There is no architecture without action,
no architecture without events,
no architecture without program.
By extension, there is no architecture without violence.

Bernard Tschumi, 1996


  • Xu Song Ni
  • YAO Guoyu
  • Shi Mingjia
  • Zhang Junjie
  • Mo Sizhe
  • Chen Haoyu
  • Sheng Yichen
  • Lee Ying
  • Bai Lu




  • David Leggett
  • Paul Loh
  • Stelarc


Unit 1 set out to question technology and its implication on architectural space and the body. In our COVID19, BLM, and Climate Emergency context, we ask: What is our body’s relationship with machines?

Under the agenda of anthropomorphic machines, the studio ran two parallel design briefs: Swarm Responsive Tensegrity and Seclusion & Comfort. Students were are asked to choose one of the brief to work with during the two weeks studio. Both briefs explore the body or bodies relationship with technology. Swarm Responsive Tensegrity exerts a direct interaction between the body and the machine through computer visioning. Seclusion & Comfort attempts to abstract and isolate the body into a set of physical and virtual relationships that we can describe as ‘comfort’ – can simple design criteria such as ‘comfort’ be quantified?

The design briefs are conducted through a shared design methodology – designing through making and prototyping. Fabrication and prototyping in physical and virtual environment enable the designer and the body to test and experience the effect. Here, our approach is performance based – performance not just in the functional sense but performance in the very realm of the body and its interaction with space and objects. The process, in turns, informed the design through developing incrementally tacit knowledge. Each brief was developed by two groups of students.

Brief 1: Seclusion & Comfort

Project: The Measurement of Comfort


Zhang Junjie

Chen Haoyu


Redefine the Notion of Comfort Through Machine Decisions

What we are creating is a game, a VR experience, but it’s more than just a game. Our ambition is to form a bridge between the field of VR technology and the field of contemporary mental health clinic. It is an apparatus that can partially replace the “check-box forms” that evaluate people’s emotions and wellbeing. By interacting with the game contents in the VR, the endings will be changed based on the actions of players. While at the same time, the players’ data will also be recorded and presented to the player after the game.

The inspiration comes from an installation in the Science Gallery, “the isolation chamber”, where people can go inside and experience the feeling of isolation, while their behavior can be monitored by the people outside. The way that different people act very differently in the installation interests us. So how can we create a similar experience to mimic the installation? And to evaluate one’s sense of comfort through this experience? We looked into those “check-box forms” and Bernard Tschumi’s theories on architecture and body. Based on these theories, as well as our observations (and feelings) of me inside the isolation chamber, we developed our own standards of measurement, and embed these ways of measurement into the VR experience, the apparatus.

Although we try to make the measurement “universal”, to be able to apply to everyone, we can’t deny that the driven concepts are hugely dependent on my own experience. But the players can have something to take away after the game, and it’s their own location of comfort on the spectrum of comfort. The understanding of comfort is a link to the architecture field, for it helps us understand the architecture and space better.

Brief 2: Swarm Responsive Tensegrity

Project: La Mer _ Anthropomorphic Machine


Mason Mo
Ying Lee
Lu Bai


The project investigate the role of machine in establishing connection between human and architecture, or enabling architecture to be more responsive to human inputs. It starts with evaluating structural/geometrical characteristic of tensegrity structure, the mechanism and potential of pneumatic muscle, and the method of collect/extract/process human data.

The installation is sited in Science Gallery in Melbourne, located in the foyer/atrium space facing the junction of Swanston St. and Gratten St. It takes the form of an interactive landscape/ceiling above visitors and designed to be responsive to human positions and movements in proximity.

The system involves human body gesture capture, recognized by OpenPose and translated into numerical data, interfering the behaviour of digitally simulated agents, whose amount are later sampled to instruct pneumatic muscle movement, that causes the tensegrity structure to deform.

Human-Machine relationship, as the background of this project, suggests the similarity in both systems. The notion of understanding body as organization of organs which exist without an hierarchical control from above, whilst emphasizes on the process of connection and interaction to its neighbour members. This view brings machine system, swarm and human society onto the same page as they appear to be a nodal system, autonomous individuals defined by connectivity and hence the boundary among the three are no longer clear. In other words, three systems can communicate and react to each other with a shared language.

In the age of machines blending into everyday life, usually we find machines in architecture, what about architecture in machines, what is the potential of machines in enabling events?