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Xinman Liu Landscape Architecture Undergraduate Portfolio


Chaos Creates Chances 4th Year project




3. Oujiang Estuary New Urban District Landscape Planning Turenscape Intern Project



Nexus Park 3rd Year Ecological Design Studio project

VELELLA 2016 LAGI Competetion

Human as part of the landscape Guiling Impression Urbanization Artworks


CHAOS CREATES CHANCES Using Chaos Theory as lens for better understanding of Kingston Village, Cedar Rapids,IA Individual Project Urban Design Studio Fall 2016

Kingston Village occupies the west bank of the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids. Historically, before 1870 Kingston Village was not part of Cedar Rapids. Massive flooding in 2008 affected the entire Kingston Village area, causing significant damage to public and private property. As of 2013, the City is the largest landowner in Kingston Village, with over 100 properties participating in the Voluntary Acquisition Program. The Community itself is a mosaic of complex, residents here are family-oriented, younge but lower educated,full of diversity. I can see there are lot of potential, at the same time, more problems. As flood still threatening this community's developement, how to find the right path for creating a force for improving the Community’s social, economic and environmental sustainability? Can I prediect the unpredictability?






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8.1%Bachelor's Degree +

Site Boundary

Chaos predict the Unpredictable

Using the rough & sketchy lines to predict and define the 'right' pattern .

Nature is highly complex, and the only prediction you can make is that she is unpredictable. The amazing unpredictability of nature is what Chaos Theory looks at. Why? Because in stead of being boring and translucent, nature is marvelous and mysterious. And Chaos Theory has managed to somewhat capture the beauty of the unpredictable and display it in the most awesome patterns.

Introduce Tactical Urbanism

Inspire Action Collect Data Widen Public Engagement

Better Understanding

Right Direction

Chaotic Solution Formula


(People + Activities+Pubilc Spaces)


24/7 Programs for everyone DAY



Weekend/ Holiday



For Residents




Weekend/ Holiday


For People from outside of the community


Weekend/ Holiday

Typical Traffic Weekend



After Noon

Food Vendor/ market


Transfer the vacant space into the food vendor space.

Underpass Park


Transfer underpass parking lots into a vibran public space for residents.

After Noon


Create Connection Veterans Memorial Building/ City Hall

Linn County District Court Main Access from Kingstone Village 1st Avenue & 3rd Avenue

Existing Amphitheater

Areas that have easy public access + walkable distance for residents

Light Show

Using the historic archiecture facade as "canvas"

Potential spaces can create connection within Kingsdon Village + with City

Food Trucks Market/Food Vendors Recycled painted asphalt

moveable furnitures

Transfer the vacant space near downtown Cedar Rapids into a Vibrant public space have storng connection with local grow fresh food and experience different cultures through food. A great alternate space for downtown food truck vendors.

Using the historic archiecture facade as "canvas" Recall history in the past in a new form. Create public space for people from different part of cedar rapids come together. Kingston Village will be the new spotlight, shine bright at night.

Transfer vacant underpass parking space in between 1st and 3rd Avenue into a vibran public space mainly design for residences inside of the Kingston Village area to enjoy. Recycled material and temporary playground equitments are placed under the interstate highway.Design included area for kids from different age range to play and study,share family time together.

In between the interstate hightway, a colorful, soft and interactive space for kids in the Kingston Village read books and share ideas. Team up with local library, schedule weekly/daily mobile library come under the highway, helping kids from lower income and education family a better chance to access to knowledge and interact with their peer after school.

Wenzhou Oujiang Estuary New Urban District Landscape Planning Turenscape Internship Project Coastal land reclamation Restoration Teammates: Jian zhang,Yuan Xue,Xing Ming (Only Personal works Included) Summer 2016

Coastal Habitat loss due to land reclamation.

Original City Planning lack of focus

Flat topography due to land reclamation.

Inflexible city grid, planning was base on vehicle use, lack of Pedestrians and bike circulation and facilities


Straight seawall, lack of natural feature and water resiliency. Street design was cluttered, loss city identity .

24km² L a c k o f b a s i c a m e n i t i e s a n d r e c r e a c t i o n facilities

Residential + Education Straight River bank, lack of biodiversity.

The city itself are disconnected due to the irrational landuse planning.

Loss connection with Wenzhou's local history and culture

Imcompleted Stormwater management system

Major Typhoon Motion

The sites is located at estuary of China East Sea, it is a artificial land built from coastal land reclamation. The site is the first phase of the Wenzhou Ou River New Urban District Development and is planed to serve as communication & technology district, also included residential, commercial, recreational and educational function. The city of Wenzhou hope the new district can bring Wenzhounese back to their hometown, slow down the brain drain and attract investors and visitor come and stay. Due to both Wenzhou's cultural and geographical remoteness and its lack of natural resources (land, minerals, etc.), the Chinese central government has left the people of Wenzhou relatively autonomous. Away from the center of the political and economic stage, its people are more independent, self-reliant, and generally more business and family oriented.

Analysis Original Planning

Phase1+Phase 2 Landuse

Riverbank Strategies



Introduce Wetland Plants and Wildlife

Different Variations


Flat Land


Terraced Agriculture Land

Rocky Mountains 5m

Concave 1.5m

Stream 5m


Create diverse water interface

Adding Micro Topography


Mountains 1.5m


Using local dialect blend with topography, using traditional Chinese borrow landscape. Inspired by the mountainous landscape in Wenzhou, reshape and rescale, enhance the connection with Wenzhou local culture and history, create place identity.

Connect the City


Parks and Green Spaces in the city disconnected


Link the 3 Green Spaces and Parks in the center, create a Green Core and focus point for the city.

Introduce Gardens, urban farmings into the city ,to maximise the resilience of the eco-system through urban landscape. Blur the boundary of city and green space, create strong ecological connection, link spaces by pedestrian and bike-friendly transportation system. Create poly-centric cities, create public space for gathering, recreation, education, Comercial and bussiness use, makes The city space more compact and diverse.

Create Pedestrian-Friendly& Bike-Friendly Environment

Bus Stop Recycled Trash Can Bike Path

Bike Parking Pedestrian Lighting Stormwater Planter

Bench Street Tree

Bike Trail


Interative sidewalk


Strategies for Vibrant Mixed-Use Community


Straight riverbank+ Disconnected city spaces


Extend river and green space toward inside of the city.

Step 2.

Encourage new building design use bottom overhead multistory construction, give back the land to public green space.

Stormwater Management

Rain Garden


Floating Island


Mix-Use Community

More compact city space, can meet different people's need and create more gathering space for different activities.

Stormwater Planter

Permeable Pavement

Scenery Collage-City Scrolls Painting Themes

Nouthern Seawall Ecological + Local Culture Corridor Keywords: Bird-Watching, Productive Landscape, Fisher Folk Culture, Migratory Birds, Saltmarsh, Habitat Reclamation.

Central Urban Waterfront Social+Art+Recreation Corridor Keywords: Public Modern Art Installation,Theater, Market, Restaurant, City Life.

Southern Seawall Community+Fitness+Culture+Ecol ogical Corridor Keywords: Local Art Installation+Outdoor Fitness, Fishing, Tidal landscape

The three waterfront spaces are design to showcase different perspectives of Wenzhou city and the Ou River urabn district. We inspired by the Chinese Scroll Painting and the ancient local painting s" Strange Fish", see the three waterfront space as three beautiful scroll paintings.Three corridors illustrate the unique local culture and history, and the present urban life, the future prospects of the new urban district.

Velella Velella The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) Competetion Santa Monica, CA Renewable energy infrastructures+ Artistic Presentation Teammates: Shan He, Krithika Mohan Spring 2016


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Velella velella, also known as "by-the-wind-sailors" have a recent history of washing ashore in California in response to El Nino events in the past few years. The hydrozoan consists of a float for the base with a clear sail to the top that enables these organisms to move with winds and currents. Their popularity with the Pier Aquarium and their amazing ability to function as a system in colonies serve as the basis for this concept. The design is comprised of two major components- The desalinization demonstration facility and the floating façade. Each of these components contribute to the two-fold system of renewable energy technologies, namely, photosynthetic solar panel and saline water electrolysis. The demonstration facility would ideally be powered entirely by the clean energy provided by the solar panels, making this design a truly self-sustaining system. Ebb and flow of low tide and high tide influence the movement of the floating façade of Velella, much like its hydrozoan counterpart. However, the structure takes biomimicry a step further by applying an ingenious technique to the recycled can and aluminum façade. On a closer look, one would be able to see the green powdery texture of the solar harvesting technique developed by MIT Researcher, Andreas Mershin. The technique involves mixing of ready to use "stabilizing powder" with agricultural waste such as grass clippings to create a green goo that performs photosynthesis even after the plant's death. Tapping into Photosystem-I Chlorophyll molecules from plants to the floating façade makes this technology highly malleable and inexpensive. While this technology is not as efficient as the regular photo voltaic cells (0.1% efficiency as compared to 15-18%), it is non-toxic, affordable and easy to install. The rough surface of the floating façade is connected through a web of zinc nanowires that run through the recycled cans and interconnected LED lights that activate in the absence of daylight. Getting to Velella from the Pier by itself is a renewable experience as people will be encouraged to use boats powered by clean energy generated at the facility. Frequent routes would make the structure accessible, but people would be able to experience the land art from the Pier as well. This dual experience would be achieved using visual aids of lighting and signage, along with the experience of tasting purified water from the facility at custom drinking fountains located at the Pier.


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Photosynthetic Solar Panel



A self-Sustaining System Seawater Desalinization Facility


Vēlum: sail, -ella: bacteria Discover Santa Monica’s Peculiar Sea Raft



Santa Monica Pier

Floating facade on low tide


Santa Monica Pier

Floating facade on high tide



VÄ“lum: sail, -ella: bacteria


Diameter Length of Floating Facade: over 80 m 40m Solar collecting chips are connected with a web of zinc nanowires. Each layers have spaces to cool the architecture and chips

Discover Santa Monica's Peculiar Sea Raft The Velella is generally two parts. The upper dome for solar energy collection and diving delta for seawater desalination. The technique used for floading facade of collecting solar energy involves mixing of ready to use "stabilizing powder" with agricultural waste such as grass clippings to create a green goo that performs photosynthesis even after the plant's death. Tapping into Photosystem-I Chlorophyll molecules from plants to the floating faรงade makes this technology highly malleable and inexpensive. While this technology is not as efficient as the regular photo voltaic cells (0.1% efficiency as compared to 15-18%), it is non-toxic, affordable and easy to install. The rough surface of the floating faรงade is connected through a web of zinc nanowires that run through the recycled cans and interconnected LED lights that activate in the absence of daylight.

Recycling aluminum from wasted cans covered with "stabilizing powder" with green goo creat a plat for photosynthesis

? Wasted Cans

Diameter Width of Floating Facade: over 25m




Using Solar Energy Harvesting chip: (0.1% efficiency) Surface area of floating facade: 2000 squre meters Bionic Floading Facade for Collecting Solar Energy

VELELLA Structure Section 12m



Intake tube is 1200 m

Nexus Park Master Plan+West Entrance Design

3rd Year Ecological Design Studio Project Master Planďźš Xinman Liu,Matthew Iekel, Zhuojia Lou, Dominick Florer,Casey Ludwig, John Aceto West Entrance Designďźš Xinman Liu Spring 2016 *All Graphics are rendered by Xinman Liu.

Ames, a peaceful town in the mid-west, and the home of Iowa State University. The site is located at southern corner of Ames, in which the new direction of urban sprawl. The site was a former agriculture land and located between Workiva(IT Company) and ISU Research Park. New high-end residential development and a new bike trail that connect with high trestle trail in Des Moins(Iowa Capital) was planed in the west side of the site. The site will serve as a living lab, a place for Inspiration and green foot forward for the city of Ames.We noticed that our site as a public park will be designed to meet different people, wildlifes and plants' need. At the same time, connect with the surrounding and other places in Ames physically, conceptually and functionally is very important. The city of Ames started to extend toward south, where our site located and the surrounding lack of public green space. During the master plan phase, we decided to design our site the green core for southern Ames, a place serve as spacial intersection, and a green buffer zone. We blend similar elements from our surrounding and used in our site design, to enhance the connection. In order to make the change from place to place faintly, the elements from surrouding gradully reduced toward the core(center) of the site. We came out the name "Nexus" for our design.

Iowa State University

Residential Development


Site ISU Research Park Ames Airport

Site Conditions+Problems


- A connected group or series - The central and most important point or place. &

C. Eroded Streambank

A. Limited Space

D. Bare Soil/Soil Erosion B. Limited Access

c c'

Education Center


Sunken Garden

A Wetland



Open Lawn



Proposed Parking lot


ISU Research Park

Stepping stone



Integrate ecological systemsinto the surrounding context and provide connections to similarsites.



Establish vehicle and pedestrian connections to both existing and proposed infrastructure.

Support a strong and sustainable stream bank ecology.


Improve soil systems in order to protect soils on site.

Create learning opportunities for the public on native ecology, watersheds, and the history of the site.



Imagine Our Site is An Ice Cream Cone

Residential Flavour

Commercial Flavour

The Horizontal Space is Limited, But We Want This Place To Be Multi-Function.

Site Boundary

ISU Research Park Flavour

Let’s Go Vertical



Ecological Flavour

Add Some Delicious Topping!! How Can We Make Them All Fit In ?

Circulation Hierarchy

Pedestrian+Bike Path Wood Bridge Stepping Stone

Ground Circulation

Pedestrian Trail

Bike+Pedestrian Path Resting Area

Landbridge Circulation

Pedestrian Lookout Path

Section C-C'

Section B-B'

Education Center+Wetland

Landbridge separate human movement and wildlife movement, not only protect wildlife, plants and streambank ecology, but also create a great oppotunities for people enjoy and observe nature without disturbing.

Terracing the land provide boundless spatial separation for different function land use, different height also create various perspectives for people viewing the park.

Section A-A'

Landbridge is the core of the park, also the natural hub for preserve wildlife and riparian ecosystem, the center of the bridge create micro climate without human intervention. Glass wall inside of the landbridge create visual connection between human and wildlife, for education and research purpose.

Stream Bank Stabilization

Before Eroded easily and Flood easily Did no provide good habitat for plants and animals.


Widening and terrace the stream bank, plant with native riparian vegetation like Platanus occidentalis. Stabilize the steambank, and create water-resilience Landscape.

Nexus Park|West

Entrance Design(individual work) Problems

Site 1960s




Ames Annexations 2016

Future Residential Development Site Location

6 Brown Bus Stop/ 20mins

This is the 2rd phase of the nexus park design, each of our teammate chose one part of the park to move further. I pick the west entrance where right next to the new bike trail that link to Des Moins, new residential development and the only bus stop that can take people to ISU, and other important spots in town. I tought here will be the good place to invite people go into the park and explore. During design, I found the roundabout in front of our site was convenient for both vehicle and pedestrian, but the only problem is roundabout did not included traffic light and audio guide. When people who is visually impaired and young children crossing will be a potential security liability, but the park was design for everyone can enjoy. I decided to include the sidewalk and roundabout design in my entrance design, in order to make sure everyone who walk and bike to our park without safety concern. The entrance located between two parking lot, and right next to the road, also the elevation of the entrance is lower than the surrounding in order to mitigate the urban heat island effect and stormwater run off from surrounding, the Design included several ecological element like Permeable Pavement and sidewalk stormwater planter to slow down the water and filter the water before it go into the site.


"Green Wall" Design Parti

MTB Obstacles Plan Parti Inspired by Movement Patterm

Permeable Pavement

Ground Lighting

Increase Green Space+ Shade/ Ecology+Urban Heat Island

ADA Accessible/Open to Everyone

Bike Park/ Recreation

Recycle Material (Recycled Rubber)

Design Elements

The entrance is link to the bike trail, and I was inspired by it and tried to continue the bike element into our site. The entrance was long and narrow, it is not the perfact condition for an entrance how to lead people go all the way down to the open lawn and keep them interested was important. A mini bike park idea came into my mind, the entrance was divided to three parts, one is the bike park(included MTB obstacles, recycled rubber cover planter as cushion and lighting on the ground for night use and save space  and another is pedestrian path for people who walk to the park. The third one was a gathering area serve as resting area, bike shelter also Ames City Bike shelter for people who bike here parking and resting, also for people who walk here want to bike through the park check-out bike.


Pedestrian Circulation Playground/ Opened Lawn


Bike Circulation

Playground/ Opened Lawn

Entrance/ Activity


B St i at k io e n

Small Gatehring Space


Playground/ Opened Lawn






Section Facing North


5' 20'


Details Shade Tree

Water TolerantNative

Yield Sign

Curb Cut/Inflow

Permeable Pavement

Flashing Light Warning (Press)




Filter Fibric

Structure Wall Existing Soil

Detective Warning Permeable Pavement with


Different Texture (Detectable)

Stormwater Planter Detail /Sidewalk ADA-Roundabout Detail R e s t i n g Area/ Direction Bike Park/ Recreation

Eco-Green Wall (Raised Stormwater Planter)

A D A Accessible

Increase Green Space+ Shade/ Ecology+Urban Heat Island

Bike Shelter

Ground Lighting

Permeable Pavement

Increase Green Space+ Shade/ Ecology+Urban Heat Island

After I did research of how blind people walk and their habit, I found out that they most sense the world by touch and listen, they using cane to feel the differences of the ground texture to tell them where they are. According to the sound they can know what is going on, and that is why audio guide is so important. So I designed a series of feature that include different texture(Detective Warning& Special texture crosing), audio guide, and also for makes the drive notice they should slow down and stop(Sign, flashing light) to ensure the safety and enhance the connection.


Human As Part of the Landscape /Bench Design Xinamn Liu Shan He Rui Xie


------ 题西林壁 苏轼(Song Dynasty)

Min 20" Mid 24" Max 25"



Deep meaning behind simple form

From the side, a whole range; from the end, a single peak; Far, near, high, low -- no two parts alike. Why can't I tell the true shape of Lu-shan? because I myself am in the mountain


People are part of the landscape


Harmony between people and nature

Chinese Poem:


Chinese philosophy:



Base Support


Section From Side



5" 16"



The "Reflection"



Drywall Screws (Bottom Support)

Setting Area Details






LA 481




Shop Drawing

SCALE 1-30"


DATE 10/19/2016






Exterior Screws (Surface)



Section From Front

Bench Design

Rock Garden in Suzhou Museum




Natural Setting

Modern Setting

Urbanization Photogram


Guiling Impression/Collage

Guiling Impression/Collage

Guiling Impression/Collage

Xinman liu 2017 portfolio issuu  
Xinman liu 2017 portfolio issuu