The School of Architecture Announces Fall 2022 Guest Critics


Each semester, graduate architecture students participate in the Visiting Critics Program which brings together leading architects and scholars from around the world at the school. Two studios will take place on campus this fall.

Ju Bin

Ju Bin (Horizontal design)

Ju Bin, along with Nan Wang, founding partner and brand designer of URSIDE Design and URSIDE Hotel Shanghai, will teach at the guest critical studio, Næra 2.0, which focuses on two the connection and relationship between design thinking and atmosphere space for Qingxi Country Park in Shanghai, China.

Located in the Yangze River Delta, Qingxi National Park is one of the first pilot national park construction projects in Shanghai that aims for integrated ecological and green development and the only national park including wetlands in Shanghai; almost a third of the area is covered with water. Through a series of research and design exercises centered on park history, economic and social factors, culture and natural resources, and emotional space studies, students will work to develop an architectural design incorporating two typologies of space – cultural and way of life – according to the understanding of the site.

Bin is the founding director of HorHorizontal design. Founded in 2003, the company works in the fields of architecture, interior, landscape and product design and is considered one of the most famous design offices in China. Through constant practice and reflection, Bin has formulated a unique design philosophy and vision for architecture. It focuses in particular on the study of emotion and atmosphere, historical context and locality, building image and construction, etc., which have been fully expressed in projects with its own methodology and system and has earned it many professional achievements and social prestige, including winning the “Most Influential Chinese Designers” award in 2009, 2010, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2020.

Bin studied at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts and is now vice president of the Interior Design Institute of the Architectural Society of China and deputy director of the Art Display & Decoration Committee of China. He is also a supervisor of graduate studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts of China, the Academy of Fine Arts of Tsinghua University and the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts. Bin was guest critic at the Politecnico di Milano in 2020 and has lectured worldwide at the Royal Academy of Art in the UK, among others. He is also the founder and board member of C-Foundation, a public non-profit organization committed to promoting design education reform and research and creating an international platform for design education. and the practice of design.

Bin will give a public lecture at the School on October 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the Slocum Auditorium.

Lexi Tsien

Lexi Tsien

Lexi Tsien (soft-firm)
Lexi Tsien will teach at guest critiquing studio, Emergent Publics, which strategically analyzes and proposes new designs for Everson Museum of Art’s Community Plaza to reclaim and redefine a new audience.

Syracuse is an iconic post-industrial and post-urban renewal city. Interstate 81 (I-81) drew capital and visitors to shopping malls and cultural artifact buildings while displacing its black and working-class community, leaving the city among the ten most segregated metropolitan areas in the county. Syracuse will become one of the first cities to address past freeway building (and resulting injustices) by tearing down the I-81 overpass and replacing it with a business loop and integrated community network to disperse traffic along the way. along local streets. The demolition will free up the front yards of Pioneer Homes (Syracuse’s oldest housing project) to allow more direct access to downtown and its institutions. One such institution, the beloved Everson Museum of Art by IM Pei, has extended the notion of a fine art museum beyond the building and yet its adjacent plaza lacks the vibrancy to match. The demolition of I-81 and its restorative alternative is a timely opportunity to address the museum’s connection to the city and to reimagine the plaza as a shared public amenity that is active and inclusive.

Operating as a collective research and design team, students will develop strategies that combine landscape, sculpture, and enclosure to present to the board of the Everson Museum so that it can reimagine its relationship with the community and the city, and in the process, reimagining its identity, and that of museums in cities like Syracuse. The studio will define a network of social and programmatic infrastructure to reposition the museum and plaza as an essential amenity and destination for the city as it actively redefines its future.

Lexi Tsien is co-founder of New York-based Soft-Firm. She is interested in new forms of representation, vernacular spatial practices and their ability to shape and self-determine the built environment. Soft-Firm pursues progressive and collaborative programs to promote agency and equity, seeing architecture at the intersection between culture and built infrastructure. The firm has designed interactive exhibits, residential and commercial projects, and public installations. Soft-Firm is both speculative and concrete: takes a playful, lo-fi approach to visual perception, elemental shapes and material contrast. Their work has been featured in ‘Wallpaper’, ‘Metropolis’, ‘PIN-UP Magazine’, ‘Time Out New York’, ‘Architect Magazine’, ‘Architectural Record’ and on PBS Newshour.

Tsien received his M.Arch degree from the Yale School of Architecture and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Visual Arts from Columbia University. She has taught at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), Yale School of Architecture, Parsons School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Cooper Union and has contributed to Dark Matter University.

Tsien will give a public lecture at the School on September 29 at 5:30 p.m. in the Slocum Auditorium.


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