thesis, MArch UC Berkeley

individual academic work


2021 spring

buffer is a thesis exploring the transitional spaces between the grids from various references. It emphasizes the ceremonial meaning of the process of experiencing multiple layers of buffers from a public realm to the private space by voluntarily walking through and getting lost in a multi-referenced, labyrinth-like, while still sequential spaces.

reading the physical world that we are situating, control happens almost everywhere, living in cell-like apartments, working at a spot that enclosed by panels, shopping along the aisles with goods intentionally presented to the customers, having lunch in the wooden boxes along streets, sitting in a comfy chair when watching a movie in a cinema...... all of these are phenomenons of controls, physicalizing through setting up grids for individuals to guide people's behaviors.

another layer of observation is that everyone is now staying connected virtually even physically detached, the boundary between public and private is blurring regarding to the development of technology, one would never be alone anymore.

is there a way to escape? are these just unavoidable scenarios? are we just voluntary social animals that gradually losing our self identities? this is a world of paradox, we are controlled by the wills which materialized as grids, separateed; we are also almost forced to stay connected externally as well as internally.

an architecture with buffer tries to fix it, utilizing overlapped grids to create a seemingly chaotic state to residents, attempting to help individuals detach from the public and find themselves own self, physically and psychologically. by walking through the loosely defined walkways, the rotated circulation cores, the transitional spaces with irregular shapes, one might be able to fully disconnect to the outside world, safe and unsupervised, and eventually focus back on his/her own self.

it's also a mental/social buffer along with the creation of spatial buffers, which can be broken down optionally according to individuals' will after been through the process of experiencing physical buffers. this time, hopefully, they figure out things they like or dislike, they now can communicate with others and just be themselves.

by keeping reading the thesis, you will be able to see the result coming from rather rational design thinking process, and presented in a more emotional way. I would take my position here, defining it to be a dystopian fantacy.

is this what you want?