Lian (Harvard GSD M.Arch.I)

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

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    Thesis: unaccomplished performances (video)

    By Lian Chikako Chang
    Sep 21, '12 4:49 PM EST

    Hi Archinect!

    I’m in thesis this semester in the M.Arch.I program, and am being advised by my studio critic from first (!) semester, Danielle Etzler, as well as K. Michael Hays. We kicked off the semester with a pin-up in the first week of September, and a desk crit this past Monday. The working title of the project is “unaccomplished performances.” I’m starting with the question: what do we mean when we talk about performance in architecture? As David Leatherbarrow writes, is this the kind of performance that we get out of a machine—like the efficiency of an engine—or is it the kind of performance that we watch unfold on a stage?

    You can read my initial thoughts on this topic here, but for now, I wanted to share two videos, which are the first things I’ve produced this semester: a time-lapse showing a process of inhabitation, and a stop-motion animated charcoal drawing based on it. Very much a work in progress, but that’s what this semester will be about.

    Thanks for reading!


    unaccomplished performance - time lapse
    unaccomplished performance - charcoal dawn


    • ubu loca

      good luck with the thesis Lian!  The William Kentridge drawings are great.

      Sep 21, 12 9:26 pm  · 
      Lian Chikako Chang

      Thanks, ubu! I really appreciate it!

      Sep 22, 12 9:16 am  · 

      I'm in the middle of writing an article and the issue of performance is one of the topics of my research.  If you don't already have it in your working bibliography, i recommend The Well Tempered environment by Reyner Banham - this whole book is an argument to lack of heed first wave modernism paid to the performance of their buildings, furniture, fixtures - Gropius, Corb....or the limited extent to which they actually pursued the idea of architecture as a machine.  Although, they were interested in figuring out how the machine aesthetic might lend itself to better performance in terms of erection for mass production.      

      Sep 23, 12 11:33 pm  · 

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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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