karen duan


Fall 2015 / University of Michigan Nominated for 2017 Architecture Student Show Recipient of the AIA Huron Valley Chaper Award Design Studio I with Melissa Harris
the de-segregation of the architecture student

A six-week design project set in a constrained urban lot, where the tensions between light, program, and circulation magnify at the micro-scale. This is a project about re-integrating the architecture student through a hyper-public educational institution.

Above: Mapping the relationship between University of Michigan’s North and Central Campus

    The University of Michigan Architecture School has bred a culture of isolation. Students eat and sleep in their studio space, living atop their cluttered desks. They spend their days subsumed in a factory that offers a single condolence: more architecture students.

    The proposed intervention is a new outpost for the school. Rather than confining the architect to a container on North Campus, the outpost stretches onto surrounding buildings, unmasking its interior to invite people in. It converses with downtown Ann Arbor and Central Campus, tapping into one critical, contextual resource: the presence of other people. 

    No longer is the architect quarantined to an architecture-infested landscape. Instead, the school breaks open: intruders are welcome. They stumble into streetside reviews, or wander past the pin-up wall onto the State Theatre roof. And if we’re lucky, they collide directly with the architecture student.

© Karen Duan, 2020