Reconnecting geometry of journey | A student project by Mei Fang Liao


In these strange ways that everything happens on the net, we found the work of Mei Fang Liao some weeks ago and get in touch with her to have a deeper overview about it. At the same time, while waiting for Mei’s response there was an article published at the Times called Who would want to be an architecture student? and Geoff published at the BLDGBLOG a post inspired by the Times article, called Who would want to be an architect? We talk about strange ways because both articles focuses more or less entirely on London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, as Geoff quotes and this is the same school where Mei is developing her research Reconnecting geometry of journey with Shaun Murray as a tutor.

So, we can see that there are still some studentes that among the recession are still working hard to be architects. Let’s see the project and what Mei has to say about it:

This project is about a peculiar journey in which the crucial aim is not necessarily to arrive the final destination but to record and describe the experiences of journey by the observer. In other words, the most relevant aspect of this journey is the information being “experienced” by observer before reaching the arrival per se, in Stone Circle, a historical site located in Oxfordshire (UK).

Initially, the project investigated a series of narratives that reflect interactions between the observer and environment. These narratives are constructed by photographs taken along the journey. The journey to be presented will be divided into four stages. The first one is about preparation for the journey. Secondly, the transport during the journey is shown. In the third stage, the experience of “touching” the environment will be emphasized. Finally, it will describe the perception of arriving.

The idea of travel and try to describe the journey as a complex geometry developed under the concept of Light and Shadow is astonishing. Mei suggests that with the gradual process of collecting fragments of narratives available through the track, the concept of ”light and shadow” can be used to discuss not only how they are entangled with the environment but also to what extent they establish an original “conversation” with the architecture. The old well-known story bout the dialogue between architecture and environment, this time focused on the light and shadow as elements appropriated by architecture.


2-3 the mirror.psd


The drawings generated through the journey are more than wonderful and were done with the goal to explain and describe details of the photographs taken in the previous stage. These pictures represent the experience about the journey and will be analysed according to their perspectives of light and shadow.

A-3 Scenery(black)(04).ai

From Mei text:

At the same time, the project analyses and interprets the effect of light and shadow through a succession of drawings. In the context, the drawings are results of experiments made to test a subjective or even abstract conception about how light and shadow can be projected in the environment. The pictures are frozen images of the journey; by contrast, the drawings are a result of dynamic experiments. The drawings should be understood in this project as the bridge between environment and architecture.

4-3 Spot light(part2).psd

GJ 07

We agree with Geoff when he says that student work can often stand on the absolute fringes of incomprehensibility, charged with the energy of poetry, myth, or confrontational politics, even verging on functional uselessness. Here, we can see a completely poetic project developed by a serie of drawings about a journey [a new and architectural way to re-write Kerouac’s classic On The Road?]. With the travel of light and shadow; surfaces challenge the concept and the perception of the traditional model of space in depth.

This project proposes an initial work for developing 3D model to depict the spatial journey.

More info, drawings, videos and publications at Mei’s BLOG Reconnecting the Geometry of the Journey.


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