Jingyuan Huang

MArch I

Blurring the Line between Natural and Built: Visualize the Invisible, Amplify the Subtle…

Advised by Belinda Tato

A city, as a built place, is often seen as the antithesis of nature. Transient changes that completely vanished from a rigid and definitive architecture over time are instead omnipresent in the cycles of nature.

My thesis aims to explore the ambiguous boundaries between natural and artificial worlds. Could we employ weather, the natural elements, as an architectural device, suggesting new ways for the inhabitant to live and interact with nature in the dense and modern city, being less constrained and resistant, more welcoming toward the natural changes? Contemporary architecture has been more suitable for the dry season and good weather. Architecture is mostly viewed as a refuge from nature; I want to negotiate a rapprochement with it, to see architecture not as shelter, but as a changing environment itself. How could atmospheric architecture visualize the invisible, amplify the subtle in nature . . . acting as a provocation against the representation of modern architecture in photos of a weatherless context? And how could this experience redefine publicness as interwoven into a dense urban fabric?

My desire is to set up a situation to which I take you and let you see. It becomes your experience.
—James Turrell

I chose Tokyo as the background based on research of the Tokyo void. It combines two seemingly contrasting entities: the largest city in the world and its everyday landscape of underutilized public space. My project is to dive into the possibility of transforming this kind of neglected and underutilized public space into inviting public places that bring the infinity of nature and immeasurable spatial expression back, and set up a frame for people to experience the sensitive change of nature through Tokyo’s small, organic, and scattered public space.

Jingyuan Huang, MArch I. Ground and Underground connection.

Cross-sectional drawing showing rainfall, water flow, ponds, and underground caves and pools.