FOUR AWARDS IN TWO COMPETITIONS FOR FINAL YEAR STUDIO WORK
The Department of Architecture at XJTLU celebrates four recent awards for the Final Year Studio Projects of its 2017 Bachelor graduates in two prestigious competitions.
Adding to three awards received in December 2017, the Department of Architecture is very happy to have received notification of another prestigious award win this month.
Outstanding Graduation Project of General University in Jiangsu Province
The Department of Education of Jiangsu Province awarded 2017 Bachelor graduate Li Shaokang a second prize in the annual Jiangsu Province Final Year Project Awards for his graduation project entitled A Palimpsest of Old Shanghai. The Jiangsu Province FYP Awards are not discipline specific, and thus competitio**** **** ****gainst many hundreds of Final Year Projects conducted in all disciplines with an undergraduate degree.
Li Shaokang at his Final Project presentations at XJTLU’s Department of Architecture in June 2017.
Given the fierce competition, and considering that XJTLU can nominate only two projects per year in total and across all disciplines for this prestigious award, XJTLU’s Department of Architecture is very happy to report that this is already the second time that an XJTLU Final Year Project in Architecture was awarded by Jiangsu’s Department of Education, with 2015 graduate Wang Siyao winning a third prize in 2016.
The Department of Architecture wishes to congratulate Li Shaokang for this additional very prestigious award. Details on the project and on another award, which was already received in December, are given further below.
Outstanding Design Studio Brief and Two Outstanding Coursework Awards
Already last December, staff and students from the Department of Architecture celebrated winning three awards in a competition open to all schools and departments of architecture in China.
Submissions from XJTLU won the ‘Outstanding Design Brief’ and two ‘Outstanding Design Studio Coursework’ awards at the 2017 National Architectural Education Annual Symposium in Shenzhen, China. The event was attended by more than 1000 delegates from schools and departments of architecture around China. The prizes were received for a Final Year Project studio brief and two related studio projects.
Only six awards were given in the Final Year Project category in the 2017 competition which had received in total 327 submissions of architectural design studio briefs and related resulting students’ work.
2017 National Architectural Education Annual Symposium in Shenzhen, China. Photo: Jiawen Han.
The “Outstanding Design Brief” award was received for “Framing Indeterminacy”, a brief collaboratively developed by the teachers Aleksandra Raonic and Claudia Westermann for the Final Year Project studio in year 4 of XJTLU’s BEng Architecture programme. The brief had 13 students enrolled and linked the students to the Fun Palace Futures initiative that had been launched by the Royal British Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in honour of the architect Cedric Price and the avant-guarde theatre producer Joan Littlewood. Their collaboratively developed Fun Palace project of 1962 – a project that was never built but is still today cited as a model for thinking flexible and open architecture – suggested a new form of leisure centre: not a conventional building, but a socially interactive machine, highly adaptable to the shifting cultural and social conditions of its time and place.
30 schools of architecture worldwide participated in the RIBA initiative, whose framework required the tutors of each team to develop their own brief and approach to the Fun Palace Futures general theme. How could the thoughts that guided the development and design of the Fun Palace be re-interpreted and re-newed for the future? These were core questions that guided the development of the brief. While all teams had their own focus, and all students worked on their own interpretation and detailed brief, the RIBA framework allowed the students at XJTLU to discuss and exchange ideas as well as questions via online communication media with the teams working at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK, and at Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest, Romania. This was valuable, as it allowed the students to gain an understanding of how other students in other parts of the world see and design.
“杰出设计教案”奖由“构件不确定性”题目摘得，这一题目由西交利物浦大学建筑系教师Aleksandra Raonic和Claudia Westermann针对四年级学生毕业设计联合设计的。共有13名学生选了这一题目，它旨在帮助学生深入了解英国皇家建筑师协会(RIBA)为纪念建筑家塞德里克·普莱斯(Cedric Price)和艺术家琼·利特尔伍德(Joan Littlewood)而举办的“未来玩乐宫”(Fun Palace Futures)活动。他们合作开发的“1962年至今”的玩乐宫项目从未真正建成，但直到今天，它仍被称为灵活思维和开放式建筑结构的一个典范，它提出了一种全新的休闲中心模式：并非一种传统建筑，而是一种推动社会互动的机器，使参与进来的人能够适用于当时所处时间及地点的文化和社会条件。
来自世界各地的30个建筑院校参加了这一项目，它的整体框架要求每个团队的教师编写自己的教案和研究这一主题的方法。如何重新阐释和界定“玩乐宫”的开发和设计指导思想是这一项目的核心问题。虽然所有团队都有他们的重心，通过他们的方式来诠释这一理念和编写教案，但RIBA的框架可以使西交利物浦大学的学生借助在线交流媒介与英国诺森比亚大学(Northumbria University)和罗马尼亚布加勒斯特Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism大学的团队探索和交流观点以及问题。这是一次非常宝贵的体验，它可以使学生了解世界其他地区的学生是如何思考和设计的。
“Framing Indeterminacy” brief boards showing related studio work by: Chen Yukun, Ding Xiao, Jiang Hao, Li Jiaxu, Shen Xiaoya, Wu Hao, Yang Shihao, Zhang Chenke, Zheng Xin, Zhu Runzi.
The “Framing Indeterminacy” brief guided the students in an experimental approach to developing a new architecture of participation and exchange for a site located in Shanghai on the west bank of the Huangpu River, around 800m southeast of the historical Bund.
Shanghai, with its history of the foreign settlements and its present that is marked by migrants from all over China, provided a compelling scenery for thinking a new architecture for fun, culture, and exchange as an incubator for participation that reconfigures spaces to places. The students were asked to consider the sequence of events on the stage of this new architecture to reflect the desires and necessities of those taking part, and to take into account that these desires and necessities can only – if at all – partially be directed, predicted, controlled or designed. How open can or should an architectural framework be? How could architecture respond to the unpredictable nature of these processes. What part should it play within the set stage? How can we frame indeterminacy?
The conditions of indeterminacy, of uncertainty, of chance, and change established a challenging framework for the design and creation of a new kind of dynamic architecture. In light of recent developments in architecture that prioritize form as image, the brief suggested to re-consider openness, participation, and performance as fundamental questions of architecture. A lecture covering questions of participation in Chinese traditional art was provided as an entry to re-thinking openness within the Chinese context. In an experimental design process that involved translations of works of art into another medium, the students detected the principles of indeterminacy and developed first ideas for how these principles could become spatial. They developed new tools which allowed them to create a new open architecture. Through this initial experimental research and subsequent design process, the students engaged in thinking multiple view points in relation to narratives of place, and new possibilities for creating interfaces that allow for a form of participation that make users inhabitants.
“Framing Indeterminacy” brief board no. 3. Aleksandra Raonic, and Claudia Westermann.
“构建不确定性”教案页3。Aleksandra Raonic和Claudia Westermann。
The two related Final Year Studio projects developed by the 2017 graduates Li Shaokang and Shao Fuwei received the “Outstanding Coursework” award.
2017界毕业生 李少康 和邵富伟 开发的两个相关毕业设计获得“杰出设计”奖。
Li Shaokang Final Year Project “A Palimpsest of Old Shanghai” captured an understanding of indeterminacy by translating a Chinese shadow play into a series of conceptual models and drawings, and subsequently into architecture. The Chinese shadow play recomposes characters and stories. In a similar manner, story fragments overlap and interlace in the multi-universe of the proposed architecture. It blurs the boundary between time and space and generates new stories. As an homage to Cedric Price - some of the fragments have been developed as mobile units of exchange. They can disconnect and reconnect, and are destined to travel around the world.
李少康毕业设计 “老上海之书”将中国皮影戏转化为一系列概念模型和图画，继而转化为建筑学，从而获得了对不确定性的理解。中国皮影戏重组人物和故事。基于类似方式，故事片段在设计架构的多维空间中重叠交织。它模糊了时空界限，产生了新的故事。一些旨在致敬塞德里克·普莱斯（Cedric Price）的故事片段已发展成为用于交流的移动单元。它们可以分开，也可以重组，且注定要传遍整个世界。
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The proposal provides a framework for various activities, such as reading, meditating, performing, exercising, and communicating with nature and art. The spaces are mixed and intersected. They contradict prediction. Improbable combinations of activities initiate novelty. Users and inhabitants create their own palimpsests of stories and characters. In the infinite mirror of the proposed architecture, past, present and future become one.
Graduate Shao Fuwei who also received an “Outstanding Coursework” award for his Final Year Project “Shifting Perspectives in the Urban Theatre” states: “Spaces designed by us architects always end up being defined by specific forms, programs and materials. Compositional approaches to the design of architecture with a focus on function, form and material tend to determine the meaning of space. They carry the risk of depriving space of its vitality and to limit the possibilities for future development. While we could attempt to reject control in the process of designing to leave space for users to develop their own spaces, the renunciation of control in the design process is a design decision that risks to lead to an arbitrariness that is essentially defined. We do not seem to be able to escape notions of control. If the rejection of control does not lead to openness, how could we design it? How could we activate and promote social interaction? These were the questions that guided my design research process”.
The proposal takes its initiation from performance art, and suggests a new approach to an architecture of indeterminacy, creating spaces with multiple layers and hierarchies. Frames mark the possibilities for shifts of views, and at the same time they provide a stage for all the activities typically contained in the city. As we are always also on stage and ‘in play’, activities are never fully defined.
The dynamics of these interactions also initiate new activities and new understandings. Users might be reading in a library, or having their hair cut in a barber shop, but they might never know whether not in fact they play Romeo and Juliet, with the book shelves and the hairdresser’s chair figuring as props in a performance. With everyone being an actor, the urban theatre continuously renews itself.
Li Shaokang (left) and Shao Fuwei (right) at their Final Project presentations at XJTLU’s Department of Architecture in June 2017.
Shao Fuwei currently studies for his Masters degree at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, one of the top-ranked schools in the world. Li Shaokang, after having received several offers for postgraduate studies in 2017 from top-ranked universities, including the Politecnico di Milano, decided to follow the UK model of architectural education and to spend one year in practice before pursuing further studies. He has worked for the renown office Skew Collaborative in Shanghai since his graduation.
We wish both Li Shaokang and Shao Fuwei all the best for their future.
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