Aural Architecture Design Competition
– Top 3!

United States

Woman in Swimsuit

Woman in Swimsuit

Woman in Swimsuit

Woman in Swimsuit

Tianjian Li

Team Details: Tianjian Li, Yifan Deng

Self Introduction
My name is Tianjian Li. I'm an architectural designer / freelance artist based in New York, currenting working at Grimshaw Architects. I hold a bachelor degree of architecture from South China University of Technology, and a Master degree of advanced architectural design from the University of Pennsylvania.


When and how were you first introduced to architecture?
I have always wanted to be an artist instead of an engineer or whatever. It’s absolutely natural for me to pick architecture as my major in college as it’s more related to art practice, given few choices to pick from. And I found everything much more intriguing than any other subjects.


What is your design philosophy?
I don’t necessarily have a solid design philosophy in mind. But I do find beauty in representing contradictions as well as solutions. I’m eager to test multimedia works rather than simply architectural design, which include installation, digital collage, photography, and sculptural objects. All of these are actually resembling the fulfilling purpose of architectural design, to be utilitarian and humanitarian. By reconfiguring and reconstructing existing elements from different scopes, I'm always attempting to create works that balance virtual and reality, pragmatic and hypothetical.


What does architecture mean to you?
Like I said, Architecture at its purest should be utilitarian and humanitarian. All the works should be characterized by strong conceptual legibility, innovation and a rigorous approach to refinement. But beside the humane aspect of architecture. It to me is more of a passageway to unbounded opportunities of design. It’s the interdisciplinary method of thinking that matters the most to me.


Briefly explain your design process and your perspective on sensory architecture.
We believe sensory architecture can be extremely personal but also resonate with others when given the storyline. To us, the selected music piece, “the introvert” by Michael Kobrin, is a magnificent depiction of how the introverted ones end up in an unfamiliar environment and fight to survive the situation in a miraculous manner. The story to our interpretation is both fragile and powerful in a harmonious way.

The design process was a struggle at first, I fell in love with the first selection right away. It’s tranquil with the first note, and majestic when it reaches the climax. It’s the epitome of how an introverted one would think and act. And this is also the reason I think dissecting the music would better help understanding the dilemma one is facing in the music.

Based on our understanding of the emotions, we built this Sentients Palace which specializes the story to our understanding . The pitch, texture, duration and reverberation for each element in the composition is translated to architectural elements scattered around the palace as ceilings, walls and columns that defines the character of each episode.

We believe that every human being has an introverted self deep in the subconscious. Thus, the palace is designed for all sentient beings that is curious about their sentimental self. This is a palace for meditation, healing, and for exploring the meaning of existence. Every visitor is welcomed to take this immersive journey, develop themselves into characters and become part of the story.

interview - video 

The Sentients Palace ©Tianjian Li, Yifan Deng

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The Sentients Palace ©Tianjian Li, Yifan Deng

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The Sentients Palace ©Tianjian Li, Yifan Deng

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The Sentients Palace ©Tianjian Li, Yifan Deng

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