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  • STUDIO AIR2016, SEMESTER 1TUTOR: FinniaSTUDENT NAME: Haotian Wu (668986)

  • Table of Contents



    10CASE STUDY 1

    12CASE STUDY 2



    computing soon. It is not just about coding to generate fancy patterns or structures but push architecture towards a broader world, influencing much more than buildings.

    For me contemporary architecture means in this age the task of architects is becoming ever challenging. We need to apply interdisciplinary knowledge to explore the possibility of architecture. I think Studio Air will be a great experience to synthesize contemporary design theory and skills so I am very looking forward to the project.

    Now I am doing the last year of architecture and from the past studios and theoretical courses I have done, I found my interest in architecture is still quite broad. I am fond of playing with tectonics in Studio Earth, as well as learning theories and styles from masters in Studio Water. And I am particularly enthusiastic about model making and fabrication.

    In the first year, I took computing and database courses as my breath subjects, which unintentionally opened the door of parametric design for me. I self-learned a bit Grasshopper during the summer and just found it would be a trend in future architecture industry. Just like people inventing pencil to replace charcoal, CAD to replace draft paper, I feel there will be a significant place for

    My name is Haotian Wu and my friends usually call me Stewart. I originally come from Suzhou, China and had one year of foundation school in Auckland, New Zealand, before coming to the University of Melbourne. My interest in architecture has been fostered since childhood by my architect uncle. I liked reading plans from his working materials and tried to draw my own version. Yet in the following years in China, my enthusiasm in architecture was not encouraged either by my parents or the school education, until I went to Taylors College in Auckland where I spent a really fun year in Art course. And interestingly, I did help my uncle who had been living in Auckland by then do some construction work, which made me more familiar with this field.

    INTRODUCTION- about author and past works


    Second Skin - Keep Personal Space. Project from Digital Desgin and Fabrication 2015

    Adapative Shelter - Urban Envelope. Project from AA Visisting School Melbourne 2016

    Studley Park Boat House. Project from Design Studio Water 2015

    Herring Island Pavilion. Project from Design Studio Earth

    01 02


    01 02 0403


    and secondly there are also plural possible futures which can aid us to speculate designs, which can influence the direction of the eventual future. So future is something we design for as well as something we design upon.

    Where Studio Air is going to

    Though contemporary design theories and parametric tools will be introduced and applied in this studio, the core characteristic of the project will be futuring which requires:

    1. The design should not stick with solving current problems as we are still thinking within the frame of defuturing. Instead the design should speculate sustainable possible futures and illuminate transformative actions[3].

    2. The design should envolve users in depth and inspire users to think the status quo critically[4]. It should be a compass to indicate how to think sustainably rather than as a map directly showing where or what is sustainability[5].

    3. If necessary, the design should encourage fundamental changes from the underpinning concepts in order to break the existing defuturing frame. But at the same time inflated faith and idealist reform should be avoided[6].

    Critical Moment

    Now human are facing a critical moment as the future which is supposed set in the front, is no more secured. The defuturing condition of unsustainability is accelerating and design because of its innate ability of prefiguration, should be humans method of futuring. However, not all designs can play this significant. Fry suggests three main problems in the situation of current design which certainly includes architecture[1]. Firstly, the deregulated pluralization renders a large amount of design activities trivialized and stylized. Secondly, the limitation of social form causes most designs in the current world is either economy-oriented or culture-oriented but not sustainment-oriented. Thirdly, even those so-called sustainable design are just slowing the defuturing rather than fundamentally changing the condition. So before starting the Studio Air, we have to radically redefine the frame of design.

    What is Future

    Frys book describes human society as a train running towards a cliff and most design works with the sustainable intention are just slowing down the train but the defuturing is still inevitable[2]. Therefore the task of design should instead redirect the train to an alternative future, which requires designers as the first brave passengers to jump off the train and look for other directions firstly. In this way the future is defined with a dual meaning. Firstly there will be a single future we are eventually going to

    DESIGN FUTURING- background and direction of the studio


    Speculating Future

    Speculating Future


    Speculating Future




    How Design Redirect Humanity from Defuturing to Sustainable Future


    Sustainability in the Project

    As discussed above, the project will speculate sustainable futures as a design tool, will redirect humanity towards sustainability and will inspire people to think sustainably. So seemingly there is a necessity to discuss the definition of sustainability at this first stage. There is one definition from my Reshaping Environments essay which I think will still work in this case:

    Sustainability is the quality of a system regardless of its scale, if the relationships between and within its all subsystems are able to persist and nourish each other. There is no fixed focus of sustainability as it attempts to balance all stakeholders.

    So we need to realize that sustainability is neither anthropocentric nor nature-centred and can never be prescribed. The focus of the project will not be the answer of sustainability, but the process to explore sustainable futures, and the method of mobilizing people to think about sustainability.

    Design as a Discourse

    As Schumacher suggests architecture is a system of communication and the total mass of works and process should work as a discourse to communicate the idea[7]. So not only the outcome but also the design process and all items invloved in the design should reflect futuring, or in Frys word, mobilize design intelligence[8].

    1. The discourse should be participatory rather than consensual, which means the capability to be communicated among not only design community but the large group of people. It can act as an educational agency to promote design as a common literacy in a sustainable future[9].

    2. The discourse should explore the evolution from things to a design and how things act beyond their mere function as material or immaterial object. Trivalized pattern, function, structure and style must be avoided[10].

    DESIGN FUTURING- background and direction of the studio






    trivialized styles / patterns / structures / functions




    The Whole Mass of Design as Discourse to Mobilize Peoples Sustainable Thinking


    Figure1. Eden Project consisting of two Biomes

    should be regarded as a discourse rather than a mere architecture - a complex of steel domes. The whole project, including the function, the lasting educational program and even the building progress are contributing collectively as a discourse to speculate future and inspire people to think about sustainability. The main function of Eden Project is to reserve and exhibit plants from diverse environments and climates which are artificially created by the two large Biomes(pic02, 03). Before the Biomes were set down, the soil was made from local mine waste and the organic matter was from composted bark. That indicates a new possibility for human to reapproach and regenerate the nature after the highly industrialized society isolated it. Besides, Eden Project also functions as an educational agency. It helds types of plant visit,

    Before 1995 when the project started, the site was a working china clay pit that is nearing the end of its economic life. The undulating landscape exhausted by human beings was waiting for the day of being ignored just like many other locations on the earth which used to be pit, factory, dump...... However, Eden Project changes its destiny. As an architectural work itself, the hexagonal structure of bubbles can set on any harsh terrains(pic01), and the strong sense of biomimicry forms a nearly fictional contrast between the project and the surroundings, between human-created nature and human-abandoned nature.

    Despite its wonderful architectural design, Eden Project

    CASE STUDY 1- Eden Project, 2003, Cornwall, England


    apprenticeship, school of gardening and even green cooking course. The programs aim to influence every aspect of human life and their focus is usually on children, to inspire the next ge