A bosom friend afar brings distant land near. The Oversea album shares the lives of Chinese living abroad with all. The No.76 episode is about Ziwei Song who graduated from Harvard GSD and University of Southern California.
Why going abroad?
Very straightforward , to get a different college experience … in architecture.
What impressed you the most when you are abroad?
It has been eight years since studying and working overseas. West and east coast are definitely like two countries, holding completely different values and agendas. After my undergraduate study, I have also been travelling across Tokyo, Paris and Beijing. Each place represents such a distinctive character, philosophy and confidence to their own culture. The “place” or sense of belonging has gradually dissolved, which makes me pretty neutral to live anywhere and any place. The world could have many amazing cities and cultures, but “self” is always there, which could grow in any one of them.
What do you miss the most about China?
Some tasty food in Chongqing and fantastic landscape there. Plus my Mom’s special secret cuisine.
Will you come back China? Why?
I have been keenly interested in the transformation of the Chinese vernacular/traditions into new types and forms of architecture, embodying the culture in the most nuanced way. Therefore , the most ideal situation would be to realize those experiments and thoughts in my hometown. Many western architects have worked well on the existing typology and transformed them in a new and refreshing way, including Aldo Rossi and Herzog& de Meuron. I would also highly value the opportunity to transform and create new dwelling typology from Chinese traditional/vernacular living patterns.
Is it more distinct to view China in a different environment after going abroad? Any thought?
I am going pretty specific now into architecture, art and design, so maybe not that clear on the macro level of China. But from architecture perspectives, I think the market do need project now with refined quality and exceptional innovation. We also see many great emerging firms in China, which really inspires us as the future generation of architects. As every generation of architects would say, that it is the best times, and it is the worst times.
What makes the curriculum of your school different from other architecture schools?
哈佛大学设计研究院，可以说是世界上最有野心， 最乐观， 最政治正确的学术机构了，从建校开始就孜孜不倦地培养出了一代又一代的明星建筑师和非明星的建筑中流砥柱们。开放，向上，多元化是我最开始想到三个形容母校的词。不同于标准的建筑院校， 学校很有策略地把鸡蛋放到了很多篮子里：建筑，景观，城市规划和城市设计，房地产，环境科学，交互设计等等，所以学校本身就是一个很好的交叉学科平台。因为我是两年制的建筑硕士，在学校期间被给予了最大限度的学术和课程自由，几乎所有的课程都是自由选择，所以我非常感激这种课程设置可以让我探索自己的设计方向，也可以学习到很多除了设计本身以外的事情。
另外值得一提的是option studio， 把不同项目的人混合在一起研究同一个设计题目，非常有趣也可以帮助学生探索自己感兴趣的研究方向。 我不得不说option studio是我研究生体验很重要的一部分， 它让我们探索世界，看到或者奇葩的，或者有趣的甲方们，也让我们遇到充满智慧的人生导师们。
我的本科学校南加州大学也非常开放，多元化 , 既有延续精致传统的现代主义，也有比较偏未来感，数字化方向一点的，当然也有很多中间地带让学生自己探索风格。因为我是五年的本科教育 ， 所以课程设计上很严格，比起研究生教育，这里更多学习的是基本技巧和设计理念。我本科的学校重视实践超过理论，这一点和研究生学校不一样，很多老师来自洛杉矶地区的实践建筑师，所以很幸运参与的建筑讨论都非常接地气，所学的东西搬到公司就直接可以落地。
Harvard Graduate School of Design, as the most ambitious and optimistic design institute, has cultivated numerous design talents from generation to generation. Open, versatile and optimistic would be the three key words I give to GSD. GSD is like the sea, embracing many different aspects (architecture, landscape , urban design/planning and interactive design) that immerses everyone and eventually allows everyone to explore his or her own direction. I have the opportunity to do the most free and flexible program at GSD (March II ) , that allows you choose any classes you want throughout the intellectual platform of Harvard. The setting greatly helped me to explore my own design interests and also propelled the learning of many other aspects besides design.
Furthermore, the option studio is a great system at GSD, mixing all the disciplines together and giving students the opportunity to explore their own interests. I am also grateful to learn from many great architects whom I respect and admire. I am grateful to listen to their wisdoms and thoughts.
My undergraduate school, University of Southern California is very open and diverse. It offers a wide range of architectural directions, from the refined tradition of architecture modernism to sustainability, construction and digital fabrication, meanwhile giving much flexibility to students exploring their own style and strength. The five-year bachelor of architecture curriculum is intensely structured. Different from the master education, it laid out the design foundation, teaching basic skills and design concept. Many professors are from local practicing architects, giving students great opportunities to reach out to the real built world.
Who is your favorite artist (in wider range such as art, music, movie)? What is the influence?
James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson , 德彪西, 小红莓乐队。艺术方面喜欢那种飘忽不定，忽明忽暗的光影，声音，视觉，和感官体验。这些元素糅合在一起会创造出很神奇的富有特征，与众不同的空间感受。观众一定要通过多方面的感知才可以了解到作品的边界和意图。这些艺术类型也潜移默化地影响我去塑造一些比较柔和的建筑形体和空间状态。除了艺术家本身，更多的影响应该来自东方和欧洲的审美，比起美国强烈的，具有冲击性的审美以为，我个人比较喜欢含蓄的，需要回味的艺术类型。
James Turell, Olafur Eliasson , Debussy , the Cranberries. I love subtitles and ambiguity, especially in terms of art. They are powerful to define unique, distinctive sensorial effect. I am very obsessed with some works of James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson, particularly the ones that they create nuanced spatial ambience with light, sound and other senses. Audiences have to experience very carefully to feel the thresholds and intent. It is also true with Cranberries, the impressionists. It bridges an exceptional experiential effect that is also shared by architects. Their characters greatly influence my aesthetics for creating architecture, in which I am very into the soft and subtle creation of shapes and space. You don’t see it, you sense it.
What fascinates viewers the most in your portfolio in your opinion?
开头是比较直白的好看， 后期开始追求类型学和形式感上的统一和创新。有一位很智慧的教授说过，建筑最激动人心的部分是类型学上的创新，我也深深认同。另外我本身也深受西海岸奔放的建筑教育的影响，所以自己近期在追求建筑类型学（architectural type )和建筑文化表达（cultural image) 的的统一和融合，介于追求Aldo Rossi (关于类型学上的创新)和Venturi and Scott Brown（关于建筑文化表达）的结合体，我个人的毕业设计也是在关注这个方向，借用后现代主义的一些研究视角来思考中国当代的建筑潮流。
Pursuing aesthetics and innovation in a subtle way. One of my favorite architecture professor , Jorge Silvetti have said“The most exciting moment of architecture happens when the new typology emerges. It happens when cathedral was invented from the type of roman basilica. It also happens when mosque converts the cathedral into new praying space.” I very much agree with him and that makes me think architecture is worth of intellectual effort. Therefore in my works, I am very interested in this fusion of architectural type and image, learning from Rossi’s innovation with types and learning from Vernturi and Scott brown’s Las Vegas. My GSD thesis built upon this intellectual premises and studies the undergoing Chinese architectural typology through the lens of postmodernism.
When did you start to follow gooood? Any suggestions?
本科的时候吧，影响还挺大的，给我打开了一个丰富的中国建筑和设计圈 ，那时候也没有instagram ，只有archdaily推送一些西方主流建筑。谷德上面一些想法和在海外专辑对我后期创作的思考和启发都很大。
In my undergraduate period, it gave me a great influence and opens a world of amazing Chinese architecture. It allows me to peek into another world of invention in the wave of archdaily and mainstream western architecture blogs. The albums of idea and overseas greatly inspire me in my design thinking.
W O R K
Not so skin deep : vernacularism in XL
Thesis advisor: Megan Panzano
James Templeton Kelley Thesis Prize
这个为期一年的毕业设计, 通过探索中国传统本土意象中所蕴含的巨大潜能，重塑目前中国典型的房地产巨构尺度下的设计模式。其旨在打造有感染力的， 连结空间体验， 社区互动， 室内外交流的诗意栖居 。此次设计选择中国典型的二线城市——重庆作为试验基地，主要因为这里国内主流开发商项目云集，有较强的代表性。这些地产商在开发巨构尺度的住宅和商业建筑项目时，往往陷入两种模式，类似西方建筑后现代主义时期的“decorated shed” 和“duck”。前者追逐纯粹的商业利益， 通过采用一些历史元素代表做立面装饰，来勉强附会文化气息；后者干脆生搬硬套一个文化形象，然后对项目进行削足适履式的改造来适应这个形象的外壳。上述这些模式不仅在表达城市与空间的文化形象上显得十分肤浅，在打造宜居而有内涵有活力的居住空间上也十分敷衍。那么能否另辟蹊径，让巨构建筑项目在深层次的表达文化形象与优质的空间体验上二者得兼呢？
The thesis re-approaches typical developer project in China, and explores the capacity of vernacular image to make effective space in relationship to sequence, perception, exposure and events. The project has its test site in Chongqing, a very typical second tier city in China proliferating with developer projects. Those developers are building XL project either as the “decorated shed”, that uses vernacular roof as the toppers to superficially communicate the culture and completely pursues efficiency, or as) or as the “duck”, which wraps the whole building in the cultural icon and distorts the program to fit its iconic form. Both modes are not only skin deep in communicating the image culture about city and place, but also skin deep in constructing meaningful, comfortable living space. Isn’t there an alternative way of building XL project that goes beyond the skin deep of image culture and woven into the experience of space?
此次设计对此给出的答案是，对文化的表达不能停留在粗浅的表明形象，而是需要从中国传统栖居文化的内核与根源中汲取力量，来进行对居住空间和类型学上的革新。本设计试验了本土文化编织和创造空间的能力 ，探索了屋檐， 山墙，云墙等传统意象打破、重构现代居住空间的可能性 。把传统四合院和屋檐空间下丰富的互动社交体验延展到纵向空间中， 引入垂直的中庭活动院落来打造社区归属感。 同时， 一户人家也不再局限于传统楼盘中的一个水泥盒子， 而可以真正自由地体验穿梭于户外， 自然和城市天际线中的诗意生活。
The thesis therefore turns to the vernacular cultural roots where developers borrow those cultural icons. The design experiments the capacity of vernacular image to choreograph and make space, replacing the “decorated shed ” and the “duck” mode of the global developer today. It brings the vernacular sensibility of spatial richness to re-approach developer tower scale, altering the horizontal expansion of traditional courtyard into the expanded exploration in vertical living under the challenge of densification. One family is no longer confined into the conventional dwelling box, but could actively experience the in-between roofscape and unconstructively view urbanscape/social chamber. Eventually the thesis is imagining this vernacularism in XL tower in the Chongqing river scape, as a projected future of developer tower together with the proposal.
Option studio with Inaki Ábalos
这一系列项目的设计基地在一个西班牙采石厂，包括一个艺术展馆，熵和历史中心（熵在我们设计中被理解成了时间）和室外的舞台剧场。这一连串的设计改造旨在为这个种满橄榄树，采石厂的工业基地提供一个富有凝聚力的文化基础设施，让人们可以参观，冥想，回顾和聚集在一起。工业基地（Sorigue) 本身就是跨越历史和时间的存在， 有各种元素互动交织在一起，原始的和工业的，自然的或机械的，历史的和艺术的。Sorigue的PLANTA还收藏了与原始文化相关的艺术家收藏，包括基弗的物质文化绘画和比尔·维奥拉的视频艺术。
The series of design intervention at the gravel pit includes the pavilion, entropy/history center and the arena design. Together they intend to provide a cohesive infrastructure of visiting, meditating, retrospecting and gathering on this industrial landscape with olive trees, gravel mounds and machines. The gravel pit of Sorigue is an intriguing interplay of various elements across history and times, aggregated and intertwined together: primitive and industrial, historical and artistic. PLANTA of Sorigue also hosts artist collections in relationship to the primitive culture of the site, including Kiefer’s material culture painting and Bill Viola’s video arts.
因此，该项目非常有兴趣从该工业基地的原始风貌入手，从砾石坑，采石山丘，Bill Viola艺术创作中的身体，水和光 。设计中进一步受到这些原始元素的启发，包括在Mesa Verde挖掘洞穴的原始型住宅，土耳其的Capadocia以及篝火聚会和巨石阵图样。
Therefore the project is very interested to work with those primitive features of the site, the gravel pits, the mounds, and Bill Viola’s raw materials of body, water and light. It is inspired by those collections of elements including– the primitive dwelling prototypes excavating the ground in the Mesa Verde dwelling, Turkey’s Capadocia , as well as the pre historic example of bonfire gathering and the Stonehenge.
矿区的原始状态使得广阔的土地平坦开放，地质风貌随着采矿，挖掘产生不断变迁。 该设计利用了以前的采矿场，以及挖掘坑中的建筑遗址，与山体景观有着直接的视觉关系。 这三个地点的相互作用通过视觉和实体经验形成了紧密的联系，使观众能够欣赏展览内容和网站。 设计灵感来源于那些诗意的原始元素， 建筑形式意在创造出模糊的氛围，并让人们在时间和地点，史前和工业，过去和未来之间来回体验， 来感悟熵和历史的含义。
The original state of the site leaves the vast land open, subject to the change of mining, excavating and relocating. The design utilized the previously mining ground, and the building ruins in the excavated pit, with a direct visual relationship to the mountainscape. The interplay of those three locations formed a tight link by visual and physical experience, allowing visitors to appreciate both the exhibition content and the site. The form inspired form those poetic primitive elements intends to create the blurring ambience and allow people to experience the back and forth among time and place, prehistoric and industrial, past and the future.
该项目展现了现代中国社会的仪式和盛宴文化。 它把文化现象带到极致，通过建筑思考来表现和夸大它。 通过这种方式，该项目叙述了中国许多城市化地区的某种特定的社会景观，并通过建筑提供了另一层次的思考。
The project unfolds the ritual and feast culture in modern Chinese society. It takes the cultural phenomenon to an extreme, represents and exaggerates it through architecture speculation. In this way, the project narrates the social spectacle in many urbanized area of china and offers another level of thinking to it through architecture.
仪式和盛宴文化已经深入中国的深厚传统。 在中国古代，大多数仪式都是围绕婚礼和葬礼等宗族活动进行的，家庭成员可以相互认同，也可以参加较大的集体社区活动。 中国仪式的传统今天已经消失。 具有讽刺意味的是，仪式的核心 – 盛宴 – 在现代中国社会被推向了另一个层面。今天的人们将推出豪华盛宴， 满月酒，结婚，走向职业高峰，游说生意伙伴，寿宴 。 这些盛宴越宏大，举办者以此证明他们的社会能力和社交网络。 他们甚至会举办相亲盛宴和离婚盛宴。 人生旅程变成了盛宴的朝觐，每个人都想成为注目的焦点，同时也狂热地参与别人的盛宴。 这在现代中国确实是一个文化奇观。
Ritual and Feast culture has resided well into the deep traditions of China. In ancient China, most rituals are oriented around family celebrations such as wedding and funeral where family members identify with each other and the bigger collective community. Traditions of Chinese ritual have died away today. Ironically, the core of ritual—the feast–is pushed to another level in modern Chinese society. People today would launch lavish feasts when having baby, getting married, reaching career peak, lobbying business partners and celebrating the 60th birthday. The bigger they are, the stronger they prove their capability and showcase their networks. They would even host feast for blind dating and divorce. The life journey turns into a pilgrimage to feast, in which everyone wants to be the spectacle and meanwhile feverishly participate other people’s feast. It is truly a cultural spectacle in modern China.
该项目设计可容纳一系列典型的中国仪式活动，从一个新生婴儿到成人仪式，到毕业，结婚，取得成功和变老的人生旅程。 节目的汇总显得超现实。 但是，它在中国社会深度聚合，反映和盛宴文化。 人们认为宴会不再是一顿普通的饭，而是作为一种“严肃的仪式”来实现他们的社会资源，并从直接的社交网络中寻求认可。
The proposal hall accommodates the series of typical Chinese ritual events in a people’s life journey, from a newborn baby, to adult ceremony, to graduating, getting married, accomplishing success and becoming old. The aggregation of programs appears surreal. However, it deeply aggregates and reflects and feast culture in Chinese society. People consider feast no longer as a meal, but as a “serious ritual” to realize their social resources and seek recognition from the immediate social networks.
The Carousel Gallery
Topic studio with John Frane
The gallery design aims to address two folds of discussion: the inner sensorial atmosphere and the outer relationship to the larger environment of Los Angeles. It aims to create an object in the “Plains of id” as an intense cultural, artistic and public node.
大多数洛杉矶的艺术展览馆都是一个纯功能盒子空间。室内非凡的展览时刻和艺术幻想很少可以展示给洛杉矶平原的观众们。本次设计的概念是挑战传统的功能盒子，并提出一种非常规的形式来向外揭示内部活动。美术馆因此从一个封闭的盒子概念向外旋转开放，通过半透明的表皮设计，使其成为与洛杉矶平原有特殊交互的公共场所。 建筑表皮用特殊的ETFE薄膜处理， 既可以打造奇幻的内部展览效果， 又可以成为洛杉矶平原的某种城市奇观， 它旨在成为文化和艺术活动的目的地和城市中心。
Most Los Angeles building is a pure functional box containing the programs. The interior fantasy and moments seldom reveals to “the plains of id”. The concept is to challenge the traditional functional box and propose an unconventional form to reveal the inner activities outward. The transformation process is to wrap the traditional gallery box and explode the social programs outward to the urban context. By doing that, the wrapper also deforms from the box shape to reinforce the rotating and exploding effects. The act of exploding and revealing the inside make it an object with an extroverted relationship to the plains of Los Angeles. It is intended to be destination and urban center for cultural and artistic activities.
Topic studio with Jonathan Ward
Evolo skyscraper competition honorable mention 2014
The project is situated in Los Angles freeway intersection 101&110, tackling the most pressing problem of urban segregation and the vast terrain vague space generated from urban infrastructure.
洛杉矶普遍的城市现象是， 高速公路隔离切断城市社区，导致特定的城市活动限于单一区域。 而摩天大楼进一步加剧了隔离状况 。 skyvillage作为预想中的垂直城市将跨越高速公路的中断，并将101和110周围的四个种族社区连接成一个建筑有机体。 该设计设想有效地带动文化交流和城市活动。 因此，该提案设想通过高速公路桥嫁接单个建筑有机体并重新连接城市结构。
Freeway segregates the city fabrics , causing the urban activity restricted to single area. Vertical towers exacerbate the condition of segregation instead of encouraging integration. The envisioned vertical city —skyvillage—would bridge over freeway interruptions and connect the four quadrants around 101&110 as one architectural organism. It would boost cultural exchange and urban activities with intense social interaction. The proposal therefore imagines a single architecture organism bridging through freeway and reconnects the urban fabrics.
学校：哈佛大学设计研究院 , 南加州大学
联系方式：firstname.lastname@example.org / https://ziweisong.com
Where: Los Angeles, Boston
Who: Ziwei Song
School: Harvard GSD, University of Southern California
Firm: Kengo Kuma & Associates , The Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Contact: email@example.com / https://ziweisong.com