© 2022 Daisy Ziyan Zhang


Exhibition and Film; at MIT, 2023
Drawing acquired by MIT Museum as permanent collection

A building is never a static object but a living being that grows and ages - a building exchanges care. Such acts of reciprocated caretaking weave a delicate, multifaceted symbiosis between architecture and people. Rooted in an anonymous residential building in the center of Mexico City - one with 70 years of history being born, lived, earthquake-destructed, abandoned, repaired, rejuvenated, and cared for - this thesis borrows “wrinkles” as a conceptual thread to investigate the correlation between a building’s life cycle and the life cycles of the community formed within. Borrowing the camera as a spatial tool that enables 3D scanning, printing and robotic plotting, this project braids embodied data with empirical research, and manifests itself in an experimental film. From matters to actions, between structures and bodies, an alternative literacy is composed that breaks the binary of before/after in architecture design. The prolonged liminality of collective authorship becomes foregrounded, that dwells in the easily unaccountable acts of everyday caretaking, situated between the politics and poetry of labor and gender.

“This building is not just composed of 16 floor slabs and 40 walls. But rather, 160,000 broom strokes, 24,000 wipes, 10,000 hammering, 200 pipe replacements.”

view the film here 

Special thanks to dear Lila from Mexico City; my advisor William O’Brien Jr. and my readers, Jeffrey Landman, Rosalyne Shieh, and Anne Whiston Spirn