第九十期为您呈现的是双人组：毕业于罗德岛设计学院、现就职于COOKFOX Architects的吴建师，和毕业于罗德岛设计学院以及香港中文大学、现就职于CRÈME Design的孙艺潭。
A bosom friend afar brings distant land near. The Oversea album shares the lives of Chinese living abroad with all. The No.90 episode is about Jianshi Wu who graduated from RISD, now working for COOKFOX Architects, and Yitan Sun who graduated from RISD and CUHK, now working for CRÈME Design.
Why going abroad?
Jianshi Wu: Different learning and working environment. A new lifestyle.
Yitan Sun: When I was studying in Hong Kong, I was really curious about life in New York City. I’d like to give it a try and find out what’s possible, especially in a culture that is so different.
What impressed you the most when you are abroad?
Jianshi Wu: I can hear more “how do I do it differently” instead of “how do I do it as well.” It seems there is no absolute good or bad, people are more open-minded.
Yitan Sun: I would say it is mostly the open mind that people have. Even people may have different opinions towards certain topics, yet they still give decent respect and understanding to each other. I think maybe that’s what makes New York City grow as one of the best city in the world, where people from different backgrounds can live here in harmony. The other thing that impressed me is that people communicate in a pretty straightforward way. That ensures an efficient work and life balance in a busy city like this.
What do you miss the most about China?
Jianshi Wu: The feeling of being home.
Yitan Sun: Family, old friends and of course the food!
Is it more distinct to view China in a different environment after going abroad? Any thought?
Jianshi Wu: It does give me a whole new perspective. In many occasions new perspective leads to new ideas.
Yitan Sun: I am not sure it is more distinct, but it naturally makes you to see China through a different lens. China’s model is very special and interesting in many ways. Therefore, there are many opportunities and challenges ahead. On the other hand, U.S as one of the best developed countries in the world is experienced in high quality buildings and comprehensive codes. I feel lucky to experience and learn from both.
What makes the curriculum of your school different from other architecture schools?
记得毕业典礼上John Waters对我们所有人说“去把世界漂亮地搞砸吧！设计让人厌恶的服饰以至于它们无法被具有讽刺意义地穿上；用新想法去把我们吓倒；激怒那些过时的批评家；用科技去制造麻烦，而不是懒惰地社交；去做些会让我感到紧张的事！” 这些话当时听来振聋发聩，但对我后来潜移默化的影响是巨大的。
Jianshi Wu: I had more freedom to try stuff out at RISD. My classmates and friends all come from various backgrounds and art majors and we influence one another. I was exposed to photography, sculpture, landscape, and film more or less in those years. These disciplines are in a sense all connected. Scales, media and techniques can all change, but what the school wanted to cultivate more than anything else is the unique mind behind all that.
I still remember what John Waters said in our commencement, “Go out in the world and fuck it up beautifully, Design clothes so hideous they can’t be worn ironically. Horrify us with new ideas. Outrage outdated critics. Use technology for transgression, not lazy social living. Make me nervous.” It was shocking for me to hear this at the time but these words has resonated with me ever since.
Yitan Sun: Rhode Island School of Design encourages students from various backgrounds to express their own voices. You are often in classes with people of all different backgrounds, from Architecture, Ceramic, Jewelry. Industrial Design to Photography, Film and many more. I learned a lot from my classmates because they pushed me to think outside of the box and realize how much I don’t know about the world.
What are the characteristics and interesting points of your firm?
Jianshi Wu: Although we have a mid-town New York office, COOKFOX has its own terrace garden. We maintain an apiary and a little farm, and give our honey, produce occasionally. It’s really fun, truly a practice of the idea of “urban farm”. The firm has been a leading advocate for sustainable and biophilic design for many years.
Yitan Sun: CRÈME Design is a collaboration of dynamic, international designers and creative professionals. Based on the idea that all design challenges require the same problem solving approach, they approach a chair, a restaurant and a building the same way to a logo or a block. As a designer here, I am trying to distill a method to design from an object to a space in an elegant and functional way.
Who is your favorite artist? What is the influence?
吴建师：最近比较对我有影响比较大的可能是Marc Newson, Thomas Heatherwick, Oki Sato/Nendo这些鬼才式的设计师。他们的背景都是偏重材料和制作过程本身，作品也都是以体验出发，自然不拘一格。他们是脱离了固定人设的设计师，我喜欢它们那种“玩”的状态。他们是真的热爱设计。
Jianshi Wu: Most recently my influencer has been the “genius” type of designers like Marc Newson, Thomas Heatherwick and Oki Sato/Nendo. They all come from a background in materials and making. Their approach driving everything is to lead from human experience rather than any fixed design dogma. They seem to really enjoy what they are doing and are having fun throughout the process. I can feel their genuine love of design.
Yitan Sun: There are many talented and pioneer artists that I like and it’s hard to say who would be my favorite. It’s very subjective, also the work that resonates with me could change over time. In recent years, I have been encouraged by Yayoi Kusama and Anish Kapoor. Both of them are willing to challenge and break what has been defined in terms of aesthetic and space. Their work are reflections of the things they’ve been exploring and never stop trying throughout their lifetime. This spirit moves me deeply and drives me to always think differently and stay curious.
When did you start to follow gooood? Any suggestions?
Jianshi Wu: I’ve been following gooood since the very beginning. Hope to hear more diverse, multi-disciplinary voices from you.
Yitan Sun: I started to follow gooood around year 2012. It was a great channel to get to know great architectural works in both Chinese and English. Over the years, I saw gooood’s improvements by merging more functions in this platform. For example, nowadays designers can connect with the client through your website. There are definitely more information bridging art and architecture. Moreover, you provide a window for young designers to share their thoughts and experience here. It’s great to see gooood grow rapidly and I sincerely hope you are doing even better in the future.
W O R K
New York Horizon
The ever-changing balance between old and new, chaos and order has long been the constant theme of New York, the biggest metropolis in the world. New York City’s openness and inclusiveness to creativity and avant-garde thinking has long been the major catalyst of its fast-paced metabolism. The catalyst that not only gave birth to Pop Art in the 20th century, but also granted New York the name “concrete jungle” by making it replace Europe and become the battlefield of modern architecture and international style in a post WW-II world. Such a flourish comes with its cost. As a result, the contradiction between city development and space limit, nature and artificiality, architecture and landscape is amplified to a point where attentions and answers must to be given.
几十年来，这座城市的管理者与设计师试图对这个问题的各个方面交上自己的答卷。于是在纽约，各种功能、不同尺度的公共空间层出不穷。在这些项目里我们能看到凝结了一代乃至几代人智慧结晶，以及他们试图把自然融合于高密度的工业化城市背景下所作出的努力。从占地780英亩的中央公园，至上世纪60年代在室内实验性种植植被的福特基金会大楼（Ford Foundation Building），到千禧年之初由旧铁轨改造的高线公园（High Line）。这些前卫项目的实施无不伴随着巨大的争议和广泛的社会讨论，并且建成后对周边地区，无论是经济方面还是文化方面，都产生了积极而深远的影响。
For Decades, designers and rulers of New York City have been working together and trying to give answers to different aspects of the contradiction. Among these answers we see generations working together to create public space of all kinds of scales and functions, striving to bring back nature in a dense and industrialized urban context. Examples like the 780-acer-Central Park, The Ford Foundation Building from the 60’s with its experimental tree-filled atrium, and the High Line Park built on a disused section of elevated railroads in the beginning of the Millennium. The implementation of these avant-garde projects are all accompanied by huge controversy and extensive social discussion, and have had a far-reaching positive impact, both economically and culturally, on the surrounding areas upon built.
All the factors and examples mentioned above eventually led us to start envisioning our concept project “New York Horizon”. To some extent, they are all partial realizations of an utopian imagination of New York, a city where development of new public space is always in serious need of. As an efficient yet unusual way of opposition and comparison, we believe it’s very important to use utopia to better understand the reality of contemporary cities. Because sometimes the strongest ideas are better expressed in the purest, most extreme forms, and only then can it reveal fundamental issues and truth about a city that might otherwise be buried in noise. Utopia, if not more, should be just as true as the real city itself.
Our project boldly proposes a continuous horizontal “sidescraper” around the full perimeter of an excavated Central Park. In doing so we are in fact creating an exaggerated, utopian version of New York City, in the hope that it could evoke conversations by setting up a new paradigm for skyscraper design, and eventually let people to rethink the future possibilities of New York City’s landscape.
The contradiction between vertical city development and horizontal urban crawl, is the first and foremost concern we want to address in our concept “New York Horizon”. The project’s inspiration builds upon Central Park’s creator Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s theory of providing equally accessible common green space to all citizens and giving people “greater enjoyment of scenery than they could otherwise have consistently with convenience within a given space”. Their vision, however, is slowly becoming less true in New York nowadays. On one hand, more and more residents are forced to move to the urban edge due to population growth and high rent, making it harder for them to enjoy the park’s natural scenery on a daily basis. On the other hand, skyscrapers continue to rise higher than ever around Central Park, which greatly affects the visual experience from inside the park. Limited by the street grid, these buildings are often skinny and tall, thus functions only vertically. While isolating individual buildings, this vertical form also encourages hierarchical differences, as a result, only the affluent few that can live and/or work on top of these towering skyscrapers are given the benefit and enjoyment of the park’s total stunning view. Everyday, the “equality” and “convenient” aspect of Central Park, which was envisioned almost two centuries ago, is becoming less true because of this contradiction.
As a way to resolve this conflict, we strive to break the boundary limits in New York City and reintroduce large complex to the city center where landscape already existed, in order for them to better serve each other, and ultimately benefit the residents. “New York Horizon” envisions a new paradigm by digging downward to Central Park’s bedrock, which will reveal the park’s rugged natural terrain while also creating a continuous wall of skyscrapers on the cliff, and around its periphery to house habitable spaces with equally unobstructed views of the new underground park. The 1000 feet tall, 7 miles long wall of skyscrapers/mega-structure would create 7 square miles (80 times greater than the Empire State Building) of habitable indoor space. The seven-mile-perimeter wraparound mega-structure would contain apartments, retails, museums, libraries, etc. within the 100 feet deep inhabitable walls. Following Manhattan’s city grid, there are main circulation cores (elevators) that would align with every single street from 59th to 110th street to transfer people down to the park, as well as to other various floors. Secondary circulation (ramps, stairs) would connect separate spaces and programs in various scales.
In a sense, this approach inverted the vertical and horizontal coordinates for an architecture in the urban context, making it possible for a large-span mega-structure to coexist with Manhattan’s dense street grid. As a result, “New York Horizon” not only provides more layers to the urban fabric in vertical, relieving contemporary cities from the stress of urban crawling, but also breaks the horizontal limit of street boundaries, and contrasts against the city’s densely constructed buildings and towering skyscraper.
The second contradiction we want to address, is the contradiction between artificiality and nature. Established over 150 years ago, Central Park was so beautifully designed that the people of today overlook the fact that it is actually an artificial piece of land built upon the once rugged, bedrock-strewn landscape, 500,000 cubic feet of topsoil has to be imported from New Jersey and dumped onto the ground in order for it to show any semblance to a park. It might look effortlessly beautiful today, but it was in fact the result of enormous manpower and artificial efforts during the construction. Since the Industrial Revolution, the original nature has been fully covered by artificial surfaces in cities, now artificial landscape is coming back to our lives as a way to imitate nature. The contradiction between artificiality and nature, which can only be found in contemporary cities like New York, led us to ask the question: is there a place for original nature in cities?
Faced with this question, we chose to reverse the transformation of Central Park by digging down to the bedrock, thus restore the land to its original raw form. Central Park’s bedrock layer is relatively deeper compares to midtown and downtown Manhattan where most of today’s high-rise skyscrapers are, making it less cost effective for high rise skyscrapers to anchor themselves in. This disadvantage in the traditional sense becomes an advantage for a project digging downwards like ours, surprisingly. While introducing more natural diversity and verticality to the once flat 1.3 square mile Central Park, this reimagined parkland would also allow for hiking, climbing and other outdoor activities one would not normally find in a city center. Consequently, the soil removed from the park would be used to add a more dynamic landscape (mini-mountains, hills etc.) to underdeveloped plots all over Manhattan.
In the process of forming this concept, the real nature only sees its rebirth when the artificiality is completely removed, yet the removed remnant becomes another extreme case of artificial landscapes. This utopian, almost “brutal” restoration of the original nature, was somehow ironically proven to be in a way quite justifiable. Though no direct answers are given here, we hope by reverting and amplifying the conflict relationship between nature and artificiality in New York City, our bold design concept could indirectly trigger further reflections on issues like this.
Lastly, we want to discuss the contradiction between landscape and architecture. It represents way more than natural and artificial to us, and we want to address them separately. In a city that pays enormous attention to the development of public space like New York, one can find two kinds of relationship between them: In large scales, architecture is surrounded by landscape such as parks, and in small scales, landscape can also be surrounded by architecture, such as a courtyard. In a big scale a skyscraper has, architecture tend to be surrounded by landscape. Here, the dilemma is: are these two relationships really independent from each other, and unable to coexist?
In “New York Horizon”, we want to turn this relationship inside out: seeking possibilities for architecture to surround landscape in a scale as large as Central Park, and further, trying to merge them, make them inseparable from each other. The reflective glass façade canvassing the wall of skyscrapers will reflect the park’s natural terrain and create the illusion of a never-ending natural world within the heart of Manhattan’s concrete jungle, while also offering New Yorkers’ a perspective of the landscape that is not limited by the park’s physical boundaries. In this case, the dynamic landscape is surrounded by characterless architecture that tries to be nothing but mirror that reflects nature. In the heart of New York City’s concrete jungle, a New Horizon is born. This dreamscape, along with the poetic experience it creates, eventually made us titled this project with the name “New York Horizon”.
An overdose of utopia might be dangerous, but architecture today is largely characterized by an underdose of utopia, which can be just as dangerous. We presented our project “New York Horizon” in a panoramic view of rethinking the contradictions between horizontal and vertical, between nature and artificiality, between architecture and landscape. We think of them as three doses of utopia for a city like New York.
2018 交互设计 合作完成
鸟时钟是我们为三星QLED电视的ambient mode功能设计的待机屏幕。这个设计是2018年Dezeen x Samsung Ambient Mode竞赛的finalist作品之一，并在德国柏林2018 IFA三星展台展出。
Bird Clock is designed for Samsung QLED TV’s ambient mode. It was one of the finalist design entry in 2018 Dezeen x Samsung Ambient Mode Competition, and it was showcased in IFA 2018 in Berlin, Germany.
现代社会时钟变得无比常见，却更少的被挂在墙上，而是更多以数码形式存在于我们的电子产品里。虽然方便，但 “看时间”这件事本身变得不再有趣，反而在无形中使人产生焦虑。反之，平板电视却在飞快地占领每家每户的客厅墙面空间，这些电视的待机屏幕也往往没有生机。三星QLED的ambient mode功能可以以节能的状态模拟墙面，并营造一种透视的幻觉。我们认为只是一个让“看时间”再度变得有趣的机会。
Clocks are everywhere nowadays, though less is still hung on walls, more have appeared in digital forms around us. Turn on any personal devices, time, often in plain numeric characters, will be the first piece of information that shows up. As convenient as it is, it can also be overwhelming sometimes, and make checking time more of a mindless errand rather than a joyful experience. Televisions, on the other hand, are increasingly taking up valuable physical space on the wall in our homes, yet not doing much when being turned off. With the introduction of the ambient mode, we see a perfect opportunity to utilize Samsung QLED’s gorgeous screen to create something beautiful and functional that can make checking time enjoyable and fun again.
As a result, we designed the “Bird Clock”. It is inspired by the elegant natural movement of the bird, and how effortlessly they could blend in with our cityscape and our living environment, finding homes under the roofs and sitting peacefully on electrical wires everywhere. The clock scene consists of three horizontal wires, and from top to bottom, they each represent a different time interval – every Hour, every 10-Minutes and every 1-Minute. Different count of birds indicates a different time. For example, when 6 birds are sitting on the top wire, 3 on the middle one and 4 on the bottom one, you can tell the time is 6:34 with just a glance.
▼房间里的鸟时钟，view in the room
The patterns are dynamic, it may show a wonderful morning glory, a full moon, or a clear sunny sky according to the real-time weather condition. The brightness sensor adjusts the image based on the amount of the light and the color temperature in the room so that the graphics always appear physical to the eye and in harmony with the interior space. In addition, when the user or his/her pet walks past the TV, the motion sensor can detect the movement, and the flock of birds would fly away for a short moment before circles back. This interaction, very much mimicking how birds would behave in real life, adds more delight and playfulness to the scene.
▼雨天，Variation – Rain
▼日出，Variation – Sunrise
▼夜晚，Variation – Night
Bird Clock also gives a subtle notion of time passing by. Every time a bird lands on the bottom wire, it represents one minute has just passed. When all the birds on the lower two wires fly away, and one bird lands on the top wire, it means a new hour has just started.
Bird Clock is not designed to impose information on people with a sense of urgency as so many digital clocks do today. Rather, it is designed to delight us in a calming tone, to make us take a break from our busy schedule, appreciate the present moment and the joy of being a little bit inconvenient.
Cedar Hill Loop
2017 景观装置设计 合作完成
Cedar Hill Loop is a pavilion located at the heart of Central Park, New York City. As the most popular open public space in New York, Central Park was designed as a neutral land for different people to encounter and for various activities to overlap, which is only made possible by its openness and natural scenery. We believe a summer pavilion built in the heart of Central Park should respect what the park already is and try to be an enhancement of its original open, natural condition. With that in mind, we created the Cedar Hill Loop, an underground steel and timber ring structure, which follows the existing terrain of the Cedar Hill. The loop, powered by industry standard mast lifts and a circular rail underneath, is able to elevate and rotate itself to reveal spaces that are suitable for a wide variety of activities in different scales. Having nearly 30 feet of height difference, the sloped terrain of Cedar Hill is a perfect spot for the Loop to integrate itself in.
When not designated to any specific events, the loop can either be entirely hidden with only subtle indication of the periphery, or it can be slightly raised and become a large circular bench for people to gather together with indirect light leaking from inside that lights up the lawn during nighttime. The hill also helps with natural flood prevention in certain extreme weather condition.
Post-Brexit UK Passport Design
2017 平面设计概念 合作完成
The EU referendum vote divided the country in 2016. Whether we like it or not, Brexit is going to happen. So it’s time to start thinking about what image the UK wants to project and trying to create a positive vision for the future. A new passport could help achieve that. Having different opinion on things doesn’t mean people have to isolate one another. We try to promote conversation and understanding between people via our passport design.
We drew our inspiration from color filters, like the ones used in a comic book made by artist Pierre Jeanneau. Our mind has filters too, and through it we see the world differently. That is the reason why we decided to provide two color choices for the passport cover: red and blue, the ones you find on the Union Jack. Shortly you will notice that your cover of choice is, essentially, a transparent color filter. Looking through it the whole world turns monochrome – the filter hides one color while revealing the other as black. Underneath, the Royal Arms is printed with two colors of threads weaving together, elegantly positioned at the center of the page just like the one on your old passport.
▼塑料色彩滤镜，Polychromie Blue Red
When closed, your cover reveals only one aspect of the pattern, yet you can still see the entirety. This weaving language can be found throughout the visa pages, which consists of great British attractions and sceneries, all embellished with a playful superposition of abstract creatures and nature scenes. A passport is a playbook to be explored with colors it is. Want to see the morning birds from the night stars? Talk to your friends, families, or that stranger next to your seat who has another color. Explore together. We choose our color like we choose our perspective on things.
This passport is a reminder to all that United Kingdom is never complete with only one color on that flag. Some will see stars while others see the sun, what will never change are the timeless beauty they shine upon.
工作单位：CRÈME / Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design
Name: Jianshi Wu
When: 2012 – Present
Where: Providence, New York
From: Shenzhen, Guangdong
School: Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
Name: Yitan Sun
When: 2012 – Present
Where: Cambridge, Lyon, Providence, New York
From: Shenyang, Liaoning
School: Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
Firm：CRÈME / Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design