New Habitat, The Ark Scheme-An Exploration of the Driving Force of Representation

Zhong Li

‘Canary’ed, Yellow’


Perry Kulper


To represent means to use signs to describe or symbolize something else. The “signs” here refer to a large range of objects such as words, icons, paintings, drawings and models. The differentiation in medium between the signs and the objects the signs represent generates the creativity of representation.

Architecture is both the process and the output of designing and constructions. Thus, architectural representation is a part of architecture rather than just a method of showing the final condition of a building. It’s the system of signs that not only includes the methods of embodying the closed final result of designing and construction, but also contains the capability of functioning as an active engine to affect the way of thinking, bring inspirations, and drive the process of design.

This thesis set up an extreme environmental scenario that global sea level rises 200 feet due to the continuing global warming, and proposes a man-made living space system for future human beings, which refers to three scales of living space-the small scale, called “the module”; the medium scale, called “the community”; and the large scale, called “the ark”. The whole series of propositions is called the “The Ark Scheme”. Based on these settings, this thesis focuses on exploring and practicing how representation plays actively in the design process, how representation not only shows the result of design, but also generates inspirations and extends imaginations in the design process.