Studio 33


Nancy Ji

This studio is available to students enrolled in ABPL90143 Studio D and ABPL90115 Studio E only.

Studio Description

This is the third Japan Studio to run at the University of Melbourne. Continuing from Semester 1, we will look to the countryside as a source of inspiration and potential while responding to pressing contemporary issues. Japan is one of the first countries to enter a post-growth era with an aging and decreasing population that has prompted many revitalization efforts in recent years including those by artists and architects. The effects of social and economic decline are most visible outside large urban centres including the proposed site which spans several islands in the Seto Inland Sea. As young people move to larger cities these islands have a growing number of vacant houses, abandoned farmland and empty shops. What kind of architecture can happen in such settings? How can architecture contribute to revitalization, identity and creative place making in contemporary Japan?

Studio Outcomes

The studio adopts a research by design approach and will undertake intensive research in the first half of semester. As the studio is run online and we cannot visit Japan at this time students will conduct virtual fieldwork to understand the site and context through a series of drawing and mapping exercises. Students then have the freedom to propose their own project and programme based on their research. Learning outcomes include a deeper understanding of both traditional and contemporary Japanese architecture and the ability to synthesize a complex web of ideas, drawing on site, culture, tradition, function, and climate to create a considered architectural response for the contemporary rural landscape. Another emphasis will be on visual presentation especially drawing as we will aim to exhibit our studio work to the local audience in Japan upon the completion of the semester.

Studio Leader

Nancy Ji obtained a Master of Architecture from the University of Melbourne and TU Delft. She is a registered architect and has worked for Bates Smart Architects in Melbourne and Kengo Kuma and Associates in Tokyo. Nancy is currently based in Japan and is a doctoral candidate at Keio University where she is researching contemporary Japanese architecture and its role in rural revitalization. Nancy has presented her research at academic conferences including SAHANZ and writes for both academic and popular media platforms including the Architecture Review. Nancy has taught at the Melbourne School of Design since 2015 in Architectural History and Theory, undergraduate and graduate Design Studios, and since 2018 as a teaching assistant at Keio University.

Readings & References

Graphic and Drawing References:

  • Drawing Architecture Studio, Atelier Bow Wow, Feral Atlas

Schedule Tuesdays and Thursdays 18:15-21:15

Contact Handbook

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