2018 | Digital Architecture + AR

Engagement DTLA

This project is a high-density LED housing for young artists in DTLA which acting as an interface between city and individuals.

It is located in a narrow gap between the Broad Museum and a residential apartment, the Emerson LA. Currently, there is a small plaza. Because of the rising rents and the commercialization of artwork, it is increasingly difficult for young artists to live and work in downtown LA. They have to live far away from where the rent will be cheaper. Only artworks by famous artists can be shown in downtown LA such as the Broad Museum.

So we designed a high-density housing system with dynamic LED façade.

High-density modular housing units allow buildings to be produced and assembled faster and cheaper, which will significantly reduce the rent and attract more young artists.

The LED facade is a dynamic interface which not only shapes the interior spaces but also displays young artists’ work for the public. It redefines the relationship between architecture and city, the limitation of interior and exterior spaces, the boundary of publicity and privacy, as well as the connection of daily life and public display.

While there are no artworks on the LED façade, the dynamic texture becomes manipulation of the context, which allows the building to disguise in the urban environment. At the same time, it neither conflict nor harmony with the context.

The component is created by rotating three same units along the XYZ axis, which means the geometry is entirely symmetrical. They can be connected with each other no matter the directions. They can form different spatial compositions to fulfill various functions by rotating and moving themselves. Such a mereological mechanism ensures a building can be self-grown from a single unit and can adapt to limitless possibilities in the future. The dynamic textures are created by manipulating the building façade from context. Each texture is controlled by three layers of information: diffuse color, reflectivity, and bump strength. They are projected to the building from the same direction as the façade of the source building. So the continuity is created across different building parts.

In summary, this project provides a bottom-up system partially created by the artist for artists and partially generated from the city for the city.


Designers: Nix Liu Xin, Manying Wang
Instructor: M. Casey Rehm

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