Zunheng Lai, Harvard School of Design

Draw, Stack, Carve

With the complexity of some of the submissions, perhaps it was the simplicity of Zunheng Lai’s work that caught the judges’ imagination. Lai’s approach was a back to basics one, influenced by Tanizaki’s ‘In Praise of Shadows’ and the ideas crunching, intense sketches of Carlo Scarpa. Both, Lai says, are an approach to ‘convey a sense of the sublimity of everyday life.’ So we’re presented with rays of morning light through a door, an analysis of ‘being’ rather than ‘speculation’. The latter is addressed in his second image with everything recorded, both of a design and the passage of its creation; the taping, marks and staining that this involves ‘a testimony to the raw and spontaneous non-linear design process’. ‘Everything is registered, either visually or chronologically,’ said Fernie. ‘It really looks like he’s trying to work something out.’


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