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GSD M.Arch I Application Portfolio CHIEH CHIH CHIANG B.A International Relations | Brown University ‘11 1

Portfolio v11

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Page 1: Portfolio v11

GSD M.Arch I Application Portfolio

CHIEH CHIH CHIANGB.A International Relations | Brown University ‘11


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Random Walk 4

Frames 5


Second Skin 6


Shelter 7

New York/Paris | Columbia GSAPP | Fall 2013

Career Discovery | Harvard GSD | Summer 2010

Interpolation 16

Re-Mix 20


Personal | Summer 2013

Informal Athens 1

Travels 3

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Informal AthensPersonal | Summer 2013

January 2013: In preparation for Japonica Partners’ €4 billion investment in Greek government bonds, I conducted extensive field research in Athens and explored the city’s urban informal economy.

A major drain on tax revenue, the informal economy is output not accounted by conventional methodologies, its broadest definition including undeclared income, and unreported work.

More robust than the formal economy during recession, Greece’s exceptionally large informal economy is the result of tax burden, entepreneurial culture, and labor market inefficiencies.

Within Athens, the informal economy is both a product of and an engine behind the city’s curious mix of rampant private development and onerous government regulation.

The spaces that the informal economy occupies range from the conspicuous collective to the exclusive private. In this personal project, I analyzed these spaces according to their economic activity.



Employees Self-Employed

European Union

Greece’s entrepreneurial culture is evident when compared to its EU economic peers, with a striking 34% of its labor force either running their own business or providing independent labor. This suggests that a substantial amount of economic output is likely unreported.


Most economic sectors contain an informal element. Within Athens, professional services such as law and construction are traditional enclaves of the informal, followed by the consumer services.

Informal EconomyOfficial GDP


Conventional calculations of the informal economy are primarily based on tax evasion data. However, this does not account for Greece’s unique labor market. Instead, I estimated incremental GDP based on additional, unreported output of the self-employed vis-a-vis employees.

Peers per capita GDP

ItalyPortugalSpainCzech Republic



€10,000 €20,000 €30,0001

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Platia Vathi

Precedent studies on informal urban spaces have focused on the Kerameikos-Metaxourgeio and Gerani neighborhoods, home to most of the Athenian immigrant population.


Platia Vathis TypologiesActors


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TravelsPersonal | Summer 2013

1/ Museum für Moderne KunstGraphite on paper

2/ Galaxy SohoInk on paper

3/ PolykatoikiasInk on paper

4/ St. Paul’s CathedralInk on paper

1 2




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Random Walk

1/ Circulation pattern after randomization18x24” Graphite on mylar

2/ Body movement under different resistances18x18” Graphite on mylar



New York/Paris | Fall 2013Critics: Thomas de Monchaux, Sarah Carpenter

The “random walk” is a mathematical model applied to stochastic patterns such as Brownian motion, stock price fluctuations, and even circulation paths.

However, actual circulation is rarely“random” or unpredictable. We choose from a set of rational decisions when confronted with counter-forces: slowing down, changing direction, or surging past.

To truly randomize one’s decisions, I connected two oxford shirts arm-to-arm with safety pins so that the wearer can adjust the extent to which the shirts are bound together.

By generating different amounts of resistance against its wearer’s motion, the prosthetic device causes the body to twist and turn, randomizing one’s reaction to a counter-force.


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FramesNew York/Paris | Fall 2013Critic: Jane Kim

Flatiron is surrounded by urban frames formed by a series of edges each existing on a different plane, such as a wall, the curve of a bus, a lamp post.

The 2D virtual spaces implied by the frames are elongated real spaces in flux when an edge is formed by a moving object.

Using 1/16” and 1/4” basswood sticks to map virtual and real spaces respectively, I constructed the Armature to direct one’s sight to real spaces.


2 3

1/ Virtual and real spaces around Flatiron18x18” Graphite on mylar

2/ Photo-collage of 12 frames around Flatiron

3/ Real space changes due to moving edges18x24” Graphite on mylar 5

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Second Skin

1/ Personal spatial boundary variations18x24” Graphite on mylar

2/ Changing Room & Circulation generation9x6” Graphite on mylar

3/ (From Top) Changing Room A, Circulation A, Changing Room B, Circulation B



3New York/Paris | Fall 2013Critic: Jane Kim

Can one space wear another as a second skin?

When wearing a second skin such as an Elmo suit, personal spatial boundaries vary across one’s body. The boundaries of hitherto private regions, such as the groin, now expand and becomes socially acceptable to be touched.

Taking a cue from this variation, I designed the two Changing Rooms’ circulation to wrap around the other’s changing room to create variations in privacy.


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ShelterNew York/Paris | Fall 2013Critic: Eduardo Rega Calvo

By analyzing different boundary conditions on Bryant Park, I designed a bleacher with a spectrum of sheltered spaces.

The urban rooms of Bryant Park are curated by boundaries of different permanence.

Spaces defined by effervescent (human traces) and changing boundaries (foliage) are used for circulation and quick breaks respectively while permanent boundaries (topography) are used for shelter.

By connecting analogous boundaries on the facade of Center Pompidou to Bryant Park, a structure is generated upon which the Bleacher lies.

1/ Boundary conditions analysis40x40” Graphite on mylar

2/ Tape modules study

Effervescent Boundaries

Changing Boundaries

Permanent Boundaries

1 2

Public Seats Semi-Private Entry Private Cocoon


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Private Cocoons suspended below the Public Seats and Semi-Private Entries form a cloud of activities above Bryant Park. To access the most sheltered spaces, one first ascends the Bleacher’s undulating surface of public spaces before walking deep into the Cocoons.


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1/ Visual and physical accessibilities in Lincoln Center18x24” Graphite on mylar

2/ Visual and physical accessibilities in Met Opera6x24” Graphite on mylar

1 2New York/Paris | Fall 2013Critic: Eduardo Calvo Rega

In this Final 1 assignment, I sought to investigate how visual and physical accessbilities govern the interaction between Public Circulation, Program, and Site for a Fashion Atelier.

Bisected by the Metropolitan Opera’s Southern wall, the Site is divided into 3 sections between Lincoln Center, Danrosch Park, and the Met Opera.

A parasitic structure embedded in the Met Opera’s Southern wall, the Atelier contains Retail, Fabrication, Office, and Studio spaces, each with its own degree of accessibility to the public.

I first studied Lincoln Center Plaza and the Metropolitan Opera, classifying visual and physical accessibilities as follow: See and enter, see but cannot enter, and neither see nor enter.


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3/ Public Circulation + Program (Clockwise)Retail: See and enter.Fabrication: See and enter - but cannot walk in.Office: See but cannot enter.Studio: Cannot see and cannot enter.

4/ Site + Program

5/ Public Circulation + Site

6/ Program + Program




Public Circulation + SiteThe public weaves in and out of the Atelier and Met Opera through a sequence of views.

Site + ProgramStudio and Fabrication spaces are visible to Opera patrons.

Program + Program Fabrication, the most performative yet least accessible space, lies at the heart of the Atelier.



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Fabrication Retail StudioOffice


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New York/Paris | Fall 2013Critics: Thomas de Monchaux, Sarah Carpenter

My design condenses the Palais Garnier’s spatial experiences into a supercut trailer located in its facade - a sneak preview of the actual spectacle.

Palais Garnier’s public space is characterized by a gradient of strictly programmed spaces (Social stage, auditorium) and leftover spaces that encourage mixing and circulation.

Inserted into the Grand Foyer and Vestibule, the Atelier interacts with the existing structure to recreate the spatial experience of transitioning between Palais Garnier’s programmed and leftover spaces.


1/ Axonometric of Garnier Opera public spaces18x24” Graphite on mylar

2/ Three spatial experiences: Compression/Expansion, Visual Folding, and Regulated/Unregulated circulation.24x24” Graphite on mylar

1 2


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3/ Found Object analysis: (Clockwise) Visual Folding, Interstitial, Expansion/Contraction and Regulated/Unregulated circulation.18x24” Graphite on mylar

4/ Found Object transformation: Push/pull, 60 degree rotation, and opacity18x24” Graphite on mylar

3 4

I used a sketch model from Final 1 as a tool to recreate these spatial experiences. Comprising 4 boxes nestled within each other, the Found Object was originally a study of Program + Program relationships.

After breaking the Found Object into its component boxes, I applied 3 operators - push/pull, 60 degree rotation, and opacity - to reconfigure it into a Fashion Atelier within Palais Garnier.


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The final design inserts the Atelier through existing floors and walls to create a public circulation route that winds through the volume of the Grand Foyer and Vestibule.

Programs that depend on others for their raison d’etre - Warehouse, Archive, and Cafe - are housed in the leftover spaces between the Atelier and existing structure.

Core programs - Retail, Fabrication, Office, and Studio - are located within main volumes of the Found Object.



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5/ Three spatial experiences: Compression/Expansion, Visual Folding, and Regulated/Unregulated circulation.24x24” Graphite on mylar

5Core programs Expand while leftover programs Contract. Retail Visually Folds back to look upon the production process at Fabrication and Studio.

Circulation in public programs, such as the Cafe and Retail, is Unregulated while circulation in private programs, such as Studio and Office, is Regulated.


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InterpolationCareer Discovery | Summer 2010Critic: Nathan Fash

In this project for two families, I designed two houses spiralling around each other across a lightwell. The two families are reminded of the presence of the other through interlocking volumes and select sightlines.

The Buffs, a fitness-minded intellectual couple, enjoy a sequence of mostly private spaces housing a gym, pool, and library.

The Yuppies, an artist couple and their two young children, have larger social spaces designed for art collection and video screening.

Together, the two families share the common lightwell and rooftop garden.

2010 2013

My original 2010 design from Career Discovery failed to integrate the two houses sufficiently, leaving them as two stacks of boxes.

Over the next three years, I returned to the project frequently to test new ideas. Finally, in 2013, I attempted to resolve form and circulation with a new design.


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Collective Space - Mutual sightlines

Social space - Maximal intrusion

Private space - Minimal intrusion


Social spaces: Levels 1 to 3Private spaces: Levels 4 to 5


Massing: Heavier on side of larger neighborOrientation: Views switch between Ware St & parking lot

Buffs: Exercise & Reading spacesYuppies: Art & Video display


Front Back Front BackFront Back


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I arrayed moments of adjacencies along the two houses’ circulation.

The collective space of the lightwell features mutual sightlines on the lower, more social levels.

The social spaces are defined by translucent walls suggesting the other family’s presence.

Private spaces contain more opaque walls between the two families.


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Re-MixCareer Discovery | Summer 2010Critic: Nathan Fash

My design for an Artists Complex seeks to alleviate the Boston City Hall Plaza’s unbalanced

Acting as a second topographical layer, the Complex’s Roofscape rises from the Plaza, creating three layers of circulation curating the public towards the neglected Northern edge of the Plaza.

Public programs (Exhibition, theater, and studios) are nestled in the interstitial space between the Plaza and Roofscape, while the private apartments are located atop to receive sunlight.

As I was not satisfied with my Career Discovery design from 2010, I revised it substantially in 2013, starting with an analysis of City and Plaza.

Activities Circulation Shelter






Boston City Hall Plaza lies at the nexus of four major urban axes:1) Commercial artery (High Spine and Boylston St)2) Civic path (Historic Trail and Kennedy Greenway)3) Public space (Back Bay Fens to the Boston Common)4) Public transport (A new Government Center interchange is under construction)

Despite its centrality and occasional crowds, the Plaza remains isolated from the Boston. This is in part due to its two disparate topographies: 1) The physical, fragmented 28’ slope from Cambridge Street to Congress Street2) The functional terrain, unevenly concentrated along the Cambridge Street - Fanueil Hall passage, leaving the Northern expanse of the Plaza barren for most seasons.


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My original Career Discovery design organized public and private programs along two internal streets, one atop the other.

A Garden Annex containing the most public programs, such as retail, i sunk into the Plaza in order to activate the neglected Northern edge.

The design’s main flaw was its lack of integration with the Plaza and City Hall - it was simply too confrontational.

Interstitial space between Plaza and Roofscape houses public programs.

Private apartments rise above Roofscape for lighting and views.

Roofscape creates new circulation paths below and on it.

Concept sketch: Directing circulation towards the Plaza’s Southern edge.

Revising the project in 2013, I designed the Complex as an extension of the Plaza, rising 30’ from both Cambridge St and the Plaza itself - a Roofscape to both shelter activities below and to host events atop.


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Open Gallery




By studying interaction netween the Plaza’s two topographies, I designed the Roofscape as an undulating surface connecting the busy Southern edge to the neglected Northern edge.


Public programs with longest duration of time spent are arrayed towards the Northern edge to enliven the area.

The interstitial space these programs occupy are more expansive than programs with shorter durations.


Three layers of circulation with different functions:

1) Roofscape: Interactive zone between resident artists above and the public

2) Open Gallery: Free exhibition space connecting the T Station to a cafe.

3) Concourse: Retail and theater orient the public towards the Northern edge.

Least time - Minimum interstitial space

Most time - Maximum interstitial space


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ApartmentsConcourseMuseum and Open Gallery Roofscape (Cambridge St)


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Activities Circulation Shelter




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Chieh Chih CHIANG#14-04 10 Newton RdSingapore 307947Tel: (65) 840 12360Email: [email protected]