USC Asia Architecture & Urbanism Study Abroad Program


In Tokyo, the unfamiliarity of such extreme cultural organization and efficiency allowed me to observe the Japanese from a very removed perspective.  Because of the language barrier, my observations were limited to sights, sounds, and smells.  While this limitation made it difficult to communicate at times, it also provided a more focused lens with which to observe the efficiency of movement, space, and time that the Japanese seemed to have mastered.  The people moved with intention, the streets were immaculately clean despite the peculiar lack of trashcans, and the subway cars were never a second late.

Transitioning from Tokyo to Kyoto, I expected a slower pace, more rural scenery, and a sense of history within the architecture.  That is what I got.

Intrigued by temples I had only studied in school and by a culture so foreign to my Hawaii-born, LA educated eyes, I began to film everything that caught my attention, even if I wasn’t sure quite why.  The clouds billowing behind a stoic roofline, the cicadas relentlessly chirping their songs, a monk chanting words that have been pasted down for generations.  Our Kyoto visit concluded with the Heian Temple, which provided a perfect opportunity to let the mind synthesize, draw conclusions, and absorb the serene surroundings.  Unfortunately, my mind and body were too exhausted and decided to take a nap.

Dropped back into Tokyo for one night, I had the chance to upload all the video clips from Japan.  Flipping from clip to clip, I again expected to see a calm, historic Kyoto.  However, within this temple-filled city, I found hints of the organized and clockwork culture that I thought was native to Tokyo. Just as the red torii gates in Kyoto provided a set path of movement up the mountain, the bright yellow pathways in Tokyo outlined the most efficient line of circulation through the subway station.  Perhaps the repetitive and ritualized culture of ancient Kyoto has translated into the metropolis of Tokyo.  Zen gardens are replaced by pachinko parlors, while the act of beating a gong has become the ritual of swiping a subway pasmo card.  Tokyo is not simply an urban metropolis, just as Kyoto is not simply a historic city of Zen.  Rather, the organized nature Tokyo is a result of the ritual culture that originated in Kyoto.


Filed under: kyoto, Machine, Movement, Ritualization, Subway, Tokyo, Torii Gates, Video

Tokyo By Night


Filed under: Japan, Tokyo, Video


As we begin to settle into Korea, many differences between our new environment and Japan make themselves evident. Soon after arriving at our new home, we began to notice that – though we are surely still within a dense urban environment – Seoul presents a markedly different approach to urbanism than does Tokyo. Though Seoul exhibits a fascinating juxtaposition of building types and uses, the dense layering of circulation, program, and infrastructure (which at points approaches absurdity) abundant in Tokyo seems markedly diminished. Likewise, the immaculate joinery and building quality of Japan is replaced with a less pristine attention to detail. Seoul runs less mechanistically than does Tokyo, instead comprised of individuals who operate as mortals rather than as an extension of the city itself.

Perhaps the most intriguing difference, however, was alluded to in a class reading entitled Aesthetics Of The Self, written by John Clammer. Within, Clammer discusses Japanese consumerism, and in so doing, sheds light on cultural values and aesthetic predispositions common throughout Japan. Regarding the Japanese conception of beauty, Clammer eloquently states that “function is beauty,” an observation with which I immediately identified. In contrast with some Korean (and to an even greater extent, North American) aesthetic tendencies, the Japanese appreciate form developed through the hyperfunctionalist urban environment typified in downtown Tokyo, an approach predisposed to simplicity and effectiveness of the built environment over an approach which favors disguise and manipulation of function.

This appreciation of functionalism leads to incredibly unconventional forms, which by Western conceptions of beauty would be labelled as ugly, unappealing, and unrefined. Such an examples are abundant both in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan – three smokestacks combine to form a mutated tower, a car park consisting of a massive, windowless box-tower supported by a diminutive entry barely large enough to accommodate a compact car, a blank metal-caged apartment facade punctuated only by tubular fire stairs. These forms are documented at length in the book Made In Tokyo, which chronicles a seemingly endless series of bizarre formal resolutions. While many would regard such buildings with distaste, I appreciate not only their honesty, but also their unconventionality. This aesthetic is a far cry from many polished, “modern” structures which, though claiming to derive form from function, present a highly edited and dishonest representation of their constituents. When efficiency and cost drive an aesthetic which must operate at a highly performative level, there is no room for edit, for massage. The results are unconventional, perplexing, exciting.

Such aesthetically blunt designs (which are most often “undesigned”) stand in opposition to many contemporary architectural formal ideologies and trends – seen in projects which exhibit endless complex curves and a decidedly “Rhino-generated” aesthetic. While fashionable aesthetic philosophies have a beauty unto themselves, the starkness and unconventionality of many of the structures seen throughout Japan deeply interests me as a style of formal syntax often overlooked in a world of formal acrobatics. Though often at odds with Western conceptions of architectural beauty, they are proof that prevalent notions of aestheticism are not a requirement to provoke intrigue and fascination. Rather, the anonymous, undersigned, and hyperfunctionalist structures of Tokyo present a blunt resolution which presents an architecture brimming with unconventional ideas and unorthodox interpretations of classic typologies.


Filed under: America, Architecture, Japan, Korea, Tokyo, Urbanism

Micro City in a Macro Metropolis

Tokyo is a city of extreme density, which forces architects to not only consider the x and y plane for circulation, rather they are forced to realize the complexity of the circulation layers found within the city. This has led to atypical design moves that form a more adaptive building typology. The understanding of the base of the building, and I will use the term base for it is not as simple as the ground floor/ bottom, is predominantly given to the public to interact with the urban. By doing so the typological lobby of buildings have been replaced with multi-layered pedestrian streets and mini plazas that have successful businesses and life weaved throughout the spaces. These bases actively engage the many layers of Tokyo’s infrastructure including subways, street fronts, and above ground rail lines.

By stepping back and looking at the larger urban plan, one can start to understand this complex network of bases plugging into the city grid. Each of these bases creating connections in the x, y, and z plane. Series of connections are what allow Tokyo to successfully delaminate their ground plane, which requires the architecture to adapt to its surrounding context.

With all of the above-considered one can start to analyze the urban conditions as a woven fabric. The entire city is connected by built environment. This uniformity typically consists of many small objects being brought together by the series of connections. In most cities circulation is dictated by automobile circulation and these connections typically represent an organizational grid. The voids created with the street grid are divided into separate properties allowing for many smaller objects to occupy the single void. Another way of looking at urban manipulation is creating larger objects that embody smaller programs. This method in some ways looks at creating a micro city coexisting within the larger metropolis.

One example of this methodology is the midtown development in Tokyo. By acquiring multiple properties, SOM (Skidmore Owings & Merrill) was able to demo a larger area of land to replace with a micro city. This urban strategy looks at a hybrid program solution, which incorporates retail, business, residential, hospitality, food, art, and transportation in one complex. The diversity of the program required specific attention to adjacencies and circulation to public and private spaces. Midtown’s solution was to create a complex base plug-in that addresses the complex public domain, and allowing three individual towers to rise out of the base to better support private spaces.

The base system for Tokyo Midtown is focused around a public plaza, which is the predominant driving force for the organization of the different programs. The outdoor plaza provides easy pedestrian access to the major program components from the street level, while providing a core to organize the many pieces. Although the plaza is pulled away from the main street the diversity of programs feeding off of it provide enough foot traffic to keep the space lively throughout the day. Off of the plaza are several lobbies that feed to the towers. These lobbies create thresholds that restrict circulation into the more private spaces. In the Ritz Carlton the ground lobby is predominantly used for vertical circulation, which opens to grand lobby on the 45th floor. Other means of linking the different programs together is a series of underground halls that have been scaled to act as pedestrian streets below street level. These streets are primarily driven by subway transportation, and are lined with street vendor style food and general shops.

On one end of the project the galleria anchors two of the towers, and allows the public to engage with the complex in the z-axis. This sectional manipulation provides more hierarchy and exclusivity to the shops that occupy the space above, giving visitors a more intimate relationship by simply pulling the shops off of the “street level”.

Car transportation for the complex is underplayed, and more geared for the wealthier clientele. Side streets provide access to the complex and are predominantly used by the Ritz-Carlton and private residences. This environment follows through to the garage where it is broken up into several small lobbies for valet service for each program component.

The green space is wrapped around the other side of the complex creating public walkways. Setting it off to the side and creating few circulation connections from the main complex, allows the space to maintain a semi private feel creating an oasis in the larger urban context. Towards the back of the complex is an expansive green space that allows for larger events and crowds to enjoy the open sky.

Delaminating the circulation paths in combination with clustering different programmatic elements together helps create a series of diverse sectional environments. The complex has many qualities of a larger ecosystem, which mocks the urban lifestyle. Most of these conditions are represented in the base of the project, which acts as a larger base that plugs into Tokyo’s urban fabric. This different urban strategy so far has proven to be successful, and has been a model for other urban developments including LA Live in Los Angels and The City Center in Las Vegas. With the lack of transportation networks in The United States it will be interesting to see if the complexes maintain their popularity and vitality. In contrast, Midtown has the advantage of plugging into a larger system that has been prevalent in Tokyo for quite some time. The different developments share similar programmatic overlaps, but I would argue that Midtown’s success is largely in part of it’s well thought out arrangement of public spaces and it’s connections to it’s surrounding contexts. When a development successfully connects urban infrastructure and its surrounding context the single project becomes a piece of the collective metropolis.

Ross Renjilian

Filed under: AAU, Architecture, City, Fabric, Metropois, Micro, Midtown, Renjilian, Ross, SOM, Tokyo, Uncategorized, Urban, ,

collective attributes

“Do your attributes really belong to you?”

This is a question posed by Masahiko Sato’s “The Definition of Self” exhibit at 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo.  The aim of the exhibit is to demonstrate that one’s physical attributes, such as fingerprint, iris, height, and weight make one easily identifiable within a society.  Without these characteristics, one would not exist.  Sato states that one will realize “your existence is not even worth paying attention to” through the exhibit.

This makes one question whether or not true individuality is a tangible objective.  Can an object truly be  a unique entity when the exact same components make up each “unique” object?  Are objects which are made up different combinations of the same matter identical or incongruous?  Attributes are aesthetically different, yet are intrinsically alike.  Each individual has a fingerprint.  The only difference between these fingerprints is the way in which the grooves appear.  Although an iris scan can identify an individual, the differences between one’s iris from another is miniscule.  Features which make one an individual are identifying characteristics, but do not necessarily set one apart from others because these attributes are universal.

Physical and social attributes are not one of the same.  John Clammer discusses  how individuals strive for a self-identity which is socially visible.  This sense of social individuality is displayed through material items such as clothing and accessories.    One has the ability to appear as an individual socially.  However, in Japan, most do not stray far from how it is socially acceptable to appear.  The streets of Tokyo are constantly littered with businessmen wearing identical dark suit pants and white collared shirts.  Taxi drivers effortlessly line themselves up into neatly organized grids while awaiting passengers.  These individuals appear to be part of a cult—moving through the city as one giant mass.

In Tokyo not only do individuals present themselves socially in similar manners, but they also move through spaces as if they are one collective whole.  The movement patterns are similar to a current, which follows a trajectory with no visible markers.  From above, people appear as ants, marching through set paths in their white button-downs.

These paths never cross, nor do the individuals following them ever run into one another.  There is some sort of order which is inherently part of each individual, allowing one to move with a group as fluidly and smoothly as possible.  Amidst the chaos of a Tokyo metro station, the overflowing amount of people know exactly where they are going, as well as the most efficient way to get there, without ever straying from this route.  People appear as cars on marked streets, walking in their lane and adhering to all traffic laws.

Without individuality and the ability to think for oneself, movement as a whole would not be possible.  Individuals must contemplate their movement.  However, do they deliberate over each move or are they just following the pack?  Is this a taught ability or an instinct?  Either way, Masahiko Sato’s argument prevails.  Although attributes differ slightly on a micro level, each individual is ultimately composed of the same attributes, just with a slightly different coding.  One’s existence becomes very small when all social elements are removed.

Individuals are essentially the same, the ability to think sets one apart from others.  While physical attributes are primarily the same for each individual, Tokyo exhibits the extreme where in addition to these physical attributes, social attributes are also very uniform.  Homogenous dress and collective movement display how a culture thinks and behaves.  Both molecularly and superficially, little is left to identify an individual.  The ability to change is all that is left to establish one as an individual.

Sara Tenanes

Filed under: AAU, Architecture, attributes, Collectivism, Identity, individuality, japan, self, Tokyo, Uncategorized, ,


The virtual as real
Collective narcissism
Density through expanse
Optimistic rejection of utopia
Indifference by overstimulation
Commercialization of culture
Commodity as identity


Filed under: America, Architecture, Japan, Tokyo, Urbanism


Letters from Iwo Jima, a 2006 film directed by Clint Eastwood, offers a perplexing example as to the ambiguous nature of authorship in cinema and film. The two-and-a-half hour war epic portrays the battle of Iwo Jima as told from the perspective of the Japanese army, detailing their ordeal from a decidedly Japanese point of view rarely seen in North American cinema. Many who see this movie, however, may question its integrity as a Western piece of film. Though backed by an American movie studio and directed by Mr. Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima would appear to the untrained eye a decidedly East Asian film in terms of its style, language, and especially thematic locus.

Upon viewing the movie, in fact, it is possible to view the film not as a work of American authorship, but rather that so keenly of Eastern influence that its quantitative authorship is entirely superseded. Mr. Eastwood so accurately absorbs the influence of traditional Asian cinema in Iwojima that his direction of the movie seems secondary to the overarching nationalistic influences and stylistic elements which so clearly pervade every frame. Naturally, the question of true authorship and origin in this case is blurred – is Mr. Eastwood truly the creator of the film, or does he merely channel the explicit influence of other filmmakers to produce a piece of cinema devoid of his own influence?

This blurred notion of authorship came to the forefront of my thoughts as our group arrived at the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo. At first sight, many familiar with modern architecture would credit this hall as the work of Le Corbusier; its use of board-form concrete, sweeping roof lines, and modernist syntax dovetail perfectly with Corbusier’s hallmark style. Upon pausing in front of the structure, however, I was quickly informed that Kunio Maekawa, not Le Corbusier, designed the structure. Though at first perplexed, I later discovered Maekawa apprenticed under Le Corbusier, a mentorship which likely explained the striking similarities observed in the Kaikan. Indeed, in looking at the facade of the building, it was difficult to see any element which was not quintessentially Corbusian.

Like language, architecture relies on syntax as a means of communication, and it is difficult to dissociate a particular syntax from the pen of a pioneering author. This innate association transcends materiality, space, and form, anchoring instead in the theory and methodology of a given designer. While Maekawa conceived the structure, Corbusier’s influence is arguably so great that it usurps traditional notions of authorship, transforming the gallery into a product of the Corbusian school of thought. Though certainly sophisticated, I argue its design turns a shoulder to a meaningful approach for syntactical dialogue and ingenuity. Maekawa’s design recalls nothing but the work of Corbusier (to the point where Corbusier himself is considered its true author), yet acknowledgement and strategic modification of Corbusier’s trademark style would result in a more progressive and ultimately meaningful architectural statement.

Indeed, all architects must carefully consider work produced by their contemporaries as a means of dialogue; to produce in vacuum is to disregard the most fundamental and powerful components of language. Yet in order to maintain originality, authors must carefully filter preconceived notions, systems, and methodologies to produce work which both accredits the past, communicates with the present, and reinvents for the future.


Filed under: Architecture, Japan, Tokyo

Face Value

For the past 5 days we have been walking the streets of Tokyo, which has provided an experience of the city that is truly unique. By the end of the day my feet are sore, even though I wore my bulky, cushioned walking shoes. My shoulders are aching from the “fashionable” backpack suspended below. My shirt is drenched in perspiration, and for the past couple days the temperature has been well over 90. Let’s just say by the end of our long, exhausting, hot day it was not a pretty sight to be seen.

Feeling disgusted with how I feel and look, I glance around at the people who do this every day in Tokyo. I laugh to myself at how out of place I look amongst them, questioning what I decided to wear out today. The men are in suites with pristine, pressed white shirts. The women are walking around in a pair of heels that makes me ponder why my feet are sore. Everyone looks like they walked out of a page in a magazine in which, I am not a part of (leaving me with the “Where’s Waldo” phenomenon).

Through this quick glance, as I am hunched over gasping for air, I realized that Japan is a culture that cares very much about their public image. Looking presentable is not even a question.

This is very apparent when seeing the streets of Tokyo, for one thing Tokyo does not lack is shopping. Each window display lit up and glistening with the newest, trendy merchandise. Every building with it’s own name brand, and it’s own shiny façade. The store in Tokyo is much more than just a place that sells merchandise; rather it’s an identity that looks at face value to convey their message. Tokyo is well known for its slew of designer stores such as Prada, Dior, and Tod’s to just name a few. These stores don’t only look toward fashion, but rather architecture to help set them apart. Innovation and appearance are everything to these brands, and in such a competitive market this mentality leads to some pretty spectacular compositions. The stores mentioned above all have pretty intricate and structural skins, most notable being the Prada building (Herzog & De Meuron) for its diamond shape exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is used as an all in one building envelope that uses the diamond openings for interesting display windows and view ports.

As we walked through these stores in our drenched clothing, cluttered gear, and shoes that don’t quite speak Prada, we were stalked around the sales floor, and very surprisingly not asked to leave, but clearly not welcomed with open arms either. I guess we were not helping with their image, and I would agree.

Personally I really enjoy the competition of image for it’s contributions to the design world. I feel some times the idea of image is lost, by only focusing on numbers (numbers being profits, items sold, & other quantifiable data). George Simmel argues that numbers are what control people, and it is through these numbers that quantitative decisions are typically chosen over qualitative ones. The concept of money is what has made society the collective organism that it is today, which leaves no place for the individual amongst the collective. I am not going to discredit Simmel for his claims, but I am going to offer a counter argument. Numbers may govern business, and every economy is controlled by business, but at the end of the day it is still only numbers. numbers are not as innovative as image, and image although seems shallow at the surface, it’s effects go much deeper than what meets the eye. In Tokyo it is this image that governs the way people present themselves, and drives the design industry to push farther. Individuality is found in the details, although Japan operates as a collective, the pride that the Japanese take in their design and craftsmanship, create the image of individuality that drives innovation, imagination, and a little perspiration.

Ross Renjilian

Filed under: AAU, Architecture, De Meuron, Dior, Facade, Face, Fashion, Herzog, Identity, Image, Japan, Prada, Renjilian, Ross, Tod's, Tokyo, Urbanism, Value, , ,

Tokyo: my gulf war

Seven days ago [Japan] did not exist. Seven days ago [Tokyo] did not exist. Seven days ago [Shibuya] did not exist. There was no Tokyo Midtown. There was no Meiji Shrine. There was no Tokyo National Museum. Seven days ago [it] was all born.

Jean Baudrillard, a French philosopher and sociologist, controversially theorized that the “Gulf War did not place.” An angry public clamored at the preposterously ridiculous claim that a war that claimed thousands of lives never existed. Baudrillard digressed, stating that it was a “media image-driven” war, not a “genuine” war. People read about it and saw images of it everyday during the course of the war but war was not their reality, per se. The war only existed in their minds as a result of the images and stories they had heard. This is what Tokyo was to me.

I see this type of mental-detachment in Tokyo, particularly on the subways, where a majority of its riders are tuned in to their phones, listening to music or watching television. Could they have the same manufactured view of America that I had of Tokyo before coming here? Quite possibly, especially when you consider that media-driven technology in Tokyo is exponentially more influential than in the U.S. You are not experiencing the flooding in Pakistan being reported on by CNN. You don’t see the flood water around you or feel the grip of thirst that you feel if you were actually there.

What is “real” mean to you? Is it something that you have to touch? Or is it something that you have to see with your own eyes, in front of you? You see thousands of images sequentially whenever you watch television or surf the internet, but you are only engaging one, if only two of your senses (sight and sound). You may have read about Michelangelo or seen pictures of his paintings, but without visiting it, could you tell me what it smells like inside the Sistine Chapel? How it would feel to gently press your fingers against the Pieta? To me, if you are not engaging all of your senses, in addition to your intellect, how can anything become real and have legitimate qualities?

Tokyo did not exist seven days ago. Tokyo was born when I first stepped off the bus at our hotel, the humid air pelting my body, gazing at the countless lights of the city. Tokyo was born when I touched the concrete of a Tadao Ando building, in all its liquidity-looking perfection. Tokyo was born when I tasted and smelled my first bowl of Japanese ramen. Tokyo was born when I heard the hum of the Japan Rail train jetting out of the station. Seven days ago Tokyo was born and every time I discover something new here, I can feel the city breathing, it’s chest heaving.

This city represents a plethora of realities that are all intertwined and that constantly bustle and brush past one another but never stop. People sit quietly on the subway, staying to themselves. People are in their own world: disengaged and isolated. Isolated in a city of 13 million people?


The janitor who rides up and down the buildings elevators to clean the railings does not share the same reality of the businessman who rides the elevator to get to his office building high in the sky. As a tourist and foreigner, I have a completely different understanding of the Tokyo Midtown project than the resident of the service-apartments there who frequents it’s shopping areas every day. Do you have any perception of the reality of a coal miner or a biology professor? If no, why not?

There doesn’t seem to be any interaction en route, unless you’re with a friend or in a group. The journey does not hold the same value as the destination. However, these “destination nodes” are littered across the city, where people suddenly discover and experience with their senses, whether they taste a new alley food in Ginza or hear some new J-pop music in Harajuku. Each new finding adds to the reality of this city and is where individual realities stop being isolated and become shared. I observed this at a park outside of the Tokyo National Museum, when a group of Japanese guys, slicked back in ‘60’s American greaser attire, gathered around a boom box and danced. Just to dance. It was 95 degrees out and humid and these guys were in leather jackets dancing like there was no tomorrow.

Tokyo has become real to me because I have experienced it with all my senses. One can make the argument that much of what makes of Tokyo is manufactured, making it less real. One instance of this is the manufacturing of wax food in restaurant display windows. There is an entire industry devoted to the making of fake food. But that does not change the fact that people still inevitably eat the real food that the restaurant is selling.

If you are able to experience something using the full extent of senses, as well as tying in any previous experiences, then anyone can create their own reality.

There is still so much more to discover. So much more to be born.

-Christopher Glenn

Filed under: destination node, gulf war, isolation, jean baudrillard, Reality, senses, Tokyo, Uncategorized, Urbanism, ,

Trains as Transport: Liberation or Shackles?

Living in California we are surrounded by a society that equates automobile ownership to freedom, and the open road to endless opportunity.  Never mind the fact that the roads of Los Angeles are rarely open, and that costs of maintaining a car may actually detract from opportunities for travel, the fact remains that we are being educated as architects and planners in a car culture that sees little value in any trip that cannot deviate from fixed tracks at a moment’s notice.

But Japan’s almost impossibly efficient system of mass transit (Tokyo Metro, Japan Rail, Shinkansen, buses) blankets nearly every corner of the metropolis representing an alternative paradigm, and one that just might be worth adopting in the land of drive-thru restaurants and dingbat apartments.  It is an interconnected system where even an auto enthusiast would begin to understand that there exists another type of freedom: freedom from cars.

The urban organization of Tokyo, that the city is built around a nodal mass transit system, means city dwellers share a common experience in their commutes where personal space is minimal and contact with other people frequent.  The fact that so many Japanese are willing to tolerate and even embrace a system built around efficiency, instead of the convenience and (spatial) luxury of auto transport so many Americans are accustomed to, reveals the extent to which this country has a differing notion of space and spatial constructs.  This notion is reflected again in the metropolis at large with its staggering density, and even in the nation as a whole, which exists on a serious of islands covered almost completely by mountain ranges that leave only a fraction of the land habitable.    The cities of Japan simply must be built to facilitate pedestrian movement if they are to accommodate such large numbers of people, and this means density, mass transportation, and an urban form where the underground land between subway stations and street level can become most valuable of all.

Since connecting people, services, and ideas is the primary function of cities, it would follow that Tokyo’s efficiency oriented approach may be best for facilitating this exchange, so long residents are willing to compromise a bit of individual freedom and personal space along the way.

Matt Luery

Filed under: America, Japan, Tokyo, Urbanism


The views and opinions contained in this blog are solely those of the individual authors and do not represent the views and opinions of the University of Southern California or any of its officers or trustees.



AAU FALL 2013:

University of Southern California
School of Architecture
Asia Architecture and Urbanism
Study Abroad Program

Andrew Liang
Bu Bing
Steven Chen
Yo-Ichiro Hakomori
Andrew Liang
Yuyang Liu
Neville Mars
Academic Contributors:
Thomas Chow, SURV
Bert de Muynck, Movingcities.org
Manying Hu, SZGDADRI, ITDP, Guangzhou
Clare Jacobson, Design Writer, Editor, Curator
Laurence Liauw, SPADA, Hong Kong
Mary Ann O'Donnell, Shenzhen Noted, Fat Bird, Shenzhen
Paul Tang, Verse, Shanghai
Li Xiangning, Tongji University, Shanghai
Daniel Aguilar
Hong Au
Michael den Hartog
Caroline Duncan
Nefer Fernandez
Christian Gomez
Isabelle Hong
Jin Hong Kim
Ashley Louie
Javier Meier
Paula Narvaez
Ashlyn Okimoto
Tamar Partamian
Samuel Rampy
Luis Villanueva
Krista Won
Tiffany Wu