Academic Project    |    2018

Design Studio Project at SCI-Arc

Instructor: Natasha Sandmeier

Partner: Siyu Zheng

Today we live in a world entirely dominated by the production, proliferation, and consumption of images. Image literacy is, arguably, one of the most crucial skills we need in order to go about our daily lives, distinguishing the real from the fake, the authentic from the artificial, the relevant from the frivolous. This workshop asks us to walk a tightrope between those conditions in order to challenge our contemporary means of architectural representation and to begin to construct our own attitude towards it.

There is a long history of designers and architects who have worked through their agendas within the confines of a room before elaborating those concepts into larger scaled architectures and ultimately, cities. The room is the space in which you invent and combine your findings, where you transgress the authentic with the subjective. It is the space in which you can construct your own identity. It’s the world you define, shape and design. It has physical constraints, but limitless creative opportunities.


1944 was the year of the great Photochemical Smog event in Los Angeles.

This event created an environment of paranoia and fear, alongside a prolonged media frenzy. News stories about smog prevention, and devices to prevent smog inhalation dominated newspapers and magazines, provoking scientists to invent and market a series of bizarre gas masks, incubators, and other protection devices. Regrettably, no one focussed on smog reduction and prevention.

This project is set in 1994, 50 years after that critical turning point in LA’s history. The toxic effects of the smog reached an unprecedented level and ultimately led to an era-ending environmental catastrophic.

People were looking for the scientists who were working on reversing this disaster in hopes of saving the earth. The scientists launched an emergency protocol and built this room to study the solution.

Yes, actually this room is the last hope of human being.

In this toxic world, nature and plants occupied everywhere, but the human cannot survive in this disaster. All the creatures were extinguished by the smog.

A researcher froze himself in the incubator for years to extend his lifetime in order to study the solution.

However, after he woke up, the world had already perished. He became the only human on this planet.
Day after day, he can only monitor the outside world and review the old videos of doomsday, trying to re-establish human civilization.