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I Want To Be An Explorer Personal Statement of Liang Zhe The motivation of applying Media Lab was from a discussion with an older lady in a residential design office in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. She was a manager in the office but not an architect. After I showed her some works with cutting-edge technology that I did in UCLA SUPRASTUDIO, she was convincing me how a great architect should be like Mies van der Rohe, and who completed great work without new technology. I appreciated her passion in Architecture, but I had no idea how to convey my idea that the boundary of different disciplines is blurry, and architects are supposed to explore beyond the circle to achieve more than people expect. It is not about how many new technologies are applied into building construction and how a green building saving green energy; it is about how a person senses space and it is about next generation of spatial design. I believe 99% of architects in the world are doing ordinary tasks in Architecture, but I want to be the 1% who step out of the zone. I am always longing for the chance to cooperate architecture with other disciplines, UCLA gave me this opportunity. As a student with engineering background, I am super interested in robotics and artificial intelligence and especially excited when I was in Guvenc Ozel’s studio which dealt with the possibilities of colonization of extraterrestrial contexts. My eyes were totally opened when I was combining computational design, robotics, VR, AR, media technologies. I was enthusiastic for every class I took, because I enjoyed that we keep approaching and creating something not exist in the world by combining different methods and technologies. I firmly believe that interdisciplinary research advances the pace of fourth industrial revolution. With the newest products like HTC Vive, Oculus, Hololens, 3d printer and Kuka robot, we can place our ideas into practice on first solid step. During this program, I was trained to be open-minded and every step of my research released me from a narrow perspective as an architect. VEHICLE PLUS is one of my favorite architectural project I did in UCLA, we were designing an autonomous vehicle and a habitat in a sea level rising scenario. Fundamental to this research is the concept of autonomous devices which design, through sensor and user data, highly customized and self-sustainable habitats through the utilization of harvesting localized materials for additive manufacturing. In this circumstance, the vehicle will serve as both the manufacturing generator as well as a functional appendage with its built habitat. Beside the project, what is significant is how we visualize the space and develop the design. We imagine in the future, hologram interfaces will be applied to every corner of our living space and change the way we communicate with the system and data. We were also using AR and VR to present our ideas and design. Beside the advanced architectural topic, I also approached to some interesting industrial researches like Soft-robotic. The project was called INFLATABLE, which was a similar fabrication as Spatial Flux, a project from City Science in Media Lab, using inflatable cast silicon as material. The aim for INFLATABLE was designing an end tool for a Kuka robot to catch and handle an assigned Volumatric 3d print object with machine vision, which means the motion of the inflation was controlled real-time by collecting information from the environment.


I am currently working for an internationally recognized sculptor, Cliff Garten. He has been doing numerous great sculptures across the country. I found this office is perfect for me because I can continue to focus on parametric design and practice my coding skill, and I can access to frontline of fabrication. But I am looking forward to doing much more interdisciplinary advanced researches and creating something never seen by any other people. Architecture can keep record of the time, and has the ability to follow the progress of the technology. I would love to be an explorer to push the boundary of the human ability and creativity. Thus I am eager to be one part of Media Lab and be part of the intelligent future.




AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE AS LIVING UNIT [Academic] Transportable Dwelling Space Cooperative / Jan 2017-Mar. 2017 Website: VIDEO_Youtube:









RED DOT LASER GUITAR [Academic] Independent / Jan. 2017-Mar. 2017 VIDEO_Youtube: Website:

ZIP TUBE_Origami Installation [Academic] Cooperative / Sept. 2016-Nov. 2016 VIDEO_Youtube: Website:

Augmented Robot [Academic] Cooperative / Jan. 2017-Mar. 2017 VIDEO_Youtube: Website:

Robotics [Academic] Cooperative / Sept 2016-Nov. 2016 VIDEO_Youtube: Website:





Sept 2012-May. 2016


1 VEHICLE PLUS _AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE AS LIVING UNIT Transportable Dwelling Space / Cooperative / Jan 2017-Mar. 2017

INSTRUCTOR Guvenc Ozel Benjamin Ennemoser & Mertcan Buyuksandalyaci ACADEMIC YEAR 2017 Winter TOOLS Oculus, Vive, Hololens, SteamVR, Unity, 3d Print, Green Screen COOPERATOR Tatar Huma Nazli Akitopu Alara Erik Broegerg LINK WORK FLOW & PLATFORM




3D Print



OBS + Green Screen Technique


Virtual reality scenes presenting the urban scale diagram

Energy Tower

Energy Tower

Energy Tower

Urban story diagram THESIS Our proposal focuses on offering potential experimental shelter and transportation solutions to users and communities intent on occupying areas prone to current and future sea level rise. Fundamental to this research is the concept of autonomous devices which design, through sensor and user data, highly customized and self-sustainable habitats through the utilization of harvesting localized materials for additive manufacturing. In this circumstance, the vehicle will serve as both the manufacturing generator as well as having the ability to intervene as a functional appendage with its built habitat. Naturally, this habitat will create a disparate relationship between the car and the organic additive surfaces. As a result, context-specific augmented reality interfaces will provide an affinity between the two typologies. Central to our proposal is the idea of the vehicle as a physical and functional generator. Physically, the vehicle will construct the habitat; while, functionally, it will extend its spatiality and functionality. This functional transformation will occur as the car intervenes by attaching to each space of the habitat and extends said space dimensionally and functionally. 7

Scenario Diagram Virgin or waste plastics beings

Solar Panel

Plastic polymers

Synthesis of carbon from plastic wastes

Wind Power

Multi-walled carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes Rigid Material

Catalic and thermic methods Polymers Polymers


Tidal Energy Materials

Translucent material

Energy Tower

Basically 70% of the function of the whole living unit will be placed on the vehicle, which means without vehicle, the port will just be a hypodronic unit and water collector.

+ 3D printing robot arm

+ Drone Scaning

Carbon Fiber Fabrication

Robot eventually will be the 3d

There will be at least one drone

Materials are collected by power

printerand do every construction,

for ever y living unit, the first

tower and will be delivered

there will be 2 robot, one on

function of the drone will be

by the vehicle, in other words,

the car and another in the

scaning the environment and

the vehicle ser ve as a better y,

hypodronic room and har vist.

site before construction, means

a cyberphysical information

When in construcitng mode,

drone will scan surrounding

collector and a constructor at

robot on car will stay on the

topography, the position that

the same time.

main structure and 3d print the

new rooms will be biult on and

new room.

the user’s body scale.


Ground Mode

Floating Mode

High Speed Mode


Mobile Seat 2D Interface Vehicle Body Attaching Surface to the Habitat

Detachable Battery

All-terrain Wheel Holograms Display Table

Limb Cover

Wheel System Separated Motor Transformable Wheel Joints 8 VECHICLE COMPONENTS








Vehicle Scene

Level 3 Kitchen Scene

VIDEO_Youtube: Website:

Level 2 Bedroom Scene

Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Presentation


Resource: Study Of The Human Figure, Anterior View, From 'A Comparative Anatomical Exposition Of The Structure Of The Human Body With That Of A Tiger And A Common Fowl'


George Stubbs

2 INSTRUCMENTAL _RED DOT LASER GUITAR Red dot laser guitar / Independent / Jan. 2017-Mar. 2017 INSTRUCTOR Steve Lee ACADEMIC YEAR 2017 Winter CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM 3d Print TOOLS MIDI, Ableton, Arduino, 3d Printc LINK


MAYA 2017

3D Print





Luyan Shen Jiantong Gao



Yake Wang Main Guitar

Instrumentalization of Space. ​ I am designing a visual + musical instrument using acoustic and digital technologies. As a continuation of Mack Suprastudio’s year-long research on “Performance + Architecture”, we have been looking into various ways to use visual and musical contents to alter atmospheres interactively and sensibly using custom designed instruments which can be played intuitively. The instrument will be used as an input device interchanging serial data with MIDI and DMX information to create instantly responsive and intuitively playable controllers. ​ In this independent design, I was inspired by Human Figure Photography. As a guitar player, I aim to rebuild a digital guitar into a form that unfamiliar to everyone. The language is from the curve and shape of human figure, the form of the guitar will be part of the player visually and fit into the position where attach player's body functionally. This instrument is a small fabrication but integrating organic form design, 3d 16 printing, electronic prototyping platform, music production and performance.

Zhe Liang Melody

Inspiration: Human Figure Photography Quoted from: 1. 2.(11) Tumblr 3.Human Form (Shona Fish) by Shona Fish (flickr)

Concept Design



Head Stock



G C Am


D Am




Fretboard Neck

Sound Hole

Bridge Saddle Sound Board (Top Wood)



MIDI Controller Head Stock Potentiometer Button

Pre-program Chords


Selecting Chords

Red dot laser Providing a stable lighting

Arduino Board

resource for lower light sensors.

Using Finger to block the red dot laser and change the value of light sensors.

Hairless Midiserial

Photoresisters Serving as light sensor and detect the strengh of lighting then transfering



Analogread Value < a

into digital sequence signals

Software 0


Analogread Value >= a




Physical Fabrication

VIDEO_Youtube: Website:


3 KINETIC SCULPTURE ZIP TUBE_Origami Installation / Cooperative / Sept 2016-Nov. 2016

INSTRUCTOR Guvenc Ozel Benjamin Ennemoser & Mertcan Buyuksandalyaci ACADEMIC YEAR 2016 Fall CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM Paper TOOLS KUKA Robots, Laser Cut, Arduino, Pixy CMUcam COOPERATOR Tatar Huma Nazli Akitopu Alara LINK WORK FLOW & PLATFORM



Laser Cut



In this project, we aim to build a kinetic sculpture which can interact with the environment and human activities. The movement of sculpture base on the materials properties and it can transform into more than three distinct moments. ​ We are inspired by Zippered Tube, a research about Origami Evgueni T. Filipov , Tomohiro Tachi , and Glaucio H. Paulino Origami tubes assembled into stiff, yet reconfigurable structures and metamaterials Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801; Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan; and School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 ​ We use this Zip Tube as single unit to construct the sculpture and take the advantage of the properties from folding paper. Beside that, we develop some variations from this single unit. 23

Mid-term Approach After developing the language from ZipTube Origami, We fabricate a full size paper model with existing geometry and variations. Then we use animation to simulate how it is driven by robot arm and transform. With the preprogram robot, we can easily test the performance of different 24 parts of the whole model and how they contribute to the kinetic system.

Base Skeleton

Variable Gear

Skeleton Driver

Stepper Motors

Mechanical Research After midterm, we are no longer to drive the system with external force process, instead, we start working on open-source electronic prototyping platform, that we can enable the object respond to the environment. In order to build a cyber-physical model, we need a mechanical system to drive the whole origami system moving. So we install a stepper motor under the center tube, and change the shape of bottom loop. Than we can motivate the whole model by the property of origami system.

Machine Vision By the device called PixyCam, we could 'teach' robot to remember different objects with their shape and color. Then we develop a machine vision system combining arduino, enabling the cyberphysical model to interact with the movement of different objects. Eventually we could use different object to guide the motion of origami cyber-physical model. VIDEO_Youtube: Website:


4 INTERWEAVING Augmented Robot / Cooperative / Jan. 2017-Mar. 2017

INSTRUCTOR Benjamin Ennemoser Mertcan Buyuksandalyaci ACADEMIC YEAR  2017  Winter MATERIALS Resin, String TOOLS  KUKA Robots, 3D Print, Arduino,  Unity, HTC Vive, Visual Studio COOPERATOR  Yifan Chen, Tian Lou, Pegah Koulaeian, Arta Ghoorchian LINK WORK FLOW & PLATFORM


MAYA 2017

3D Print




UV Light Curing Resin Experiment

Resin + String Experiment

Coding and Robotics Research

Interweaving is a project that blur the boundary of human craft and robot fabrication. One of the sculpture we build is from preprogram robot fabrication while the other one is from the collaboration of human and robot. ​ Base on the material research of UV curing resin, we design an end tool for KUKA robot arm to process the fabrication. With the telepresent interface built in Unity and HTC Vive, we can augment the preprogram fabrication with human influence. The keystone of this project is when we compare these two sculptures from two process (Robot Fabrication and Robot+Human Fabrication), we can easily observe the domain of human operation within the result. ​ In this project we are freed ourselves from the final form of sculpture and focus on setting up the work flow and platform for Robot+Human Collaboration and the effect from different parameters.

4 1 2 2 1


3 2



27 Telepresent Interface

Final Fabrication

Endtoool Mechanism

Extruder Motor

Robot Arm Motor

Fabrication Process Rotation Base

Servo Motor UV Lamp Arm String Holder String Holder


Gear Syringe Holder

Syringe Resin


Robot-Human Interaction




Rotation Base

VIDEO_Youtube: Website:


5 INFLATABLE _SOFT ROBOT Robotics / Cooperative / Sept 2016-Nov. 2016 INSTRUCTOR Benjamin Ennemoser & Mertcan Buyuksandalyaci ACADEMIC YEAR 2016 Fall CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM Silicon, PLA TOOLS KUKA Robots, 3D Print, Arduino, Grasshopper_Firefly, LeapMotion COOPERATOR ZHIYU ZHANG LINK WORK FLOW & PLATFORM



MAYA 2017

3D Print


Firefly for Grasshoper

Leap Motion

Interaction and machine vision Machine vision is the ability of a computer to â&#x20AC;&#x153;see.â&#x20AC;? A machinevision system employs one or more video cameras, analog-to-digital conversion (ADC), and digital signal processing (DSP). The resulting data goes to a computer or robot controller. Machine vision is similar in complexity to voice recognition. We focus on the integration and refinement of the concept in terms of interactivity, vitalism and dynamism of the design. This means we will involve techniques in the notion of machine vision. We will integrate external devices like Leap Motion, to control the transformation of the design that results from the perception of the external Devices. The aim for this project is design an end tool for KUKA robot to catch and handle an assigned volumatic 3d print object, using softrobotics technology as well as machine vision, means trigger the robot motion with different sensor. The robot design should trace the morphology of the aim object.

Than we look into the geometric properties of this assigned object. With the series sections and curvature analysis, we found the that the best way to lift the object is using two fingers gripper, taking the advantage of the volumetric shape with positive and negative surface. According to these analysis, we design a robot and that can shift its shape into two distinct phrase, acting like a gripper.

Section 1

Section 1

Section 2

Section 2

Curvature Analysis



Inspiration and morpholog of hands We are inspired by the morphology of hands from different species, which are living upon different scenario and environment. Hence, the shape out outline and skeleton of hand is a kind of respond from species to the physical environment. These enhance the capability of surviving and enable them adapt climate change. â&#x20AC;&#x2039; If we look at the components of a hand, then we can find some rigid part serving as skeleton while soft part to be envelope. we design to construction our soft robot hand with this identity, a softbotics combining strong stable skeleton and customized soft joints.

Mechanism Integrating with a finger motion sensor, called Leap Motion, we can capture the movement of fingers and transfer it into a digital sequence, then we are able to control a vacuum pump to manipulate the inflation and deflation of silicon joint, resulting in the banding of the robot finger.


Grasshopper Firefly Leap Motion










VIDEO_Youtube: Website:




YARDS Mahewan Hospital & Assisted Living Center Design/ Cooperated/ Feb. 2016-Jun. 2016 INSTRUCTOR Liu Yuan ACADEMIC YEAR 2016 Spring. SITE Mahewan, Anhui, China CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM Heavy Timber Framing

Outdoor Passage +450









Entrance Space 3 +2700





Entrance Space 1



Corner Detail, 1/5

Changing Room

Entrance Space 2

Supporting structure: wooden column □ 100X100mm


Casing: paulownia 15mm natural resin varnish finish Fixed window: timber frame window double glazing FL5+A12+FL5

PHENOMENAL TRANSPARENCY Overseas flagship store of chinese costume / Independent / May. 2014-Jun. 2014


INSTRUCTOR Liu Yuan ACADEMIC YEAR 2014 Spring. SITE Eindhoven, Holland CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM Heavy Timber Framing

Showcasing Room

Horizontal Section Perspective, 1/50

FUSION Housing/ Independent / Sept. 2014-Nov. 2014 INSTRUCTOR Liu Yang ACADEMIC YEAR 2014 Fall. SITE N/A CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM Compositie Steel/Concrete

EXTERIOR PRIORITY Community library / Independent / Sept. 2013-Nov. 2013 INSTRUCTOR Ye Peng ACADEMIC YEAR 2013 Fall. SITE Hefei, China CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM Compositie Steel/Concrete




Master of Architecture II University of California Los Angeles GPA: 3.674/4

STATEMENT 08/2016- 06/2017 Los Angeles, US

Projects are Selected in Rumble, Summer, Fall, Winter Quater Exhibition

Bachelor of Architecture Hefei University of Technology GPA: 3.51/4 Major GPA: 3.73/4 Selected in Dean list in 2011-2016 Graduated Project Merit Award

09/2011- 07/2016 Hefei, China



Cliff Garten Studio

10/2017-Present Los Angeles, US

Obermeyer Architecture

09/2017-10/2017 Los Angeles, US

Ozel Office

07/2017-08/2017 Los Angeles, US

Role: Parametric Design

-Projects: W CHANNEL, CITRU, COUCHER, 26TH, SHANNON RESIDENCE Role: Rendering, Drawing, Schematic Design

-Project_01: Reality Machine 1.0 Role: Grasshopper 3d Modeling, Digital Fabrication, 3d print model setting up


-Project_01: Tongling Laterite Museum, Ruichang, Jiangxi Role: 1:300 handmade physical model and conceptual diagrams Client: The Government of Tongling city -Project_02: The Concept Design of Houmalu Bridge, Xuhui, Shanghai Role: Conceptual Design, diagrams and 1:20 handmade model

Beside dealing with traditional architectural projects, I am familiar with combining different industrial technologies with the architectural design process. I believe that the future of Architecture will be more about experience and interdisciplinary, integrating with different new technologies. The physical environment will increasingly engage with the digital experience to shape daily life.

06/2014-09/2014 Shanghai, China


National Universities’ Planning of Design and Educational Results’ Competition 2014 -Individual, Excellence Award -Project: Oversea Flagship Store of Chinese Products Chinese Contest of the Rookies’ Award for Architectural Students 2013 & 2014 -Individual, Top 100 -Project: Oversea Flagship Store of Chinese Products (2014) -Project: Kindergarten Design (2014) Substantial Construction Competition between the Taiwan Straits -Role: Schematic Design, 3D Modeling, Real scale construction -Honorable Mention -Collaborative project: Digital and Traditional National Green Buildings Design Competition 2013 -2 people team work, individually finish models and digrams. -2nd Prize -Collaborative project: Moving+Station Chinese Contest of the Rookies’ Award for Architectural Students 2013 -Individual, Top 100 -Project: Kindergarten Design


Theory, Conceptual, Schematic and Detail


Adobe suite: Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effect, In Design, Premiere 3D & 2D : Rhino, T-splines, Maya, AutoCAD, Sketch up, ZBrush, Unity Environmental software: Ecotect, Climate Consultant Rendering & Animation: Maya, Maxwell, V-Ray, KeyShot, 3DS MAX Coding: Grasshopper, Arduino, Processing Sketching, Hand drawing, Freehand Physcial Design, Color Theory

Physical Modeling

Capable of designing with physical models, Capable of using heavy duty tools Using different materials: wood, styrene, acrylic, multiple types of paper, metal, silicon


Professional Geographic Photgrapher


Cantonese(Native), Mandarin Chinese(Native), English(Fluent)


NEXTFEST17 Conference by FuturizeX at UCLA Luskin Conference Center Exhibited Projects “Vehicle Plus” CES at UCLA Anderson School of Business Exhibited Projects “Inflatable Silicon Robot” HFUT Architecture & Art school exhibition Dean List 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 Selected Projects Bachelor of Architecture 40 Graduated Project Merit Award Hefei University of Technology




Liang Zhe_Industrial & Interactive Design Portfolio  
Liang Zhe_Industrial & Interactive Design Portfolio