Lian (Harvard GSD M.Arch.I)

I graduated in 2013, but still blog here once in a while.

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    Ai Weiwei is @Large on Alcatraz

    By Lian Chikako Chang
    Sep 28, '14 3:04 PM EST

    Hi Archinect,

    Here are some images from Alcatraz, including Ai Weiwei's new show called @Large, open until April 26 2015. Organized by the For-Site Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, @Large includes seven new installations that consider freedom from points of view that range from the philosophical and even whimsical to the didactic, politically pointed, and interactive.

    View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the island.

    Flight symbolizes freedom for Ai Weiwei.

    A series of LEGO portraits of people who have been imprisoned or exiled due to their beliefs or affiliations.

    An enormous metallic wing, viewable only through the glass panes that separate the raised gun gallery from the floor of Alcatraz' New Industries Building, where prisoners used to work under the scrutiny of guards.

    Ceramic flowers bloom in fixtures in the prison's hospital ward.

    A series of sound installations allow visitors to sit in a cell and hear music, poems, and other audio from a wide range of political activists.

    Visitors can send a postcard to an individual prisoner of conscience who is currently incarcerated somewhere in the world. 

    A visitor takes a selfie.

    A National Parks warden shows one of the crabs that live around the island.

    Thanks for looking!


    P.S. One of our GSD M.Arch.I classmates, who just graduated a few months ago, is deep into a difficult fight with cancer here in San Francisco (yeah, that's where I live now). If you know Mike Burton or just want to help, Mike and his partner would really appreciate any wishes, kind thoughts, or financial help to cover hospice and living expenses, which have been adding up fast. They're running a fundraiser here.

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About this Blog

This blog was most active from 2009-2013. Writing about my experiences and life at Harvard GSD started out as a way for me to process my experiences as an M.Arch.I student, and evolved into a record of the intellectual and cultural life of the Cambridge architecture (and to a lesser extent, design/technology) community, through live-blogs. These days, I work as a data storyteller (and blogger at in San Francisco, and still post here once in a while.

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