Adam Lingjia Wang



Adam Lingjia Wang is a designer who believes human interaction is the driving force of all kinds of space, whether it is as big as a city or as small as a bathroom. The built environment shaped our life from not only the political and social aspects, but also from our daily behaviors. Designing objects is designing architecture; designing architecture is designing human life.

Adam completed his Post Professional Degree at Cornell University, and is excited to step forward into the world and continue to learn and grow as a professional designer. Prior to the graduate study, he earned a B.Arch degree from SCI-Arc. The radically different curriculums and learning environments prepared him as a versatile collaborator who can adapt to various jobs and working environments. SCI-Arc fundamentally shaped him as a visually expressive and sensitive person and equipped me with computational representation techniques. Then he deliberately chose Cornell to enhance his research skill and get himself exposed to business strategies and human-center interaction design. By understanding the operation of architecture-related fields, his design skill is now more integrated. Without losing the lateral thinking mindset, he is now able to conceive projects from various perspective.

Background Story: 

My daily window-watching is still playful as always. Looking down, people are rushing in and out at the CVS store. When I look up, the scenario changes. Every apartment window on the opposite side of the street lightens up in the evening, with people’s silhouettes doing different things. Although they are being exposed, as I am, no actual interaction is sought.

Intrinsically, we are alienated. We recognize ourselves through our roles in society as well as self-understanding. However, when the interactions between people are minimized, we cannot evaluate our identities in relation to the societal environment. Our individualities are eradicated in the trade between our personal life and the capital. My apartment window, the one I look out from daily, closes its curtain.

When I was a kid in Shawan, a small town in southwest China, my parents were not home until night. The old lady who lived next door always screamed at me to return to my homework from her window. I never listened, and I would faithfully accept the forthcoming aftermath - she ran to my house, slammed my door, and watched me finish my homework with a bowl of home-cooked chicken broth. At the time, I never liked the chicken broth, but I never had another bowl of it as a consequence for window-watching ever again.

Living in an unprecedented era in which human intelligence is networked, we have access to a massive amount of knowledge, documents, and people resources. It seems like the world is within our reach, but we are lost and cannot identify anything’s value from the overloaded information. More than half of the human population lives in the dense city, which only occupies five percent of Earth’s habitable land. People are so close to each other superficially, but human social activity is even harder to be fulfilled.

Our social fabric evolves from an agrarian society. In the beginning, agriculture brought humans together in clusters. For thousands of years, human interaction happened naturally for artless reasons like intimate distance, related skillsets, and mutual interests. Nowadays, it has become a purposive behavior that demands convoluted efforts. The contemporary program adjacencies and circulation of built environments made humans’ natural social activities more difficult. How building programs were organized and how feasible it was declared are not true. For example, no matter how many amenities there are in a typical seven-story American apartment building, they are limited in number and location. They are not organized to become part of residents’ lives naturally. It does not promote a relaxing social activity. Besides, hundreds of people use the same elevator core to travel vertically and the identical double-loaded corridor to navigate back to their units. It maximizes the residential ratio and gives each unit decent natural light, but not social needs. Humans need to get together, but not in the way of living in arrayed cells.
I want to explore a future built environment that can bring back the positive meaning of human gathering without going against our established urban structure. I want to study how future spatial organization can be implemented in architecture, whether interior or exterior, to create a new human relationship that is not as overwhelming as it is today. I propose to break down the density and form smaller community-like clusters. These clusters contain various urban components. Integrating the relatively independent architecture, infrastructure, landscapes, and circulation into one cohesive system flattens the hierarchy of these urban components. This urban tribe concept will help people regain a sense of belonging and further alter the current problematic social structure. I wish to study this issue in different approaches, including through internal programmatic organization, the rival between nature and built environment, and new materials and fabrication technologies that can challenge the experience of architecture.