Students from the Departments of Architecture and Industrial Design at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University took part in a workshop to learn how to reactivate ceiling spaces, led by Taiwanese artist Cheng Tsung Feng.
The structures were made from sustainable materials such as dry-sliced bamboo, rattan, rattan core, and rice paper.
“We say these structures ‘reactivate’ ceiling spaces as they hang from ceilings and interact with the light and the surrounding spaces,” said Dr Sofia Quiroga Fernandez, lecturer in the Department of Architecture at XJTLU, who co-organised the workshop.
She and Dr Barbara Wong from the Department of Industrial Design invited artist Feng to lead the workshop to create an opportunity for students to interact with those in other departments and to practice teamwork and collaboration.
The main aim of the workshop was to focus on designing from materials and creating through a hands-on process.
“We encouraged students to experiment with the materials in the Design Building workshop area, manipulating them with their hands to learn about their distinctive properties,” said Feng.
“They were then asked to devise structural ‘elements’, the best of which were developed and repeated to create the final structures.”
Feng said some students can focus too much on trying to find ‘the right answer’, and workshops such as this help them to experiment and to express their creativity.
Dr Wong said bringing together students from different disciplines allowed them to learn from their peers, as well as from the artist.
“The architecture and industrial design students worked well together and complemented each other’s skill sets,” said Dr Wong.
“I hope we can have more activities like this for students from different departments to collaborate.”
By Danny Abbasi; edited by Rosanna Galvin; photos by Chenxu Zhao and Wei-Chun Lin