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It is to keep thinking about what architecture can be, in whatever form. ----Rem Koolhaas

After the decline and abandon of modernism and simple, orthogonal geometries associated with it, architects and their audience are now more interested in complex and heterogeneous forms. It seems that we are moving towards an fascination with decorations, skins, facades, usually composed of modules. Visual effect and materiality become increasingly important. On the other hand, new technologies are adapted to integrate human experience and create flexible environments. The boundary between architecture and installation becomes blurred. It is necessary taht consideration of human experience and atmosphere become part of early stages of design and sometimes surpasses the significance of purely decorative forms. After all, buildings are to be inhabited by people and to satisfy their needs. In these projects, the strategies are focused on creating interesting moments for people to enjoy themselves and interact with the environment.


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Xian_Chi SCI-Arc_3GA


Content

+Feather(ed)_Antiques

Vertical Studio_3GA

Boutique

4-15

+Graphic Novel Library_Fluid

Design Studio_1GB 16-29

+Urban Farm_Folded

Design Studio_1GA 30-39

Surface

+Weaved Bricks*

Applied Studies/ Material and Structure_1GA 40-43

+Response to Kipnis

Cultural Studies_1GB 44-45

+Collective Housing_Objects

Design Studio_2GB 46-53

+WhaleCookie

Visual Studies_1GB 54-57

+REALunREAL*

Visual Studies_2GB 58-59

+New World Center_Synthetic +The Interesting* +Why so Serious? +Thesis Statement

Wholes

Design Studio_2GA 60-69 Applied Studies/ From Objects to Forms

70-71

Cultural Studies_3GA 72-73 74-75

* group projects



Feather(ed)_Antiques Boutique

Site: Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy Program: A boutique for displaying and restoreing antiques. Methodology: This project seeks opportunities to explore the potential of camouflaging two similar figures into a composition with their own materiality. The two dimensional composition is then transformed into a three dimensional wall section where the rigor is communicated through the attributes of the material instead of the figures. The feathering effect is created through the appearance of the materials with entirely opposite characters of feathers. Thus the feathered wall section becomes an experiment of optical simulation.

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Unfolded Envelope

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Ground Plan

Section A-A'

Unfolded Elevation

Section B-B' 




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Graphic Novel Library_Fluid

Site: Lower east side of Manhattan Program: The mission of the institution is to collect, preserve, educate, and display graphic novels. The library will house a Graphic Novel collection, admin area, display galleries, a cafe, and lecture hall. Methodology: Inspired by OMA's Tres Grande Bibliotheque, the initial scheme of the project is composed of a series of flexible, modular library spaces framed by an orthogonal grid. Then the facade is transformed into a more fluid and integrated continuous skin wrapping around several "pod"s of different programs. The outer walls facing the streets close up the block to create a urban condition while the narrow openings on both ends introduce people into the unexpected spectacular courtyard.

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Plan

East Elevation

Iteration 1.0 West Elevation

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Iteration 1.1

Iteration 1.2

Iteration 1.3


Iteration 1.4

Iteration 2.0

Iteration 2.1

Iteration 2.2

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Precedent Studies: Tres Grande Bibliotheque by OMA

Modules plugged in with consideration of optimizing the absorption of sunlight

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Series of deformation operations: Bend: Reconfigure the direction of the main sides of the module to absorb indirect sunlight. Cut: Create subdivision of the module to produce flexible spaces. Slide: Increase the surface area against the sunlight. Mirror: Create multiple spaces. Extend: Make connection with the main building. Merge: Produce one unified space. Climb: Respond to adjacent spaces and create an incline.

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early iterations

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Interior spaces

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1 Study Room 2 Stack 3 Reception 4 Administration 5 Multi-purpose Room 6 Semi-Automatic Book Retrieval System 7 Restroom 8 Interactive Space 9 Storage Room 


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Plan 1 Scale: 1/80"=1'-0" Plan 1

Scale: 1/8"=1'-0"

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Section A-A' Scale: 1/80"=1'-0" Section A-A' Scale: 1/16"=1'-0"

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1 Study Room 2 Stack 3 Reception 4 Administration 5 Multi-purpose Room 6 Semi-Automated Book Retrieval System 7 Restroom 8 Interactive Space 9 Storage Room

Plan 2 Scale: 1/80"=1'-0" Plan 2

Scale: 1/16"=1'-0"

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1 Study Room 2 Stack 3 Reception 4 Administration 5 Multi-purpose Room 6 Semi-Automated Book Retrieval System 7 Restroom 8 Interactive Space 9 Storage Room


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Plan 3 Scale: 1/80"=1'-0" Plan 3

Scale: 1/16"=1'-0"

1 Study Room 2 Stack 3 Reception 4 Administration 5 Multi-purpose Room 6 Semi-Automated Book Retrieval System 7 Restroom 8 Interactive Space 9 Storage Room

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Plan 4 Scale: 1/80"=1'-0" Plan 4

Scale: 1/16"=1'-0"

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1 Study Room 2 Stack 3 Reception 4 Administration 5 Multi-purpose Room 6 Semi-Automated Book Retrieval System 7 Restroom 8 Interactive Space 9 Storage Room

1 Study Room 2 Stack 3 Reception 4 Administration 5 Multi-purpose Room 6 Semi-Automatic Book Retrieval System 7 Restroom 8 Interactive Space 9 Storage Room 1 Study Room 2 Stack 3 Reception 4 Administration 5 Multi-purpose Room 6 Semi-Automated Book Retrieval System 7 Restroom 8 Interactive Space 9 Storage Room

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Urban Farm_Folded Surface

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Site Plan Scale: 1/128"=1"-0"

Site: Downtown, Los Angeles Program: As an urban architectural

typology integrating three distinct farming areas: agriculture, fungiculture, and apiculture, the project provides an opportunity to explore a more interactive relation between users and the building. Methodology: Design models as a concept described by UN Studio becomes a major driver in the initial design process. "Folded Surface" is applied as an operational strategy to form a belt that first acts as a ramp and then is transformed into walls and then floors again. People walk along the exterior wall, the "green belt" where local vegetables are planted, and pick up the vegetables and fruits according to their preference on their way up.

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Green Belt

Sun Belt

Circulation

Urban Farm

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After the initial form is generated, possibilities of different positions of carved-out roof garden are explored. Outer shell is perforated to introduce more sunlight and air flow through the building.

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At the same time, a transitional space is created in between the facade and the enclosed interior spaces. Farmer's market is located on the first floor where the space is more open and the traffic is more fluent.

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Section C-C

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Plan 1 Scale: 1/32"=1"-0"

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Plan 2 Scale: 1/32"=1'-0"


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Section A-A Scale: 1/32"=1'-0"

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Section B-B Scale: 1/32"=1'-0" 


New World Center_Synthetic Wholes

Site: New World Center, Miami Beach Program: a new music center that comprises three main spaces: concert hall, theatre and multi-media room. Methodology: This project discusses the autonomy of separate architectural spaces. The two concert halls are not interacting with each other nor integrated into a whole volume. Rather, they are given their own identities as two individual spaces. At the same time, the canopy provides an opportunity to explore the relationship between the two spaces with covering them instead of connecting them. Functionally, supporting programs are accommodated in the plinth level and user spaces are located in the poche, in-between spaces. Then the third theatre is introduced through exploring the potential of the facade of the two concert halls. New possibilities emerged while more perspectives are created. 


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

Exploded

              ç   Diagram

Project Development

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Solid_Void Iterations 0

8

16

24m

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Groud Level Plan

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Transverse Section

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the Interesting

This project took a critical look at the uniqueness of a single aesthetic category, "the interesting" and used a series of texts and a series of objects develop contingent understandings of how the "weakness" of this term can begin a process that originates from a discourse of aesthetic, affects, and sensations and forces a process of conceptualization and intellection. It is within this process of "forming" ideas about what makes something "interesting" that we will begin the transformation from Objects to Forms.

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Why so Serious?

Introduction: It is hard to track the exact period of time when seriousness started to become another synonym of dullness. After the severity of functionalism in modern architecture has been abandoned, sarcasm and ironic metaphors began to play an important role in the criticism of postmodern architecture. Although irony as elements in architectural expression has been disappearing, the sense of absurdity, playfulness, and amusement began to appear more and more frequently. At a time when people could hardly spend time to finish a lengthy book, they might find things less serious easier to digest, such as facebook and twitter. Michael Meredith described this phenomenon vividly in his article For the Absurd. "Are you reading this? You must be bored...Haven't you heard of the Internet?...Architecture seems so dull and primitive in comparison." It seems so easy for architecture to surrender under the power of absur-

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dity. Is seriousness no longer relevant to architecture or we don't have the patience to read and understand architecture in a serious way? If there is still value embedded in seriousness, how could we regain it in architecture? What if architecture of absurdity, playfulness, and interest becomes the new seriousness? Absurdity appeals to architects as a way to break the orthodox rules of architecture. Meredith discerned that "Architecture's self-serious tragedy has been written and rewritten ad nauseam." He believes that it is time to discard the seriousness and to write a manifesto for "Absurd Realism". The so-called "Absurd Realism" is not to be self-contained or sarcastic, but to engage the world. As Meredith puts it: It is not against Realism or Humanism. It's not against Abstraction or Formal Logic or Positivism. It's not art for art's sake, and it's not about heteronomy of life, of urban-

ism, of function. It's for both and neither. "Absurd Realism" would be extreme in its parallel, multiple ontologies. The way Meredith defined absurdity in architecture is subtractive and exclusive. He described everything that it is not, for it is indeed difficult to list what the notion is composed of. It is not the criticism or opposition against a single movement in the history of architecture. It seems that the discussion started with moving away from seriousness, yet absurdity could hardly be concluded simply as the negation of seriousness either. The implied multiplicity is embedded in the concept, which is stressed by Meredith. Perhaps it is not to be confined with a manifesto for "Absurd Realism". Could absurdity actually be explained or attempting to explain it is absurd itself?


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Xian Chi Portfolio 2013