I recently co-authored an article with Professor Lin Zhongjie that reviews “Building in China: A Century Dialogues on Modern Architecture.” Published in the first issue of Time + Architecture in 2023, the article was titled “A History Overlapped: The University of Pennsylvania and a Century of Modern Architecture in China.” This issue was skillfully edited…Read More
建筑师 The Architect
Marking a year since the exhibition opened, I recently published a review article on this event in a prestigious academic journal called 建筑师 (The Architects) in China. A more detailed review paper in the English language has been accepted and will soon appear later 2023 in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians published by the University of California…Read More
My small piece called “Hans Scharoun, Stadtlandschaft, and the Chinese Werkbund” appeared in the September issue of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of 2022. This paper was a contribution to the Roundtable “Rethinking the Urban Landscape” and about Hans Scharoun’s interpretation of the “urban landscape” concept and its relationship to Chinese town-planning…Read More
SAH 2022 Annual Conference
I presented my paper titled “A Study of the Study Sources of the Chinese Werkbund Meeting, 1941-42” at this year’s SAH Annual Conference in Pittsburg on April 28. Here is the paper abstract:Read More
This is a short review piece I wrote in Chinese two months ago for the “Building in China” exhibition.Read More
[Exhibition]: “Building in China: A Century of Dialogues on Modern Architecture,” Jan-May, 2022
In the past three years, I have been working together with a group of brilliant scholars and architects on an exhibition that features the historical development of modern architecture in China through the lens of its relationship to the Beaux-Arts architecture traditional in the U.S., in particular Upenn. Titled “Building in China: A Century of…Read More
Another year VIRTUAL SAH Conference
I presented at the “Chinoiserie: Exoticism and the Imagining of the Self and the Other in Architectural Culture” panel of the SAH 2021 Virtual Conference.Read More
Students’ Studio Work Featured in Observe Scranton – Jane Jacob’s First City Festival, Scranton, May 4-8, 2021
My paper presented at ACSA108 Virtual Conference wins the award of Best Paper, Honorable Mention
ACSA Announces Annual Meeting Best Paper and Best Project AwardsRead More
Paper Presentation at SAH 2020 Virtual Conference: Non-representational Visualization of Architectural History: An Attempt of Adopting Digital Pedagogies for Architectural History
https://app.oxfordabstracts.com/events/973/program-app/submission/135478 ABSTRACT Digital visualizations of abstract data are ubiquitous in contemporary culture. Forms such as infographics, data visualizations, and visual narratives are conceived and produced with an intent to represent statistical information and clarify certain arguments. Much has been written about the visual languages shared by these artifacts as well as the parallel applications in…Read More
Paper Presentation at ACSA108 Virtual Conference OPEN: Hugo Härign’s “Philosophy of Gestalt”: An Alternative Approach to Architectural Design Theory
ABSTRACT German architectural historian Julius Posener (1904-1996) maintained that Hugo Häring (1882-1958) was the only early modernist architect who had formulated an entire body of architectural theory of his time. Häring’s thinking and its central argument, however, has received very little attention, especially in the English-speaking world. The author substantially contributed to interpreting Häring’s original ideas and…Read More
Huang Zuoshen and the Bauhaus-Based Architectural Education at St. John’s University, Shanghai, 1942-1952
Originally published in International Journal of Architectural Theory | Vol. 24| Issue 39 | Bauhaus Transfers Click to access article_ding.pdfRead More
I will be presenting my research on Chinese architect and educator Huang Zuoshen on September 20, 2019 at Bauhaus Transfers Symposium organized by Penn State University Department of Architecture in State College, PA. http://stuckeman.psu.edu/events/bauhaus-transfers-symposiumRead More
Featured on PennDesign webpage
It is an honor for me to be featured on the School of Design website. https://www.design.upenn.edu/architecture/graduate/post/phd-candidate-earns-daad-research-grantRead More
Architecture Theory Now?
It was my honor to present at the “Architectural Theory Now?” Symposium on April 4, 2019.Read More
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.Read More
Straus, Erwin. 1966. “The Forms of Spatiality.” in Straus, Erwin. 1996. Phenomenological psychology: The Selected Papers of Erwin W. Straus. trans. Erling Eng. New York: Basic Books.
Seemingly like an account of the modes of spatial experience, Erwin Straus, in fact, tried to explain the temporal experience or the experience of time. Nevertheless, Straus stressed the importance of, with the aim to represent the primary lived experience (erleben) of space, emancipating ourselves from the conceptions of space prevailing in physics and mathematics.…Read More
Morris, David. 2004. The Sense of Space. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Morris’s concern in this book is what he shall call “lived space,” which demands a study of perception in association with the moving body, in other words, needs to put the body at the center. This book shows “how the moving body is inherently open to the world, how the schema and meaning of perception…Read More
Kockelmans, Joseph. “Merleau-Ponty on Space Perception and Space.” in Kockelmans, Joseph J., and Theodore J. Kisiel. 1970. Phenomenology and the Natural Sciences; Essays and Translations. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Kockelmans presented a brief re-interpretation of Merleau-Ponty’s thinking on space. He first put the spatial perception between “a true in-self and a pure for-itself.” I understand this approach that denies the position of spatiality as neither an absolute reality nor an abstract notion created by people. Maybe spatiality can be found as the “intermediary model…Read More
Klein, Robert. 1963. “Modern Painting and Phenomenology.” in 1979. Form and Meaning: Essays on the Renaissance and Modern Art. New York: Viking Press.
Klein tried to justify the “phenomenological” metaphor in contemporary art, especially modern painting. Klein suggested that the debut of modern art signified the suppression of “reference” (the real or ideal object against which the work used to be measured); it is no longer an expression or imitation because of their nature as “masks.” For Klein,…Read More
Jammer, Max. 1969. Concepts of Space: The History of Theories of Space in Physics. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Einstein in his introduction to this book provides a useful note concerning the relationship between architecture and space. He writes, “now as to the concept of space, it seems that this was preceded by the psychologically simpler concept of place. Place is first of all a (small) portion of the earth’s surface identified by a…Read More
Novotny, Fritz. “Passages from Cézanne and the End of Perspective (1938).” in Wood, Christopher. 2000. The Vienna School Reader: Politics and Art Historical Method in the 1930s. New York, NY: Zone Books: 379-433.
Novotny’s seminal book was trying to delineate the particular effect of Cezanne’s work: “altering the objective appearance of the represented portion of the landscape without making deviations from natural linear perspective”, or the reduction of spatial depth in the representation. In Cezanne’s landscape paintings, we often find a kind of “hesitation in the movement of…Read More
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1945. “Cézanne’s Doubt.” in Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, and Galen A. Johnson. 1996. The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader: Philosophy and Painting. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press: 59-75.
The major reason for singling out Cezanne is a more philosophical one, what Merleau-Ponty took to be the phenomenological work with paint done by this artist. Merleau-Ponty uses the phenomenological language he learned from Husserl to describe Cezanne’s realistic efforts to “paint from nature” but without using the Renaissance techniques of linear perspective and outline.…Read More
Jay, Martin. 1993. Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth-Century French Thought. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.
Martin Jay’s Downcast Eyes has a double agenda: (1) to show that vision is by no means the dominant sense in ordering Western culture; and (2) to posit instead a “plurality of ‘scopic regimes, particularly in the climate of postmodernism. Antiocularcentrism provides the unifying thread of Jay’s work, which reviews the theory of vision from…Read More
Dorner, Alexander. 1958. The Way Beyond “Art.” New York, N.Y.: New York University Press.
Dorner in his book promotes a new kind of dynamic, mutable or expression, whose result was a progressive dissolution of the perspective spatial framework and the objects in it, because it became evident that “the static (immutable) order, whose symbol is constructed three-dimensional space, is too narrow and rigid for an adequate expression of the…Read More
Panofsky, Erwin. 1991. Perspective as Symbolic Form. trans. C. S. Wood. New York: Zone Books.
Perspective is a Latin word which means “seeing through.”… “foreshortening,” … into a “window,” and when we are meant to believe we are looking through this window into a space Panofsky explains that the aim of perspective is to “guarantee a fully rational – that is, infinite, unchanging and homogeneous – space, this “central perspective”…Read More
Badt, Kurt. 1965. Raumphantasien Und Raumillusionen: Wesen Der Plastik. Schauberg: M. DuMont.
The book deals with questions of art history as well as the science of various levels on the basis of conceptual critique (Badt sees them as connected). The premise of Badt’s discourse is that “space is not an immediate object of artistic representation” but rather an “effect” as spatial effects are not immediate in the…Read More
Ven, Cornelis van de. 1978. Space in Architecture: The Evolution of A New Idea in the Theory and History of the Modern Movements. Assen: Van Gorcum.
Thank for van de ven’s contribution to the study of space in architecture. From my point of view, this is an absolutely unparalleled work. The rise of the notion of architectural space started since the late 19th century and, especially in German architectural circle, got developed into a very mature status until 1930. In association…Read More
Schwarzer, Mitchell W. 1991. “The Emergence of Architectural Space: August Schmarsow’s Theory of ‘Raumgestaltung.’” Assemblage, no. 15: 49–61.
In this essay Schwarzer investigated the intellectual background of August Schmarsow’s writings on architecture, to describe the salient features of his theory of Raumgestaltung, or spatial forming, and evaluate its influence on subsequent thinking on architecture and space. State briefly, Schmarsow was the first to formulate a comprehensive theory of architecture as a spatial creation…Read More
Samuel, Flora. 2010. Le Corbusier and the Architectural Promenade. Basel: Birkhäuser.
Samuel’s book argues that “promenade” was a term favored by the filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, much admired by that Le Corbusier, whose theory of montage played a significant role in the history of the modern film industry. Since Corbusier has stated that “architecture and film are the only two arts of our time,” this work can…Read More
Rowe, C., and R. Stutzky. 1997. Transparency. Basel ; Boston: Birkhäuser Architecture.
Colin Rowe and Robert Slutsky’s transparency has obvious implications for the development of the promenade as it is the interpretation of its different stages that gives it its particular impetus. Rowe and Slutsky make their well-known distinction between “literal” transparency, for example, the ability of a window to allow people to see through it, and…Read More
Risselada, Max. ed. 2008. Raumplan versus Plan Libre: Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier. Rotterdam: 010.
One of the very few books devoted to the discussion of these two spatial ideas that developed by Loos and Le Corbusier around the similar historical period. Loos’s Raumplan obviously received much more attention. Speaking of the commonalities or differences between these two ideas, Loos’s treatment to the openings, which was perceptively observed by Colomina,…Read More
Reichlin, Bruno. “Reflection: Interrelations between Concept, Representation and Built Architecture.” Daidalos 1, (Sept., 1981): 60-73.
Reichlin in his essay discussed the decisive contribution of “axonometric” drawing to architectural representation. With the manifestation of actual projects and architectural presentations by Eisenman, Gropius, Hejduk, Lissitzky, and Hilberseimer, Reichlin argued that “the complex relationship and the divorce that had come to exist between the architectural product in its perceptible and consumable reality on…Read More
Oechslin, Werner. 1991. “‘Raumplan versus Plan libre.” Daidalos 42 (15 Dec., 1991): 76-83.
Oechslin first repeated Loos’s famous self-explanation of his space-making intent, with an emphasis on the last note – “setting free a ground plane in space.” He interprets Loos’s contribution is nothing more than “spatial plan,” showcasing both strong impact from the “English house” from the late 19th century and the attempt to introduce Semper and…Read More
McCarter, Robert. 2016. The Space Within: Interior Experience as the Origin of Architecture. London: Reaktion Books.
McCarter’s book embraces, rather than the “distancing form of a building, placing it in front of us as an object for aesthetic speculation,” the primacy of interior space in modern architecture that provides us “the feeling of embodied, haptic intimacy” of our experience. The “woven plan” of F. L. Wright, Raumplan (room plan) of Loos,…Read More
Long, Christopher. 2016. The New Space: Movement and Experience in Viennese Modern Architecture. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Long in this book suggested a different reading of Loos, Frank, and Strnad’s spatial programs, (examining how they assembled rooms within a volume and the complex ways in which they connected these spaces.) “one that does not entirely replace the old one, but seeks to offer a significant amendment: that a core part of the…Read More
Leatherbarrow, David. 2009. “Facing and Spacing” in Andersen, Michael A, and Henrik Oxvig, Paradoxes of Appearing: Essays on Art, Architecture and Philosophy. 2009. Baden, Switzerland: Lars Müller Publishers: 185-207.
This essay was intended to answer this following question: “were there architects who chose an architecture that acknowledged the primacy of living experience over one that put painterly images on display?” David argued that there was a distinction between the image and the “appearance” of an architectural work, that the first requires but intensifies the…Read More
Joedicke, Jürgen. 1985. Raum und Form in der Architecktur: Büber Den Behutsamen Umgang Mit Der Vergangenheit = Space and Form in Architecture: A Circumspect Approach to the Past. Stuttgart: K. Krämer.
Joedicke, in his book, distinguished two kinds of spatial treatments (configuration): spatial container, space as an enclosed continuum (Goethe’s garden house), and spatial field, space as a field between volume (Mies’s Pavilion) The spatial field is dependent on the perceptive, rather than measurable, relationship between the observer and, instead of a single object, a group…Read More
Evans, Robin. 2000. The Projective Cast: Architecture and Its Three Geometries. Cambridge: MIT Press.
I read this book 10 years ago for a required reading of Homa Farjadi’s studio. Homa informed us of Robin Evans’s unexpected death in 1993, at the age of 48. This book was published posthumously. Rather than a survey book of the use of geometry in architecture, Evan’s book offers a series of critical essays…Read More
Colomina, Beatriz. 1990. “Intimacy and Spectacle: The Interiors of Adolf Loos.” AA Files, no. 20: 5–15.
In addition to what I have stated when annotating the Colomina’s essay in the book Raumplan versus Plan Libre, Beatriz Colomina offered a perceptive reading, one that begins to suggest the multifarious nature of the space alongside the pool. In every Loos house, she writes, “there is a point of maximum tension, and it always…Read More
Bragdon, Claude Fayette. 2005. A Primer of Higher Space (the Fourth Dimension). New York: Cosimo Classics.
Bragdon tried to explain the potential method to visualize the “four dimensional” forms, even though they are “invisible to sight.” Despite its remote connection to architecture, there are a few inspiring points of this text. (1) the reason for we have difficulty in accepting the reality that is not contained in our experience is that…Read More
Tegethoff, Wolf. 1984. “On the Development of the Conception of Space in the Works of Mies van der Rohe.” Daidalos 13: 114-23.
Tegethoff in his essay discusses several characteristics of the conception of Miesian space. (1) the composition of walls (segments) defies the system of enclosure in terms of separating areas, thus resulting in a constant flux rather than usual division. For Mies, glass in Mies’s projects, such as the brick country house, is used as substance…Read More
Riley, Terence, and Barry Bergdoll. 2003. Mies in Berlin. New York; London: Museum of Modern Art ; Thames & Hudson.
Bergdoll’s seminal writing on Mies and his spatial construct argue that Mies developed the architektonischer Garten idea into a specific model of spatial configuration (Bergdoll 2001, 66-105), as he sought a sense of freedom in spatial composition not only for interior but also between interior and exterior. Specifically, Mies’s pre-World War I work, such as…Read More
Posener, Julius, and Kristin Feireiss. 1992. Hans Poelzig: Reflections on His Life and Work. New York, N.Y.; Cambridge, Ma.: Architectural History Foundation; The MIT Press.
Posener’s authoritative study of Poelzig follows the course of the architect’s work through the various phases of his professional career, the moves he made first to Breslau, then to Dresden, finally to Berlin and his uninterrupted work as a professor. I think this source is helpful for me to understand the dawn of the Neues…Read More
Leatherbarrow, David. 2009. Architecture Oriented Otherwise. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Architectural.
This work tries to go beyond the two major tendencies to view building: (1) as objects that result from design and construction techniques (2) as objects that represent various practices and ideas. Leatherbarrow advocates to overcome (suspend) both technological and aesthetic styles of thinking, because both reduce architecture to our concepts and experiences of it.…Read More
Lambert, Phyllis, and Werner Oechslin. 2003. Mies in America. New York; London: Harry N. Abrams ; Thames & Hudson.
Werner Oechslin attempted to reconcile Mies’s cryptic and contradictory writings made while still in Germany. Vivian Endicott Barnett contributed an essay about Mies’s own art collection, and Cammie McAtee related new information about Mies’s first, tentative visit to America. Phyllis Lambert, the volume’s editor, provided a multichaptered “book-within-a-book” spanning Mies’s American phase. Detlef Mertins, the…Read More
Mapping the Metabolist Movement
the transfer of modernism (modern architecture) in China
The conference paper that I am working on to explain the transfer of the architectural ideas and pedagogy from the Bauhaus to China reminds me a fairly lengthy piece that I wrote in 2013. That paper was intended to articulate the “translation” process of modernism from the West to China during the early 20th century. …Read More
a talk at the 48th Annual Gebser Society Conference, Boulder, Colorado, October 12–14, 2018
It was my pleasure to present my study on the relationship between Hans Scharoun and China at the 48th Annual Gebser Society Conference at Boulder CO on Oct 13, 2018Read More
Conference Paper: From Garden Design Approach to Modern Spatial Configuration: The Development of the architektonischer Garten Concept
I presented my paper “From Garden Design Approach to Modern Spatial Configuration: The Development of the architektonischer Garten Concept,” at the 106th ACSA Annual International Conference, Denver CO, March 15-17, 2018. [pdf]Read More