Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

sample render

sample render from the central plaza

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Waidiren, Shenzhen, and my Thesis

Ever since my parents emigrated to the US, I have been curious of the foreigner-and-native conflicts on identity. I chose Shenzhen for its particular situation as a young but rapidly developing city. Shenzhen has undergone a drastic transformation from village to metropolis in only 30 years.

Meanwhile, there is an air of "native" superiority that has been slowly developing. Slang such as "western digital person" or "hard disk person" are used to denigrate the new migrants that seek work and opportunity for a better life. Ironically, these "natives" were immigrants themselves pursuing the same dreams as the current generation.

In this context there is potential for an architectural solution to bridge the cultural, social, and economical gap between the two parties. This is even more evident in the conditions of Huanggang, a village from the past sandwitched between large scale developments of the new Central Business District. There, I propose a new form of architecture that attempts to promote a healthier interaction between the old village and the new metropolis: to examine the current workings of both the village under attack and the generic city, and to imbue the site with a new identity.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Trip to HangZhou

After my visit to Shenzhen, I decided to tour Hangzhou/West Lake for a couple of days. Where as Shenzhen is a newly developed metropolis, with record breaking high-rises, Hangzhou has only recently started to develop vertically. The city still has a good mix of modern and historical (now tourism-related) architectures.

The train ticket from Shanghai to Hangzhou was 54Y. That is the equivalent of $8, or 5+ local lunches or 2 Micky D's. The train ride was around 1.5hrs in a clean, fast, smooth cabin. The difference between SH and HZ is like that of metropolis and large oasis, though HZ is expanding rapidly in its new city on the other riverbank. Even by local standards, this price for the train ticket is a great deal!

While in HZ I had a pleasant stay at west lake hostel, and toured the beautiful West Lake and its metropolitan city core. It was refreshing that HZ had a much better air quality (opaque blue) than the larger metropolises; unfortunately I was not alone in that discovery.

The visit got me thinking about the dichotomies of City and Garden (referring specifically to XiHu/west lake and SH). The simple comparison is between the City as a modern, routine, and polluted commercial and residential center and the Garden as a traditional, serene, and quiet natural retreat. In this comparison, physical and psychological distance plays a large role in nurturing the distinctions between the two archetypes.

Announcement of Graduation and Thanks

In addition to planning out the thesis book, I have been making a graduation thank-you card as a distraction. I was pretty happy with the result, so I decided to save and post the layout process.

card layout and planning

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Final Boards

Here are the low res images for my final presentation on the 23rd of July.

I will post renderings later...

I am finally done!

My thesis semester took two more months than initially planned. At last, I have finished and successfully defended my final presentation with my committee. While I couldn't sense the moods and reactions of the moment, I have been later congratulated by those attending for a strong presentation.

I had produced a set of plots that documented my hypothesis, research, development, and proposal. My hypothesis was done in prethesis in fall; I went to visit Shenzhen over winter to do my research, and my thesis was developed with the help of my committee throughout this year. During the summer, three great friends helped me pull together my ideas, craft a beautiful model and its respective site. In addition, I have received great criticism from numerous friends, and support from many, many more. I couldn't have done this without all the help I've received. I am really proud of being a part of the Class of '09.

As for this blog, I plan to use it to gather my research and proposal, fill in any logical holes, and to compile it as a resource for my thesis book. Therefore, the posts will be initially non-linear and tag oriented for my own usage, and will be more of an assemblage of ideas.

more pics...