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Experimental Design

Wei Hsiang Weng and Marius Leqi Pfennigdorff

Wei Hsiang Weng

I seek to develop a meeting point for connecting a variety of organic and synthetic fragmentations. By letting them interact and self evolve, I gravitate towards encounters that speak of themselves in new forms of temporality, morphology or scale. This allows me to envision a potential coexistence for us with nature, where I leave clues in my practice.

Marius Leqi Pfennigdorff

In an era of global environmental exploitation, our relationship with and within nature has become profoundly unbalanced. More than ever we find ourselves to be in an urgent need of an even equilibrium between the natural and the constructed. My focus, therefore, is to act in accordance with our ecosystem as opposed to dominating and harnessing its resources. I am informed by nature's own fabrication processes, namely sedimentation, erosion and weathering. This primordial sense of existence leads me to position myself ambiguously between nature, architecture and art. 

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Degree Details

School of Communication

Experimental Design

Investigating the intersection between artificial and natural systems, our practice addresses the way we, as humans, relate and respond to the natural environment and are primarily focused with the concept of man made boundaries as the main field of interrogation. Derived from the development of anthropogenic civilisation, through regulations and laws, the conceptualisation of boundaries have often failed at the level of complex, integrated systems within nature and therefore have subdivided natural environment from human design space. To reconfigure this relationship we have come up with a methodology that establishes a tunnel which functions as a mediator, crossing, linking, and uniting human-divided environments and ultimately merging into a liminal space.

Whilst rethinking our relationship with the rest of our environment, the concept of Equilibrium emerged, which denotes a state of an ecosystem that is decentralised in its nature by interconnecting all the different participants. The goal of this project is to present actions of individuals that stand at the crossroads between humanity and the environment. The work seeks to blur the human-made and the natural world and question their differences as a whole.

A new perspective might arise from studying biological membranes as mechanisms of exchange and transference. According to landscape architect James Corner, “rather than separating boundaries, borders are dynamic membranes through which interactions and diverse transformations occur. In ecological terms, the edge is always the most lively and rich place because it is where the occupants and forces of one system meet and interact with those from another.“ Corners method of field operations “enables alternative ideas and effects to be played out through conventional filters and provides ways in which borders may be respected and sustained, while potentially productive forces on either side may be brought together into newly created relationships. Thus, we shift from a world of stable geometric boundaries and distinctions to one of multidimensional transference and network effects.“ One aspect of architectural practice is the separation of habitable and inhabitable space, therefore it necessarily has to deal with the notion of connecting and dividing. This partition visualises our relationship with nature through our concept of property. Our home is designed as a unit that is divided from nature. It is designed to withstand natural influences and to protect us from their unpredictability. Architecture offers us a space of predictability. This installation creates a tunnel connecting the «outsides», using built forms as a vehicle for deconstructing and reconstructing our physical and psychological perception of our habitations, beyond sovereignty and property. To rethink our built environment we propose a possibility of coexistence with the non-human by narrowing the boundaries between «inside» and «outside», blurring the barrier between «over here» and «over there»

During our research process our perspective shifts to non-human architecture and specifically to the concept of ecological corridors. These ecological corridors are designed to reconnect landscapes which are interrupted and blocked by human-built obstacles. Roughly, three types of corridors can generally be distinguished; 

  1. linear corridors: long, uninterrupted strips of vegetation, such as hedges, strips of forest, and the vegetation growing on banks of rivers and streams 
  2. stepping stone corridors: a series of small, non-connected habitats which are used to find shelter, food, or to rest
  3. landscape corridors; these consist of diverse, uninterrupted landscape elements which offer sufficient cover for a safe journey from one core area to another. 

In light of their purpose, core areas and corridors should be free of human exploitation. 

«Tunnel at Sinclair Road» seeks to identify the common ground shared between humans and nature and to use the environment to shape a peaceful coexistence and solidarity between the two. 

After linking two windows, certain conditions changed within its space. Namely the utility of the living space (movement, rearrangement to remain functional), the diversity in atmosphere (fall of temperature, feeling less secure) and the clear boundary between «inside» and «outside».

Medium:

PVC Sheet, wood structure
Architecture And SpaceEcologyInstallationnature

The concept of an atmosphere can be understood as a highly divided space in which human-made boundaries subdivide the natural environment through regulation and law. 

Our focus lies upon the demarcation of time and space as a human-made construction. The invisible division between time zones tend to follow the boundaries of countries and their subdivisions instead of strictly following longitude. In some areas such as western Ireland, the division of time thus deviates to pass around its national territory. (Coastline)

This project uses light as a vehicle to bridge two western headlands of Ireland at midnight. The light beam strikes from one headland (0 hr) towards another over the North Atlantic Ocean (-1 hr). In a sense, it starts from today, passes through yesterday, and then returns to today again. 

Medium:

light, mirror

Humanities pursuit of a quantified and standardised time has resulted in a duality of coordinated universal time systems; precise time (as measured by atomic clocks) and imprecise observed solar time (known as UT1, which vary due to irregularities and long-term slowdown in Earth‘s rotation). To counter the unpredictability of nature, these two reoccurring systems constantly have to be manually re-aligned. Hence, it can be understood that it is impossible to find a perfectly regulated framework of time.  

This project proposes an alternative model to the perception of time and space by manifesting the reoccurring patterns in between earth’s rotation around the sun. Shadow paths of a generic monolith are used to capture the sun’s relationship to a site over a predetermined time span. The angle of the shadow and its imprints on the ground culminate in a site and time specific structure, that defines a moment within the wider universe.

Medium:

clay, metal structure

Echo is a work series that responds to the human construction and intersection of time zones. This project uses an antenna to receive signals from satellites traveling beyond earth’s atmosphere. 

These orbiting satellites are known to use GMT (UTC) as its standardised time. In this sense, the concept of time breaks into fragments, as each satellite orbits in outer space, where there is not a clear definition of time zones. At the ground, we attempt to receive a series of satellite images broadcasted from weather satellites (NOAA 15, NOAA 18) in a remote GMT time zone in space, and at the same time take a series of photos of the sky. Depending on which time zone we are located in, these satellites reflect a picture which could have been taken from the past, present, or future. Juxtaposing images from the ground and from the sky, we interconnect two perspectives that look for each other but cannot see each other.


Medium:

metal, wood structure, electronics

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