Project by Gandong Cai MLA ’17 Tackling Loneliness in Tokyo Wins First Place at Bubble Design Competitions
“From Eliminating to Elevating: Tokyo Loneliness Tree Hole Plan,” a proposal by Gandong Cai MLA ’17 and Mingjie Cai RISD MLA ’18, has won first place in the inaugural Bubble Design Competitions, an international design competition. The brief asked what designers can do to eliminate loneliness in society?
Cai’s project tackles loneliness in Tokyo, proposing three “Urban Tree Hole” typologies for the area of Shibuya. “In the space of Urban Tree Hole_01 visitor can enter a pop-up store where he can sit down and look at a street tree through the store window, and start a silent conversation with it. In Urban Tree Hole_02, the visitor will walk through the corridor between two skyscrapers in which the city view is blocked, but the sky is reflected by tilted mirrors on both sides of the corridor. Urban Tree Hole_03 is an underground space beneath the Shibuya Crossing which collects “invisible” Tokyo water through the run- off and utilizes the water to form a water feature for the visitor to immerse,” states the proposal.
“Elegant, intelligent, emotional and enjoyably sad. The storytelling, as the visualisations hit the target. A project that demands a wider audience and another chapter,” noted the jury.
posted June, 2019
Futuristic Central Park Proposal by Gandong Cai MLA ’17 Awarded Honorable Mention in LA+ Iconoclast Competition
A project by Gandong Cai MLA ’17 and Mingjie Cai RISD MLA ’18 is one of ten Honorable Mentions awarded in the international landscape concept competition LA+ Iconoclast. The competition drew 382 entrants from 30 countries. The winning projects will appear in the Fall 2019 issue of LA+ Journal.
The competition brief asked designers to reimagine Central Park, looking at questions of how we represent nature and how we think about public space today. Instead of asking the question “what would Olmsted do today,” Gandong and Mingjie Cai’s proposal asked “who can be the new Olmsted?” View their plan: The Gaians.
posted April, 2019
After graduating from the GSD, Ruth Chang MArch ’17 is now back in Toledo, Ohio—her hometown—to start a nonprofit invested in the cultural renewal of the Midwestern region. Midstory‘s mission is to inspire, attract, and retain young talent by telling the hidden stories and enacting thought projects and programming in the area. Together with two of her Princeton alumni classmates and one alumnus from MIT, Ruth and her colleagues are on the ground to re-imagine the future of postindustrial towns in the Midwest, beginning in Toledo, Ohio. Seventy-three percent of the internet publishing and media broadcasting jobs are to be found on the East and West Coasts, leaving many American cities that constitute “flyover country” largely voiceless in the recent political and cultural upheavals in the nation. Many of these cities need a new image inside out, and outside in, and Midstory is using ideas, multimedia, and design to help shape and change perception about Middle America.
Midstory has been busy planning for an exciting upcoming summer, from college internships to high school mentorship ThinkLab to a citywide gala that focuses on rallying the city’s nonprofits, small businesses, and individuals under one artistically-curated event at the city’s train station. If you are interested in the Midstory of these young people returning to their Midwestern home, or would like to share your advice, expertise, or resources, visit their website or reach out any time to Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: View from Toledo’s Downtown Train Station (provided)
posted March, 2019
Research and design work led by Wendy W Fok DDes ’17, founder and creative director of WE-DESIGNS, LLC., is currently part of the collateral exhibitions at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, as part of the 2018 Venice Biennale. The project, Bio Data x Matter, consists of design objects created through digital fabrication methods using bio-degradable materials and organic matter sourced from New York City. Each object is “carefully curated with active biomatter embedded with data that represents New York City, to critically provoke a dialogue between the microscopic biological and digital data embedded lives we live in,” according to the project brief.
“In the future of urban living, as citizens of global cities, and the circular economy, we often-overlook the sources of the micro-biotic and digitally data embedded lives we live in. The future of cities is now; and the people powering that future live and work in cities, bringing their energy and ideas to bear on the unique challenges and opportunities of urban life.”
Bio Data x Matter is on view at Palazzo Bembo in Venice, Italy, through November 25, 2018. A book on the project is in the works, with a tentative release date of summer 2019.
Image courtesy of WE-DESIGNS, LLC.
posted October, 2018
Wendy W Fok DDes ’17, founder and creative director of WE-DESIGNS, LLC., was the design lead for the Hong Kong Pavilion at this year’s London Design Biennale. Entitled “Sensorial Estates,” the exhibition explores the emotional link between smell and memory, looking at aroma’s ability to bring one back to a particular time and place. Through “scratch and sniff” wallpapers and and other scent experiences, visitors encounter smells famous to Hong Kong, such as egg tarts, opium and roast duck, alongside visual representations of the region. The theme of the 2018 Biennale was ‘Emotional States.’
“These distinctive smells and tactile shapes remain the most instinctual way I continuously experience and develop the nostalgia and memories of my Hong Kong identity, even from the other side of the world. And, I would like to use this installation to share that experience with the public,” says Fok.
“Sensorial Estates” was featured on BBC London.
posted October, 2018
Gandong Cai MLA ’17 fourth semester’s studio project was selected as one of the final four shortlisted projects in WLA student award and published in the WLA Award Magazine. Cai was one of seven students who selected to take part in Professor Martha Schwartz’s studio in the fourth semester which focused on shifting the global warming trend by rethinking the process of sequestration. The 2018 World Landscape Awards attracted entries from around the world and once again the quality of the entries was high and made it hard for the jury to score. The WLA Awards include five categories (Built – Large, Built – Small, Conceptual, Student and Editor’s Award).
As Cai says, “For the final site design, I chose the greenway park on the top of the Big Dig, and imagined it to be the new waterfront of Boston in 2060, based on the estimation of sea level rise. According to the data, the harbor area of the city will be entirely inundated underwater in the next 50 years, and the greenway park will become the new waterfront. Thus, the park needs to be transformed into a vital landscape infrastructure to project the city and people, and also serve as the new harbor to keep the logistics industry of the city.”
For more about his project click here
For a full list of winners click here
posted May, 2018
A new exhibition curated by Yujia Wang MLA ’17 and Gandong Cai MLA ’17 is on view through April 30, 2018, at the Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE) as part of Shenzhen Design Week. Entitled “Urban Underspace,” the show is inspired in part by research completed during their time at the GSD, advised by Professor Niall Kirkwood.
Find more details, including the exhibition’s exact location, on the poster below.
posted April, 2018
Fifteen designers, artists, historians, and others from the GSD alumni community have been selected to receive 2018 Graham Foundation Grants. Announced on April 5, the Graham Foundation’s 2018 Grants to Individuals present $534,850 in new grants to support 74 projects by 111 individuals and collaborators who are “engaging original ideas that advance our understanding of the designed environment,” the Foundation writes.
Alumni projects include exhibitions, publications, and research. Among the winners are GSD faculty Zeina Koreitem MDes ’16 and John May MArch ’02, who received a grant for the exhibition “Under Present Conditions,” produced through their Los Angeles-based firm, MILLIØNS. (“Under Present Conditions” will be on view at the A+D Museum in Los Angeles from January 11 through April 26, 2019.)
The funded projects were selected from over 600 proposals and represent a diverse group of individuals and collectives, including architects, artists, choreographers, historians, and filmmakers who hail from around the world.
Other GSD alumni awardees include:
Eric Bunge MArch ’96
Mimi Hoang GSD ’98
Kenny Cupers PhD ’10
Rami El Samahy MArch ’00
Michael Kubo MArch ’06
Alexander Robinson MLA ’05
Neyran Turan DDes ’09
Bradley Cantrell MLA ’03
Marielsa Castro Vizcarra MDes ’17
Brian Goldstein PhD ’13
Ana Maria Leon Crespo MDes ’01
Sun-Young Park MArch ’08/PhD ’14
Sara Zewde MLA ’15
Read the full list of 2018 Graham Foundation Grants to Individuals via the Graham Foundation’s announcement.
Image: MILLIØNS (Zeina Koreitem & John May), Collectives II, 2016–. Courtesy of the artists.
posted April, 2018
Greg Hopkins, a 2017 graduate of the Master in Design Studies program with a concentration in Energy and Environments, has been named one of ten inaugural 1 Hotels Fellows at E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The fellowship aims to provide early and mid-career entrepreneurs support to develop projects designed to advance smart environmental and clean energy issues across the United States. Along with a $25,000 award, winners receive membership to E2′s Emerging Leaders program, as well as access to benefits of an E2 membership.
Hopkins’ proposal for an online cleantech marketplace for small commercial buildings grew out of work he completed for his GSD thesis, “Energizing Retrofits in an Inefficient Market: A Scalable Model for Small Commercial Buildings.” As part of his thesis, Hopkins investigated market barriers that have historically made it difficult for small commercial buildings to adopt energy efficient upgrades. He also made suggestions for how to combat these limitations based on what has worked for other industries and new trends. Holly Samuelson MDes ’09, DDes ’13, assistant professor of architecture and area head for the Energy and Environments MDes concentration, served as his Faculty Advisor.
“I came to the GSD to study energy and environmental issues in buildings, and will always be grateful for the opportunity to develop a business idea for my master’s thesis that could help make the built environment smarter, more efficient, and lower carbon,” said Hopkins. “Now with support from the 1 Hotels Fellowship at E2 and the NRDC, I’m really excited to start bringing that idea to life.”
Hokins plans to pilot his online cleantech marketplace–a streamlined way to connect qualified service contractors and crowd-sourced investment capital with eligible energy efficiency and distributed solar projects–in Boulder, CO.
Photo courtesy of E2.
posted November, 2017
Work by Ten Recent GSD Alumni Published in Architectural Portfolio How-To from Margaret Fletcher MArch ’97
Portfolio work from ten recent GSD alumni–Devin Dobrowolski MLA ’16, See Jia Ho MArch ’15, Ahmed Hosny MDes ’15, Jia Joy Hu MLA ’17, Chase Jordan MArch ’17, Flavio Sciaraffia Marquez MLA ’15, Saurabh Mhatre MDes ’15, Fani Christina Papadopoulou MArch ’16, Alberto Embriz de Salvatierra MLA’17, and Michelle Shofet MLA ’16–has been published in the new book, Constructing the Persuasive Portfolio: The Only Primer You’ll Ever Need, by Margaret Fletcher MArch ’97. Their contributions were selected from over 10,000 pages of portfolios submitted by students for possible inclusion. Notably, Hu’s portfolio is included as a full case study and is featured in its entirety in the publication.
Constructing the Persuasive Portfolio is a step-by-step guide to learning the art of designing a compelling and effective architectural portfolio. It includes 400 portfolio examples from 55 designers representing 50 schools nationwide.
Fletcher currently serves as Associate Professor of Architecture at Auburn University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.
posted October, 2017
Esther Choi MDes ’08 and Marrikka Trotter MDes ’09, PhD ’17 Publish Book, “Architecture Is All Over”
Architecture Is All Over, a book co-edited by Esther Choi MDes ’08 and Marrikka Trotter MDes ’09, PhD ’17, will be released in September 2017 by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City. AIAO consists of an array of essays and design proposals from emerging and established scholars and practitioners.
Contributors include Matthew Allen MArch ‘10, PhD ‘20; K. Michael Hays, Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Interim Chair of the Department of Architecture at the GSD; Patty Heyda MArch ‘00; John J. May MArch ’02, Design Critic in Architecture, Co-Director of the Master in Design Studies Program Area Coordinator, History and Philosophy of Design MDes area group at the GSD; Pablo Pérez Ramos MLA ’12, DDes ‘17; Trevor Patt MArch ‘09; Jonathan Tate MDes ‘08; and Andrew Witt MDes ’02, MArch ’07, Assistant Professor in Practice in Architecture at the GSD.
The book is in many ways a follow up to the pair’s first volume, Architecture At the Edge of Everything Else, published by MIT Press in 2010. The project initially took the form of a student publication conceived during their time as graduate students at the GSD. Choi is currently a joint PhD candidate in the History and Theory of Architecture and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities at Princeton University. Trotter recently received her doctorate from Harvard, where she studied architecture, urbanism, and landscape.
More information can be found on the Columbia University Press website.
Image courtesy of Columbia University Press.
posted July, 2017