Works from 2012-2014
Master of Architecture 3G 2nd Year, University of Michigan
Design is a door to innovation. That was the reason why I transferred from civil engineering to architecture. In my opinion, design is to understand and to respond to the world, which involves observation, analysis, creation and visualization. Engineering background benefitted me beyond knowledge: it taught me about systematic and critical thinking, which is similar to the abstraction in architecture. Critical and radical thinking is necessary for innovative and rational design. Visual communication is the medium where design is presented and it is the product of design to certain degree. The language of signs and images communicates design and information in different dimensions. Under globalization and over-commercialism, the responsibility of a designer is not only focusing on the end product, but also in urban environment, culture, economy and politics. I believe honest and modest design is a way out. The simplicity in design thinking, visual communication or architecture itself is the interpretation of my belief.
YA SUO 389-9114 email@example.com 2200 Fuller Crt, Ann Arbor, MI 48105 Master of Architecture 3G 2nd Year University of Michigan 2012 - 
Studio: Form, Situations, Networks, Systems Topics Covered: Sustainable Design, Construction Drawings, Architectural Theory, Generative Design Computing, Site Operations
Bachelor of Engineering [Civil Eng.] University of Hong Kong 2009-2012
Final Year Project: Pushover Analysis of Transfer-Plate Structures Topics Covered: Structural Engineering, Project Management, Geo-technical Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Surveying and Engineering Drawing
Mac/ Windows Platform, Windows Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite AutoCAD, Sketchup, Rhino+Grasshopper+Vray, Revit C++, ArcGIS, ETABS Web Design with CSS and HTML Mandarin Chinese (Native), English (Fluent)
Grow House digital fabrication
Greetings from Gibraltar graphics
Capsule Surface narrative
8 Mile Baseline
Representations and Images
Honorable Mention, Blank Space Fairy Tales Architecture Competition, 2014 Nominated for 2014 Student Showcase, University of Michigan / AIA Huron Valley, 2014 Scholarship, Binda, Guido & Elizabeth Program, 2013
Research Assistant, John McMorrough and Julia McMorrough, 2014 Spring Break Externship, CetraRuddy, New York, 2014 Web Design, Design Earth [http://design-earth.org/], 2013 Internship, Shan Jun Architecture Atelier, 2011
APEX U OF M STUDENT HOUSING
Systems Studio, 2014 Winter Apex is a luxurious student housing located in north campus of University of University of Michigan Michigan. Apex promotes active living, interaction and sharing in three scales. Instructor: Christina Hansen + Julia McMorrough Project Team: Sean Niu, Ya Suo and Julie Wu
A running path leads people move through the landscape, and folds around different playgrounds for sports activities such as skateboarding, basketball and skiing. The roof of the three buildings are peeled from the ground into slopes with different gradients for different activities and speeds. Inside the building, students are divided into communities for sharing resources as well as interactions.
Diagram of Slopes
grocery restaurant gallery rental dining hall music studio studio media bus stop basketball court skateboarding running path
Circulation CIRCULATION PROGRAM
public communal spaces private units
grocery restaurant gallery rental dining hall music studio studio media bus stop basketball court
SUN PATH DIAGRAM
skateboarding running path
STRUCTURES Sun Path SUN PATH DIAGRAM CIRCULATION
communal spaces units
SUN PATH DIAGRAM
30 Degrees public private
[Main Building] Speed + Walking and Jogging
grocery restaurant gallery $
rental dining hall music studio studio media bus stop basketball skateboarding running skiing
Public and Private Zones
grocery restaurant gallery
15 Degrees Speed ++ Running
rental dining hall music studio studio
21 Degrees Speed +++ Skiing
media bus stop basketball skateboarding running skiing
30 Degrees - Slope Design
30 Degrees - Dorm PROGRAM Design
communal spaces units
SUN PATH DIAGRAM
4 3 2
Scale: 1/16” = 1’-0”
UP DN DN
Community Level 2
Community Level 2
Scale: 1/16” = 1’-0”
Community Level 1
Community Level 1 Scale: 1/16” = 1’-0”
Ground Health Hub Scale: 1/16” = 1’-0”
24 units 24 units 1 communal kitchen 1 communal kitchen 1 study space 1 study space 1 dining space 1 dining space 11 toilets 11 4toilets bathtubs 4 6bathtubs shower stalls 6 2shower stalls laundry spaces 2 laundry spaces
17 students Community Level 2 12 units 5 toilets
bathtubs 17 2students 12 5 2 3 1
3units shower stalls 1toilets laundry space bathtubs shower stalls laundry spaces
Community Level 1
19 12students units 12 1 1 1 6 2 3 1
1units communal kitchen kitchen 1communal study space space 1study dining space space 6dining toilets 2toilets bathtubs 3bathtubs shower stalls 1shower laundry space stalls laundry spaces
er o Fl r Co
g in r o
or r id
D lc d Ba oo lic W Pub
et rp e Ca pac S
s le Ti ry d
s ile e T hen on itc St al K
SINGLE 140 sq ft
DOUBLE 260 sq ft
ADA 400 sq ft
TRIPLE 400 sq ft
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Foldable timber panels Glass balcony Timber decking Impact sound insulation Waterproofing Radian floor heating Synthetic floor covering Grout Hollow slab 1 core Foldable timber panels Gypsum sheathing 2 Glass balcony In situ concrete 3 reinforced Timber decking Porous 4 hardsurfaces Impact sound insulation
5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Waterproofing Radian floor heating Synthetic floor covering Grout Hollow core slab Gypsum sheathing In situ reinforced concrete Porous hardsurfaces
Foldable timber panels Glass balcony Timber decking Impact sound insulation Waterproofing Radian floor heating Synthetic floor covering Grout Hollow core slab Gypsum sheathing In situ reinforced concrete Porous hardsurfaces
[Analysis] Economic Enclaves Along 8 Mile Road
Mapping of Threshold Conditions
By mapping the median income of the tri-county area, higher-income “enclaves” are discovered. They fall on both sides of the 8 Mile Baseline, demonstrate a dramatic juxtaposition of households with the highest and lowest income levels. The threshold conditions have different openness, programs and visual form. The threshold condition can be both a result and a cause of division. In the highway condition, it is the planning of the city that separates the neighborhood. The community or homeowners, on the other hand build fences.
ROSADALE PARK $ 86,528
Being aware that the division between neighborhoods is impossible to erase, chances are the threshold condition can function as shared property of two communities that can benefit both sides.
Mapping of Median Income
PALMER WOODS/ SHERWOOD FOREST
Economic Enclaves in Detroit
WHITE BLACK OTHER 1,000 H 1,000 P MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
GROSSE POINTE CITIES MEDIAN HOUSING VALUE
DETROIT S.A.R. The Land of the Chinese God of Wealth
Blank Space Fairy Tales This surreal narrative speculates the possibility of Detroit after bankruptcy Competition, 2014 inspired by the analysis of economic enclaves. Detroit has a well known history Honorable Mention of manufacturing. It has witnessed the rise and fall of automobile industry in the
United States. The economic structure in the United States has shifted and the role of manufacturing has moved to developing countries, among which China Project Team: has played an leading role. This narrative engages history and current conditions, Ya Suo + Rania Ghosn [Instructor] cultural differences on a macro vision by creating utopia/ dystopia.
China is once again one of the world's major economic powers with the blessings of its Cai Shen, its God of Wealth since ancient times. In the decades following reform and capitalist opening-up in the late 1970s, China's economy has developed at a remarkable rate, with most of the growth created from Special Economic Zones (SEZ). The God of Wealth was eager to globally expand the apparatus of the Chinese economic
zones and saw opportunities in the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Detroit was a land of opportunities: low real estate prices
恭 喜 發 財
$$ $ $
Jul 18, 2013
Jun 9, 2014
Jul 1, 2015
Oct 6, 2023
Bilateral Meeting Negotiating Trade between US and China
The Establishment of Detroit S.A.R.
Protest Against Investors’ Crazy Consuming in Detroit
and the Fordist test bed par excellence. Presented to the White House
and luxury on sales. Chinese kids were sent to the region’s schools in
and the city’s emergency manager, the Chinese report highlighted the
preparation of their college study in the U.S. The God of Wealth was very
mutual benefits pointing in particular to the model of Hong Kong Special
satisfied that Detroit S.A.R. was the frontier of world capitalism.
Administrative Region (Hong Kong S.A.R.).
Investors saw opportunities in sectors beyond the industry. They proposed to buy the art collection in the Detroit Institute of Arts, to
The evidence was undeniable and the agreement conclusive: In
change the Tiger Stadium into the Dragon Stadium, and the Fox Theatre
2015, Detroit S.A.R. was established. The new region implemented
into the Panda Theatre. The residents of Detroit’s suburbs had mixed
looser policies on visa, immigration, investment, and taxation. Chinese
feelings toward the new fortunes of the city. Though they benefited from
manufacturing companies, which produce goods for international brands the newfound prosperity of their metro center, they had a deep-seated such as Nike, Apple and Coach, expanded their business overseas. Detroit
fear of losing their cultural identity to these foreign investors. In their
S.A.R. quickly overtook Mainland China in economic growth rates: the
eyes, the dragon and pandas were scaring away the American eagle.
American Dragon was born. Entire urban blocks were new real estate
In October 2023, a protest against foreign investors requested that the
operations. Road signs were changed into bilingual Chinese and English.
city’s important landmarks be moved north of 8 Mile Road administrative
Chinese consumers rushed into shopping malls to buy organic food
boundary. Tensions between Chinese investors and the residents of the
suburbs worried the God of Wealth. “Such frictions could scare away
suburbs as the image of a prosperous, spectacular, and transparent
capital,” he thought, adding “only a great can bring peace back to the
Detroit S.A.R. The Investors Brochure© featured photo-essays on the
great expectations for the “employee-family” within the Wall. The Main Wall Street was the best-in-class shopping experience. With on-site
In 2030, the landmarks were relocated. A border wall was built stretching
production, the aisles are replenished daily - never out of stock!
the whole length of 8 Mile Road and wrapping around the city. To the north of the wall, the uprooted landmarks were connected to the wall
In Year 2036, Detroit S.A.R celebrated the Year of the Dragon with the
as anchor stores. The Great Wall served to maintain the desired distance
sound of firecrackers. Along the 8Mile Road, windows and doors were
between Detroit S.A.R. and the suburbs all while housing the mutual
decorated with red paper-cuts of “good fortune” and “happiness”. Money
dreams of American and Chinese capitalism. Within the Wall, the glittery
was given in red paper envelopes. The God of Wealth, in the form of a
malls also functioned as border crossing, factories and dormitories
panda, was the new mascot of prosperity for Detroit S.A.R. the deity that
for local and foreign workers. A Homeland Security Subway allowed
was capable of turning its cycle of rubble and iron into gold.
a most efficient borer crossing between the United States and China. The manufacturing spaces were exposed to the public of the northern
The Investors Brochure©
[Analysis] Jacobs House by Frank Lloyd Wright A sequence of study on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Herbert Jacobs House I, Madison, WI, 1936 was done in order to understand the synthesis. In the first section of analysis, “COPY”, a model and a series of drawings were produced to engage into the project. In the second section, “UNDO“, formal strategy was studied by individuals. I focused on Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic architecture which grows out of the core , integrates with the landscape and promotes harmony between human and nature.
“Using Nature as our basis for design, a building or design must grow, as Nature grows, from the inside out. Most architects design their buildings as a shell and force their way inside. Nature grows from the idea of a seed and reaches out to its surroundings. A building thus, is akin to an organism and mirrors the beauty and complexity of Nature.” - Eric Corey
Jacobs House Model: Entrance
Jacobs House Model: Section through the Core
Growth of Core
Growth of Roof
Form Studio, 2012 Fall Grow house explores the interaction between site and structural forces. Borrowing University of Michigan the idea of organic architecture, grow house integrates nature with architecture. An L-shaped component grows out of the sit, creating various spatial conditions
Instructor: that manipulates the conceptual force on the site. James Mcgillivray The structures grow from both the vertical surface and the slope, creating a vortex in the middle of the site. The vortex becomes a spatial void/ courtyard where nature is enclosed by the house.
SITE FORCE DIAGRAM [Site Force] Definition: imaginative flow on the site Properties: can be manipulated by elements that grow on the site
Plan: Level 1
Exisisting Site Force
Changed Site Force
Plan: Level 2
A Vessel, A City
Travel Studio, 2013 Spring A vessel makes a city. Strait of Gibraltar is urbanized with a vessel that travels both University of Michigan underwater and in water. In three scales, passengers go through the experience of vessel as a city, encountering a city, and eventually Strait of Gibraltar as a city.
Instructors: The entertaining programs include the programs in the vessel, the water front, â€œlandmarksâ€œ both on land and underwater. The land no longer constraints the Rania Ghosn + El Hadi Jazairy boundary of a city. Strait of Gibraltar is a city, a floating city.
Viewing: Visual Connection
Decking: The City as Extension of the Vessel
C B A
B A C
TARIFA CEUTA Y3
X7 YI X2
C B A
Sections through Strait of Gibraltar
X7 YI X2
Strait of Gibraltar as a City
Representations, 2013 Fall This project explores medium and process of free hand ink drawing, 3D modeling University of Michigan and digital fabrication. By giving away certain level of control, sampling from the
unpredictable ink drawings, this project recognizes the authorship of both human and machine.
Instructor: Clark Thenhaus This drawing translation consists of 4 phases. First ink drawings were produced
by hand. The ink drawings were then digitalized and reproduced. Though the aid of Grasshopper, these digital ink drawings were translated into three dimensional form, which was digital fabricated. A line drawing was then produced to represent the surface again in two dimensional form.
M R AR M adi S Ag ass us: 2 : G e: 63 10 M rav 4.5 9e 6 m D oo ity: bi 21 k i Or ens ns: 3.7 llion g bi ity Ph 11 y ta : 3 ob m ea l P .9 o /s rs er 3 g s a 2 io / n d: cm d 68 3 D e 7d im os ay s
appropriation H2 O
5x1 408 5.7
Businessmen and workers start to immigration to Mars for natural resources.
Airlines start to provide spaceship travels.
Minerals are excavated on Mars. Oxygen and water can be mass produced on Mars via chemical reaction.
The journey to Mars is shortened to only 30 seconds.
First astronant land\ on Mars. Spaceship Airlines
Satellite i s r g 9 m 1 k yea H 395 102 n RT s: 7x illio s2 3 ays EA adiu : 59 4 b m/ R ass 4.5 9.8 on g/cm 5 d M ge: ity: Mo 52 : 36 A av s: 5. od Gr oon ity: Peri M ens tal D rbi O
Mars Mineral Excavation Cranes
Man-made Atmosphere Spacesuit
Man-made Atmosphere Glassbox
Mars is domesticated.
Instructor: Amy Kulper
Architectural Theory, 2013 Fall University of Michigan
LETâ€™S GO FOR A BIKE ROCKET RIDE
Human is the only species in the solar system that masters the art of domestication as is known so far. Human has practiced domestication on nature and technology, still moving forward for the next peak. Domestication is beyond surviving; it is an attempt to thrive and to conquer. There is nothing that can’t be domesticated. It is not difficult to imagine domestication of rocket science in the near future.
After most of the natural resources have been domesticated and human has occupied all corners of the world, the interest of domestication has shifted from nature to technology. From morning instant coffee to the internet, technology is domesticated from military invention by improvement. This process is similar to domestication of animal: the technology goes through genetic mutation in order to better adapt the needs for living. Through evolution, the prototype is then put into mass production and wide spread for daily use. In the field of industrial design and media, domestication of technology has been theorised, giving us traces of how society shapes technology, creating a feedback loop between user and invention.
Domestication is the process whereby anything is changed at the “genetic level”, through generaathat ultimately benefit the interests of humans. A usual by-product of domestication is the creation of a dependency in the domesticated organisms, so that they lose their ability to live in the wild. Animals and plants were domesticated for production (agriculture) and leisure (pets and aesthetic plants).
4 Stages to Domestication of Technology: 1. Appropriation: The user discovers an invention and imagine the domestic use of that technology through appropriation. 2. Objectification: The users ascribe their cognitive values and aesthetics to the technology. 3. Incorporation: This is the process during which artefacts are used in everyday life, and the level of functionality depends on how it is incorporated into everyday life. 4. Conversion: There is the conversion process at which the product reaches a ‘taken-for-granted’ status to become a part of the user’s life. CITE.: Lee, Y. S., Smith-Jackson, T. L., Kwon, G. H. (2009). Domestication of Technology Theory: Conceptual Framework of User Experience.
The concept is similar in the field of architecture, but it involves more dimensions. Here technology could be technology for construction (architecture as object), technology of building services (objects that change the atmosphere in a territory), other technology of daily use (objects that fills up the spaces). Domestication in architecture always goes around the act of living. By imposing living activities such as cooking, dining and recreation to technology, technology can be domesticated.
Steel framing is a good example of the first dimension. First steel framing construction was used in military. Farnsworth House was the earliest attempt of domesticating steel framing, which is the first to the third stage in the evolution process. It was not until Eames House that steel frame construction was convincingly domesticated/ converted, which is suitable for everyday living. In comparison, Farnsworth House was more of a piece of art. Eames House has more atmosphere of living activated by small objects and living activities.
restricted to object level. Interestingly, this dimension makes it possible for another layer of domestication - territory.
The third dimension, which has the smallest scale among the three, refers to the objects that fill up the spaces are directly related to living activities, ranging from seating to bowls. This dimension has been theorised as the domestication of technology. These objects interact with users the most, expanding the territory architecture can reach. They can create affects, promoting interaction between architecture and users, such as screens or projectors change the building skins. Or, they can simply function for living. For example, the invention of electric ovens free buildings from chimneys.
Human has the exercised the method of domestication. It is only a matter of time to push domestication to the next level. By then, domesticating Mars is only an easy task. Maybe the conversion new way to say ‘Hi’ will become:
Heating and air conditioning (active system) belong to the second dimension. When human is able to control weather, a territory can be domesticated. In this dimension, building skin does’t matter any more. The definition of architecture is not
LET’S GO FOR A BIKE ROCKET RIDE
8 MILE BASELINE
Networks Studio, 2013 Fall This is the publication of 8Mile Baseline studio. The book was accomplished with University of Michigan the effort of the whole studio. Instructor: Rania Ghosn Coordination: Ya Suo + Alexandra Chen
The 8Mile Baseline formulates a political-aesthetic project on the division line between the city of Detroit and its suburbs. The research critiques the territorial condition of unevenness and exclusion embedded in the metropolitan spatial organization. The proposed projects aspire to lay bare urban truths we somehow relate to, almost instinctively. They reify the splintering forces of the metropolis â€“ conditions that might otherwise remain ungraspable and turn them into architectural form.
SELF SUPPORTING ROOF DEAD LOAD + ENVIRONMENTAL LOAD Prefab Concrete Shallow Foundations
LIBRARY DEAD LOAD + LIVE LOAD Structural Mullions Floor Slabs Shallow Foundations
[Building Anatomy] Condensation Library 2014 Winter
[Structural Analysis] Huebner House 2014 Winter
[Mapping] Melilla, A Moroccan Exclave 2013 Fall
[Collages] 8Mile City of Refuge 2013 Fall
[Situations] Counterweightor 2013 Winter Counterweightor is an installation that celebrates industrial inventions. Human interact as counterweight to the other side. The model was built with found materials.
[Situations] Soap Club 2013 Winter Cast in soap, soap club situates in a swimming pool in the form of caves. It recognizes and celebrates the blurred line between real and fake: the real for a city is artificial rather than nature.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
San Diego, California
Los Angelos, California