MAD no doubt is one of the most recognized architectural practices in China and worldwide. Every year,MAD receives countless job and internship applications. To be able to work at MAD will definitely enrich
your career as even though the people working here might have been lucky, but are undeniablyoutstanding. What could possibly be on the minds of the MAD interns?
Name: chen sichuan
Educational Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Who is your favourite architect? Why?
Peter Zumthor. His understanding to tectonic, material and geometry inspire me a lot. Also his focus on phenomenology evoked me to see architecture and architect in a different way.
What is the major characteristic of your current school’s education?
The school wish every students can design logically. Everyone is pursuing the goal that every elements in design, from concept to tectonic, are logically connected. In another word, concept of design has to be expressed in any corner of architecture. The school have history of cooperating with department of civil engineering, so the rationality of structure are emphasized in the design process.
What have you gained during the MAD internship?
Meaning of architecture and architect. No matter how fancy the concept is, architecture would always rooted on practice. One cannot be titled as an architect until he or she
really get a project built.
What are your thoughts and feelings upon Chinese Architecture and the environment? Any suggestion?
The speed of development of the industry and the highly intensive work load are expected by me, however, in reality, they are way much higher. Also I am concern about the China speed. I wish in the future more architects can care more about the feeling of people.
What is your dream?
Be a real architect.
What would you do if you were not an architect?
What is your dream project?
Build something that can penetrate people’s consciousness and subconsciousness.
What is your favourite project in your portfolio? Why?
The middle rise in Chicago. The project provide me a chance to think issues of urban life and how urban life should be in the future. Also that is the first project that I have chance to use grasshopper.
走在芝加哥市中心的大街上发达的商业已经无法让人再感受到生活气息。 冷漠， 浮夸和快节奏是这里的主旋律。人们生活在一个虚幻的资本主义游乐园早已丢失了感受的能力。 造成这种环境的除了资本主导一切的社会价值观还有芝加哥的摩天楼。 对于资本的崇拜早已是摩天楼的主要功能之一。 我所希望的是能够将生活场景与生活气息还给大家。 能够有像路易斯阿姆斯特朗歌里唱的那样浓郁的生活味道。在二十世纪初的芝加哥，方盒子摩天楼没有错。对于大火之后的芝加哥，标准层的摩天楼是最好的解法。然而在今天，标准层再也不能满足人们的需求。巴什拉在空间诗学(Bachelard, Poetics of Space) 里阐述过，二十世纪的摩天楼都是平的。从一层大厅进入后直接去了自己的房间。人与人之间没有交集。一栋楼看似是一个大社区但是确只是人与人聚集的孤独。所以我希望将摩天楼打破成为数个小社区，有接近人尺度的公共空间，有树（争议很大），有草。
There is one thing cannot be ignored when designing tower in Chicago. The strong architectural language of towers in Chicago will still affect towers in the future. The question is that whether the form can still satisfy contemporary society. The thought pattern in 20th, which is a heroic and revolutionary, is out of date. Walking in the street in Chicago, we can only expect a scene that fulfilled with atmosphere which generated by highly developed commercial society. It force people to give up the life style in small community.
Indifference, greedy and crime are everywhere. What I wanted to do is to resurrect the vivid scene of life just like the scene described in the lyrics of what wonderful world. Box skyscrapers are the most rational solution for 20th century. Especially to the Chicago right after the Chicago fire. However, it can no longer fit the contemporary society.
Bachelard exemplified that skyscrapers at his time are all flat, since the people just experienced the lobby of building and directly go to theirs floor. People barely
communicate with each other. There is a huge community in a skyscraper, however it is just aggregation of solidity. I tried to break the huge community to several sub-communities which have the human-scale public space, trees (controversial) and grass.
这是一个竞赛。 题目是消失的建筑。 建筑消失题目太大也无法做到，我们的想法是让现代建筑消失。 在沙漠这个脱离社会语境的环境里，现代建筑是没有意义的。 但是问题是如何找到新的方法呢。 柯布西耶的多米诺原型是由新材料到新的结构再到新的空间方法。如果要反对现代建筑，那么就应该从原型开始。 于是就希望能找到一种原型不是结构影响空间，而是空间形成结构。在现在先进的技术下一种固化沙子的粘合剂为这些设想提供了可能。
The topic of the competition is disappearance of architecture. We interpret the topic as the disappearance of modern architecture, since architecture is a too wide concept to dealing with. We choose the site in desert which is disconnected with urban. So modernity is not appropriate here. The question is how to find a new prototype to replace the modern architectural language. Corbusier find his prototype by the developing the understanding to new material, concrete. It is the domino that he derives his vision of modern architecture. So what we are thinking is that rather let the structure dominate the form of space, the space can also dominate the form of structure. The new technology of solidify sand helped us to achieve such fantasy.
这个竞赛是要求通过一些手法将盐湖城的市中心激活。盐湖城作为19世纪美国的一个重镇在当代慢慢衰落，特别是市中心，原有的金融商业都已经不再有活力。 盐湖城的环境很美 ，从市中心就能看到远处的瓦萨奇山，气候原因天上的云十分浓厚。 摩门教徒就在这只有山有云的地方创业开发出盐湖城。 借助这个两个符号来形成街上的小品。我们用小的人造街景引来人流，同时这些装置的功能是小商业以及文化表演等。市民能聚集在此从而给市中心的激活提供可能。
As Salt Lake City was founded by a group of Mormon pioneers in 1847, this poetic place with green mountains, blue lake and white clouds have nourished the sense of place in the depth of people’s heart. We want to inspire this original sense in the voids of city in order to activate the blocks such as Sixty-nine and Seventy. The two blocks sitting in the crossing of cultural web of city, included cultural, retail and historical buildings in. In order to cooperated with these programs and offer the urban catalyst for the blocks, we layout two layers of systems in the block voids: one is the “cloud” system made of membrane system which define the space and offer a certain shadow from weather for outdoor activities; the second system is the “hill” system made of modularized the concrete pavement to vary the heights and create more possible activities in the city void spaces.
这个项目是我对于知觉现象学了解的一个过程的表达。现代人对于生活的体验过度依赖于视觉。这种视觉霸权影响着人们对事物的感知。人类的对于世界的感知除了视觉还有听觉嗅觉触觉，所以当过度依赖视觉感官的时候，天赋于人的总的感知会减少很多。就像电影“钢琴教师“一开始的几组镜头：尝试让触觉先于视觉来感受世界一样。这个项目是我对于感知的学习。 项目的设定是一个葬礼教堂。背景是无特定宗教，以此来强调对于感知的讨论。当家人朋友去参加葬礼的时候，其实是过世的人留给他们的最后一个纪念——人与人情感的交流。人们在这个时候才得以摆脱平时的生活来关注亲人朋友的情感。 所以我通过对几何，材料以及形式的研究来尽量达到让大家摆脱日常生活，摆脱视觉霸权的目的。
This project is the expression of the process of studying phenomenology. Modern people rely on visual experience. The supremacy of visual damage people’s perception to the world. The project is about perception and emotion. I was asked to design a funerary chapel which is not specific for any religions. When friends and relatives participate a funeral, they are receiving the last present from the departed saint. They have the chance to disconnect with daily inconsequential and face sentimental needs of each other. Through material, geometry and form, I tried to achieve that helping them to get rid of visual supremacy and daily life.
场地是在学校所在城市的市中心。进过调查发现场地处在城市发达与落后的边界上。所以人迹罕至，只有车经过。 当人在车上的时候城市里的建筑就成了景观。所以希望做一个像景观的建筑，来吸引人关注这个博物馆。通过博物馆来模糊城市繁荣和衰落的边界。现代建筑运动中对于直墙的痴迷基于阴影的变化促使人感知与建筑的对话。 但是这种由建筑主导人的观点我不太赞同。于是希望能够尝试曲面来模糊这种对话。更希望人们通过行为来参与空间叙事。
The site in downtown of the city of my school. After research, I found out that the site is on the boundary of prosper business district and rural area of the city. Pedestrians are rare, and only car driving by. Architecture will be viewed as landscape in the eyes of people who are driving or sitting in cars. I tried to design a landscape-like building to attract people to walk to the museum. The boundary of prosper and decadence should be blurred. In the movement of modern architecture, the changing of shadow of straight wall activate the visual interaction between architecture and people. However, I am not agree with the idea. So I tried to use curvature surface to blur such interaction and activate the participation of human in space narrative.
Name: chen sichuan 陈思川
Educational Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign （即将去SCI-Arc）