Wei-Hsun Chen. Graduation Project 2012/2013 – Sky Market and Kitchen
Wei-Hsun Chen (1979, Taipei, Taiwan)
INTERVIEW WITH WEI-HSUN CHEN BY NAN NI
Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Wei-Hsun Chen and I am graduation candidate at INSIDE. I was born in 1979 in Taiwan and trained as an Architect. Before starting at INSIDE in 2011, I worked for several years in an architectural practice and in an interior design company in Taiwan.
This 2 year study has been a starting point for me to integrate that whole experience and thinking process, and to create a new perspective to face and react to the future.
Could you explain how you chose the topic for your graduation research?
I am looking for a free way of thinking and reacting to the architectural design field, and trying to explore and realize the connection between intuition and an existing situation and then to transform this into a design process.
How do you see and feel space at first sight?
It is difficult to define. Sometimes people’s behavior and reaction to space influence me strongly, and sometimes I am influenced by the environment at a given moment, even a gentle breeze blowing across one’s face.
Then, how can you use your perspective of seeing or feeling space in design?
If I become fascinated by a site or space, I try to retain this particular feeling purely and vividly, and start to look for an abstract transformation between the user’s behavior and spatial perception.
Why did you study Dadaism during your graduation research?
I am fascinated and inspired by certain ways of creating ideas. The Dadaists brought indeterminacy into working processes and presented the force of chance in their results. They wished to liberate themselves from the traditional painting tools and technologies, as well as rational control. I wished to explore whether I could break down the boundaries of logical thinking and create new possibilities by merging the randomization and indeterminacy into a spatial design process.
You told us about the new possibility of spaces; do you think a new trend is being created?
Yes, I do. When I was discussing in-between architecture, I was thinking about the ambiguousness and continuity of architecture. We are living with dynamic and multiple life styles in contemporary society, and many things are no longer defined in a dualistic way. As an architect or spatial designer, how should we react to that? I am interested in new possibilities which can present a particularity of ambiguousness in spatial relationships.
What is your main goal in your final project? When you were working on your graduation project, did you consider yourself as an artist or an architect?
I do see architecture as a specialization somewhere between nature and culture. Most of the time, nature suggests ideas related to some fundamental relationships between living behavior and the environment. As for culture, or you could say art, it is about how to re-think and re-present the observation or definition from the real world. I was trained to think and act as an architect, but in this project I quite enjoyed exploring new possibilities of space from an artistic perspective during the design process.
Which one would you prefer in your future? Or do you want to be both.
I think that architecture is a complex subject, which always evokes people’s reactions or behavior inside or outside the space. It is not only a transformation of a concept, but also how users or viewers perceive and conceive it. All of these elements make it more complicated and more challenging. I would love to be an architect. However, sometimes I would also like to think about and discuss the artistic or poetic qualities in the architectural or spatial field.
What is your expectation from the graduation project?
I expected to liberate my thinking and build a new perspective to develop myself further and explore more possibilities in the near future.
What is your ambition after you have graduated from INSIDE?
I would like to start my own studio and bring all of those thinking and enthusiastic processes into practice, to explore and create new experiences for the living environment in a contemporary society.
You have spent 2 years studying at INSIDE, do you think that this education has changed your attitude or your life? If yes, how?
It did not change my attitude, but it helped me develop a new perspective to observe and react to the real world. It is a place which is full of fresh ingredients, and you need to have some ‘recipes’ or have enthusiasm for trying out a new way of blending ideas to integrate all of these. I am not sure this is a question I can fully answer now – only later on will it become clear how much this 2 year study has changed my life. But I think I have become clearer about what kind of architect or designer I would like to be.
Sky Market and Kitchen