment. The open atrium allows light to penetrate through the building. The ramps in the theatre choreograph an experience that as you ascend up, it unfolds you the unexpected activities from backstage, simultaneously, it’s also a promenade that presents you the play of the city.

Sectional Perspective

The spaces in the backstage are broken into cells and placed onto the ground floor, programs that can be seen are placed just behind the glass wall. Performers are on view from the street level, which also becomes a secondary performance from the theatre. One hundred columns are places in the space that follows through a grid system that supports the theatre on the top. The columns, although seemingly random, as specifically placed to create the sensation of zoned spaces, but their nonrestrictive quality provides a flexible layout to the public

Design Project - The Theatre of Reversal

Plan Level 5

Plan Level 4

Plan Level 3

Plan Level 2

Frontal View

a. View from alleyway

b. River view from rooftop

c. View from the ramp running across theatre space

Design Project - The Theatre of Reversal

b. c.


The lift brings the two different worlds on top of each other. The entire ground floor and second floor is open and transparent. The ground floor is divided through the alleyway. The lifted space gives the audience a secondary level of arrival. On the ground floor, you see the urban daily life of the city; while in the upper level, you would enjoy a river view. A few other ramps allows people to walk into the theatre space, to enjoy an unique and exclusive experience of the theatre.

Under the golden ramp, the ground is carved out to create a urban pocket space for gathering and street performance. The gold is symbolic to the notion of wealth and high-class, just like theatre. But it’s fully accessible to everybody, and leads all the audience from the secular world into the perfected theatre space.

Design Project - The Theatre of Reversal

View from 7th St.

Fabrication - Silent Wave

image sampling

Silent Wave create form


Collaborator: Rachel Coulomb Role: I developed the form and built the 3d model, Rachel helped with refining the concept. I worked on the 2 perspective renders, and all the diagrams. Rachel did the elevations. morphed openings

The Silent Wave is a place of solitude that captures the endless movement of Toronto’s waterfront. Beginning with an image of Lake Ontario, a series of maps take place within Grasshopper’s image sampler, thus translating the photo into a form of fluid waves. Breaking down the massing into a series of parallel ECOwool panels, creates a transparency to the North and South with views of the landscape that are distorted as one moves within and around the pavilion. The fabrics flow as wind moves laterally, creating a dynamic quality to the static form. The experience is that of a cave, unknown until one enters. Once pulled through an entry of three heights: walking, bending, or crawling with the landscape, the space continues vertically past the guard stand to a pinnacle of undisrupted light. Here one experiences the peak of the catalyst, until returning back down to the ceaseless motion of the cavity.

inverse void

ECOwool panels




4.5 m

south elevation

west elevation

5m 5m


4.5 m

north elevation

north elevation

Fabrication - Silent Wave

View through the pinnacle

The pavilion offers you a meditative moment where you can sit on the lifeguard stand and look up, and enjoy a moment of calmness in the cold winter days. The edges the fabrics fade out to the sides, just like the waves on the lake. At that moment, you’ll be surrounded by the wool felts which secures you the warmth and coziness. With lack of literal connection to the guard stand, the pavilion is able to be transported to differing sites, only requiring a new structure to sit and experience the pavilion’s pinnacle. Perhaps it could be placed around a slender boulder in the forest, or simply a small bench in a city park. The ECOwool panels are made of recycled wool textiles that are easily dismantled, and by maintaining each panel as a large footprint, this easy reuse of the material into objects such as shoes, bowls, wallets, and purses. Just as the movement within the construction, the pavilion’s flexibility and material possibility are endless.

ECOwool panels: recycled from discarded wool textiles

Lake Ontario, grasshopper sampling image


OVERLAPS OF GRID This project is about designing a sports center on a virtual urban site. The dimension of the site for building construction 83’ by 50’. Each of us stage our site right next to each other into two rows, sharing a party wall with the neighbor. We imagine the site can exist in anywhere of the world. The project focuses on the interpretation of grid in the form of architecture. Grid falls into the design as a design technique, as layers of information, as the frames for views. We started from the discussion of the grid. How do we define it? What can the grid do for us? Why we like it? Rather than thinking grid as a grating of crossed lines, what’s the depth behind it, what kind of role that grid plays in our daily life?

Design Project - The Fall of Order

TOWARDS THE GRID OF THE GRID We always have that intention that, when we are splitting an object, like a cheesecake or a bread, we want to split them evenly into grids. It’s hard to really tell why on earth we tend to do that. It is just intuitively embedded in our heads that grid is some state that we want to approach without reason, it makes us feel secure and makes things look nice. My investigation starts from cutting Jello. The grid was placed into it from making cuts. The Jello still stands after the first two cuts, and then starts to fall apart and collapse after more cuts were made. Symbolically, Jello can be anything in our daily life, even buildings.



Similar to the idea of splitting an object into grids, what if we apply this method to architecture? When we are given a few programs? Can we just use the most straight forward way to distribute them into the space -- literally making cuts on the building, and split it into what we want. I started with a conventional building that exists in every city in United States. While time brings us from the history to the present, can the order be fallen into the grid? The order here includes the notion of hierarchy, programs, and certainly the order of ornamentations.

Design Project - The Fall of Order


Graphite hand-drawn on Bristol, watercolor collage in Photoshop


Graphite hand drawn on Bristol, watercolor collage in


Ornamentations here falls into different scale, and function as climbing holds on this bouldering wall, the ionic column base becomes the wall for spiral staircase, the capital becomes the

bouldering half pipe



changing room 2

changing room 1

Design Project - The Fall of Order

ORNAMENTATIONS are objects that people can act upon. - Pediment, cornice become the climbing grabs of the bouldering wall. - Doric column is scaled up to the size of the spiral staircase.

The double facade that pushes the same order of the outer wall pattern to the inside. The boundary of inside and outside is undefined at the half pipe area. It allows you to shuffle between this two spaces. Reading from section, the baluster falls into the landscape, become the figure of the half-pipe for skate boarding, while at the same time, we can see it serving its original function.


Design Project - The Fall of Order





Ornamentations fall into the outdoor space as separate fragments that are all rescaled and serve a certain function. The objects are disorderly scattered which represent the opposite of order.

1 3

2 5


The juxtaposition of order over disorder, splitting over merging, grids over grids, functions over ornamentations creates the architecture that disrupts the convention, and activates the playfulness of the space.


Design Project - Lens Hotel

BUDGET HOTEL DESIGN The site locates at the campus area of University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The premise of this project is to design a budget hotel that has about 20 units with multi-functional programs in it that incorporates the campus life and the urban culture. The project focuses on turning architecture into an apparatus to stage the behavior of the occupants and the onlookers. The conversation about privacy and publicity between the architecture and people is pervasive in the territory. The notions of them are mediated or even convoluted through the design from different angles. Windows, courtyards, and corridors becomes important thresholds and medium to stage the play going on in the hotel. The Lens zooms in and zooms out and situates the discrepancy or conflicts between the appearance of things and how we think of them; what we want to do and how we interact; what we expect and what we see.


rchitecture is a stage. The play going on in architecture is the play of ourselves.” -- Beatriz Colomina

MEDIATION In our life, we play role in every moment. People in the hotel are highly mediated between privacy and publicity, they are forced to play a role, and lose themselves. The notion of publicity and privacy here is convoluted. The hotel is creating a paradoxical scenario that serves as a two-way space: • •

For spaces that are visually private, like the courtyard hidden back of the street buildings supposed to serve as a public space, you don’t aware that it is there. For spaces that are symbolically private, they are on view at a certain point.

Design Project - Lens Hotel


THE GENERATION Campus is always a good place to try out new compositions through architecture by exposure and inspection. The involvement of architecture makes the behavior of exposure becomes architectural rather than individual. The ambition is to design a hotel that might not necessarily coordinates with the disposition of the surrounding architecture. But the unexpectedness might meet the urge from our young generation who enjoy exposure and look for others’ attention.

Design Project - Lens Hotel

PERCEPTION here occurs in motion. The occupants continuously throw their actions onto the periphery of the building.

The design of the courtyard invites the pedestrians to the public space of the hotel. The idea of the hotel becomes a theatre box, that people in the courtyard, and people living in the hotel play the roles as spectators and actors.


Design Project - Lens Hotel

The reading of the windows as frames for views. Windows are placed in different units at different level & size to achieve various extents of exposure. For example, shower place has the window above our shoulder that you can see outside when showering. Some units only place the window at the level expose the body part, some are placed to expose head and feet at the same time.





fabrication The Flow of Curve Grasshopper, CNC Routing, vacuum forming LULU Chair CNC Routing, furniture design

Fabrication - The Flow of Curve






The sculpture is composed by 15 pieces of molded 1/16� vinyl panels. The modes were designed through Rhino and grasshopper, milled by 3-axis CNC router using 2 sheets of laminated 3/4� MDF boards. The panels were made from vacuum forming through the modes. The form of the sculpture explores the flow of curves on a surface. The design is to keep the sculpture symmetric and simple in order to save material and the complexity of fabrication. The curves are continuous along different panels in both solid and void areas. The project also explores the physicality of the material. The structure needs to be self-supported, so the symmetry in design also helps on this aspect. The project uses multiple design and fabrication tools. It also challenges the discrepancy between digital design and digital fabrication.


The design of a single panel is based on a rectangle, with two curves symmetrically connecting the corner and the middle point of the edge.


The panel is applied and reformed to a cone through grasshopper. Eventually, three different type of panels are generated.

Fabrication - The Flow of Curve


CNC milling on a 1-1/2” MDF board.

Clean up.

Vacuum forming using 1/32” thick PETG plastic.

Heat up the plastic.

Turn up the vacuum.

Cool down.

Each piece was cut out by hand, then glued together.

Final Product.


Fabrication - LULU Chair

FROM GRAINS PAN TO CHAIR DESIGN The deign of LULU Chair was inspired from the grains pan in the old days in China. People in the past used the pan to layout their grains such as rice, or corn in order to dehydrate them. They are usually handmade by dry straws, and bamboos. The bamboo member is bended by weaving the straws across it. The material and structure allows it to be very light and durable. In the chair, I took the same idea, turning the bamboo stick into the armrest of the chair. And the weaving of the straws become the seat. The seat is connected to the legs by crossing them together which mimics the weaving. The form is simplified into straight and clean curved members. LULU Chair is fabricated using 3/4� plywood by 3-axis CNC machine in the FAB Lab in Taubman College. Members are connected to each other by different types of joineries. No glue or screws were used to keep the parts together.

The seat is connected to the arm rest by blind mortise and tenon joints. The armrest is made by laminating two pieces of plywood with a dowel member lining them up.

The seat members are broken apart for a better nesting on the plywood sheet. Each member is broken into two pieces and connected by double-lapped dovetail joints.

Fabrication - LULU Chair

All the seating members are connected to the legs by half-lapped cross joints.

The two legs are connect by a horizontal member using a clip tenon joint.

Fabrication - LULU Chair

Model: Benjamin Wichman Location: Taubman College Parking Lot



A translation of an orchestrating string music, Little Suites by String Instruments, by Carl Nielson. Capturing the moving is a ten week project made up of three smaller intensive studies, all of which focus on creating both conceptual and perceptual movement in space. The first two stages explore the positive and negative form making though the carving and forming in the models. The third stage theorizes on the possibilities of creating an inhabitable space from the first two stages. The program here is a meditative music venue. In the study, I’m focusing on the repetition of movements, the alternation of fastness and slowness in music, and their translation in space.

Form Study - Capturing the Movement

STAGE 1: STACKING The translation from drawings to stacking models here investigates the methods of representing a certain abstract subjective quality into an tangible space. All the models are bounded by the boundary of the box. The solid and void space cascades along the lines on the box surface. You follow the repetitions of them and fall into another movement. Models made in this stage are all considered parallel to each other, they all seek to represent the quality in slightly different ways but go under the same stream.

Form Study - Capturing the Movement

The axon drawing studies the negative space of the model

The ink painting tries to demonstrate the mediation between the repetition of the positive and negative space.

At the end of the project, a video was composed documenting all the models made in this project, in accordance to the movement with the music. Http://

STAGE 2: CASTING As stage 1 was a practice of carving, stage 2 was aimed to translate the negative space of stage 1 by building it up. The build up of space is made by creating a form work then cast the void by Rockite. My investigation focuses on the overlapping and intersection area of space, meanwhile maintaining the quality of the repetitiveness, and exaggerating the contrast between fastness and slowness.

Form Study - Capturing the Movement


Form Study - Capturing the Movement

STAGE 3: THE VENUE This stage theorizes on the possibilities of creating an inhabitable space from interpreting the qualities of music movement. The venue I created has the quality that every piece of wall is connected to each other, they fold in and fold out creating different levels of space.

SECTION PERSPECTIVE 19�-24� By graphite



10 KM

Research - B.A.S.E. Beijing

Beijing is almost my second hometown. I’ve been living there concurrently for over twenty years. But the spring studio in 2014 with Robert Adams completely changed my perception of the city. In the program, I was working as a program assistant coordinate and set up meetings and events for the program. The experience peels off the surface of what I understand of Beijing. I begin to read the history, the culture, the politics of this historic place. This is a civic study, but I also regard it as a study of the second face of Beijing. This is a seven-week research program. During this time we visited of a few medical and civic institutions, set up different interviews with disabled people, NGOs, and artists from urban and rural Beijing. As a native Chinese speaker, I was doing all the translation job, from daily conversation, to interview with people from different background. The research focuses on exploring the medical infrastructures, relative organizations and living conditions of disabled people and the system in general. We mostly concern about the human rights of disabled people and the attitude to them of the world. At the same time, we discover how design and health issues affect people’s living condition from the lens of architecture. We document our research through photographs, interviews and videography.

We had a series of interviews with Beijing One Plus One - the very first NGO in China that serves for disabled people which is also established and run by disabled people. In the interview, we raised three questions to all the interviewers and document this into a video. The three questions are: who you are, what you do, what about your creative and intellectual life. From the interview, we were impressed by the life condition and social identity issue of this special group of people and the role of humanity is accentuated and re-evaluated. I did the interpretation for the entire interview, and helped with the post-production of the video.


Research - B.A.S.E. Beijing

SITUATION “Religion can be defined as that which removes things, places, animals, or people from common use and transfer them to a separate sphere. Not only is there no religion without separation, but every separation also contains or preserves within itself a genuinely religious core.“ -- Giorgio Agamben, Profanations The apparatus that effects and regulates the separation is sacrifice: through a series of meticulous rituals, which the passage of something from the profane to the sacred, from the human sphere to the divine.

WEIWEI-ISM "Everything is art. Everything is politics.” -- Ai Weiwei

During our visit in Beijing, CaoChangDi, we were very lucky that had a meeting with Weiwei, the most influential Chinese contemporary artist and architect in the world. At the same time, on the Internet, especially on Instagram, Weiwei started a crazy meme, that people taking selfies while holding your leg up as though aiming it like a rifle. Weiwei was the person who firstly took that photo, ever since then, the storm lasts for over 3 months that people crazily copying this pose and post onto different kinds of social network, Weiwei at the same time also keeps reposting people’s leg gun shots. Ironically, it was also during the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. In our meeting to his office, he also took a photo of us holding our “leg guns” and posted it onto his Instagram. What it really mean already no longer important, the power of Internet and the propaganda effect is striking.

Research - B.A.S.E. Beijing

TENSION On June 4th 2014, the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. On that day, two helicopters were constantly circulating on the sky. Presumably their presence was to monitors; to survey. Possibly implying protection, more assuredly a threat. Whatever their purpose is, throughout the day they served as a constant reminder of another day’s sacrifice. A sacrifice that moved Beijing into the realm of the sacred, of myth. Agamben identifies this display of power as secularization of the sacred. He writes, “we must distinguish between secularization and profanation. Secularization is a form of repression. It leaves intact the forces it deals with by simply moving them from one place to another.“ Government secularization of Tiananmen Square manifests itself through architectural apparatus of monitoring and control. The tension is immerse in the space, you see it, feel it everywhere. *Photo was taken at Qianmen, Beijing, June 4, 2016

PROFESSIONAL Uppsala Stadshuset Henning Larsen Architects Winning Proposal, Uppsala, Sweden

Professional - Uppsala Stadshuset

uPPSALA Stadshuset Type: Professional Project (International Competition) Result: Winning Proposal Office: Henning Larsen Architects Location: Uppsala, Sweden Length: 6 weeks Area: 25,000 sqm Design Team: Per Ebbe Hansson (PL), Ingela Larsson, Jiashi Yu Partnership: SLA (landscape design) Status: In September 2016, the municipality announced that Henning Larsen Architects wins the proposal, beating out proposals from Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, White Arkitekter, Ahrbom & Partners, and 3XN Architects. Role: I was part of the core design team with another two senior architects, joined from the very beginning of the project. I was mainly working on concept design, iterations of facade of the entire building, design of the assembly hall, 3D modeling, drawings, visualizations.

Render 1: View of towards the frontal facade

FRÖJA ÅNYO The project will include a refurbishment and addition to the existing city hall building, which was built in 1957 and only partially completed in accordance with the original drawings. Henning Larsen Architects’ design will close off the L-shaped building, connecting the old and the new with a glass-roofed courtyard to create a new public gathering place for residents in Uppsala. The original building was designed by Swedish architect Erik and Tore Ahlsén. In the team I was mainly working on two parts of the design, facade of entire building, and volume study of the central assembly hall. For a very long time, we were testing many different iterations of the facade design, we tried to give it a new look on top of the old building. But the outcome was always not satisfying, especially the joinery part of the old building and the extension. We decided to look back to the original design of the building, one main quality we want is to preserve the quality of the old building, and keeping our extension design simple and elegant. I proposed to the team that we can refer our facade to an old Chinese technique (锔瓷) of ceramic fixing. Rather than hiding the scars, the craftsmen would use gold to fill the gaps between the pieces. From there, I did a series of facade studies that keeping a recess along the whole facade at all the joinery parts. The recess also transforms as terraces and main entrance on the front facade. The overall design of the facade is very simple, we didn’t add any extra pattern to it. The idea is also to keep the integrity of the original design. I also studied some other buildings by the same architect, and try to keep a similar quality.

Section 1

Professional - Uppsala Stadshuset

View of the original town hall building

Render 2: View of our new extension from the same perspective

Section 2

ASSEMBLY HALL Another task I was mainly working on is the volume study of the central assembly hall. When Erik and Tore AhlsĂŠn were designing the old town hall, they also did a painting that illustrates the pattern of the cloud in the sky. The painting is also made into ceramic tiles for the inner facade. We really like the painting and want to give full respect to the wish to the architects. So for the design of the inner assembly hall, we also used the metaphor of cloud. We translate cloud into the organic shape of the assembly hall and the random distribution of vertical louvers on the facade.

Acknowledgment: Sketches: by Per Ebbe Hansson Sections: by Jiashi Yu Render 2,4: by Omar Dabaan (HLA Visual Department) Render 1,3,5: by Jiashi Yu 3D modeling of entire building: by Jiashi Yu

Professional - Uppsala Stadshuset

Painting by Erik and Tore AhlsĂŠn, architect of the old Uppsala Stadhuset.

Render 4: Bridge View

Render 3: Assembly Hall

Render 5: Entry View

Thank you!

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