Sirui Chen is a Finalist in the Architecture Illustration Competition
I was born and grew up in Beijing. I went to Hong Kong for undergraduate studies in Film and Media Arts at the age of 18, and discovered my passion for architecture in the cinematic city. I therefore applied for a Master of Architecture degree in USA, and studied at University of Pennsylvania for 3 years. Since graduation last year, I've been working in Philadelphia as junior architectural designer.
For me, the ultimate goal of design is kindling curiosities in everyday life and inspiring alternative thinking to current approach. Those are my goals as designer no matter what medium I work with in the future. For now I'm on my path of becoming a licensed architect, and I have a special interest in building adaptive reuse.
The design competition features drawing as expression for personal experience rather documentation for a design solution. I find that very interesting, I'm curious to see how others perceive their surroundings.
When I was still in Film school, I was most attracted to nonfiction works: documentary films or literature. To me they are very extroverted forms of art where the authors try to understand and contextualize situations alien to themselves. I see my illustration works sprout from similar origin. They are imaginative products with nonfictional roots.
I'm doing a weekly design exercise this year at my Instagram account @sireal_journal. The series' named 旮旯 (pronounced gā lá), a funny looking Chinese word for nook/niche. In these exercises I come up with specific programs (balcony office, drawer restaurant...) and give spatial form to them. I'd love to have your feedback, welcome to check it out.
See Sirui's Finalist winning design.
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