Overseas NO.67: Kaiho Yu

Name: Kaiho Yu / From: Zhuhai / School: SCI-Arc

Project Specs

第六十七期为您奉上的是毕业于南加州建筑学院,在Testa & Weiser Inc工作的余佳浩。

A bosom friend afar brings distant land near. The Oversea album shares the lives of Chinese living abroad with all. The No.67 episode is about Kaito, who graduated from SCI-Arc and works at Testa & Weiser Inc.


Why going abroad?


Because I decided to switch my career from business to architecture in my second year college, and the architecture education in U.S. provides the opportunity for students without architecture background to study in the graduate program.


What impressed you the most when you are abroad?

The support for my graduate thesis from my friends, classmates and advisors.


What do you miss the most about China?

Parents and friends.


Will you come back China? Why?

I will consider based on the teaching and working opportunities.


Is it more distinct to view China in a different environment after going abroad? Any thought?


As SCI-Arc itself is more like a bubble and has limited exchange with other culture values, so it’s hard to say I can have a more distinct view to China. But in my research and design process, I would bring some Chinese culture on purpose, such as for my graduate thesis, two most important precedents are the Buddha in Xi’an Beilin and Jeff Koons’ Hulk series. This kind of east meet west culture exchange can generate some interesting discussion.


What makes the curriculum of your school different from other architecture schools?


There are a lot of distinguished faculties in SCI-Arc, each of them has their own formal logic and theoretical system, so in order to truly understand from the faculties, students have to spend more than one year with them in studios and seminars.


What are the characteristics and interesting points of your firm?


至于公司的特色,借用近期与Peter Testa访谈中的一段话,可以更好的表达公司的理念:“特斯塔·怀瑟有限公司自2002年成立以来就专注于嫁接数字世界和物理世界。我们从不是“数字建筑师”。我们一直认为建筑是一种材料形式和实践过程,无论这些材料多么抽象和非材料化。实际上我们本身是介于物理和数字之间的——因为在今天你不可能脱离“数字”去思考。我们不断在使用照相测量,数字快速化,机器驱动图像等知识去创造新的建模和可视化技术。这些改变了图像和形态,图像和物体,形态和物质之间的层级关系。这种改变和转换让我们的作品可以与在其他设计领域和艺术实践中涌现的最先进的突破并驾齐驱。”

As I’m working for the professors in their office, most of the projects are research programs, which might lead to their future studio or seminar topic. As they are both big fans for fashion and art, so it would be very interesting to see how they think about fashion and art in a highly conceptual way and penetrate the idea into the realm of architecture.

As for the firm, Testa & Weiser has since its formation in 2002 focused on bridging digital and physical worlds. We were never ‘digital architects’. We have always understood architecture as a material form and practice no matter how abstract and immaterial those materials might be. We have in effect always been phygital — it is no longer possible to think outside the digital today. We are using our knowledge of photogrammetry, rapid digitization and robotic driven imaging to create new modeling and visualization techniques that shift the hierarchy of image and geometry, image and object, geometry and matter. This shift brings our work into alignment with the most advanced developments emerging in other design fields and art practices.


Who is your favorite artist (in wider range such as art, music, movie)? What is the influence?



Rei Kawakubo and Jeff Koons.

The most influential work from Rei Kawakubo to me is her 12-13 Fall/Winter collection (2 dimensions) and 16-17 Fall/Winter collection (18th century punk), where her decomposition and recomposition of color, material, texture and parts is quite inspiring in terms of architecture, as well as Jeff Koons’ sculptures and new paintings, influenced my thinking on multiple objects and their relationships.


What fascinates viewers the most in your portfolio in your opinion?

Each projects are not separate but somehow connected ideologically, when you look at all the project, you can sense an immature thesis appearing.


When did you start to follow gooood? Any suggestions?

I’ve been following since 2011, wish all the best.








Three’s Company

Partner: Aaron Choi
Advisor: Peter Testa, Devyn Weiser
Special Advisor: Sylvia Lavin, Marcelyn Gow



Three’s company explores new forms of coherence and within an urban-scale architectural context. We propose a quasi-autonomous relationship of multiple architectural parts situated on the borders of the Shinjuku and Shibuya prefectures of Tokyo – a ménage à trois.

三个建筑物这种构成关系的灵感来源于古代中国佛像,以及杰夫·昆斯浩克系列里雕塑物的放置关系,雕塑物跨越空间面朝着对方。三个建筑以直角三角形的布局放置,之间产生了巨大的张力。这些建筑体块的构成并没有遵从特定的类型或者单向逻辑,而是迷失在多重层次的相关性中,建筑体块之间以一种非固定的和非辩证的关系组合在一起。这种对于相关性的另外一种理解被定义为类型的盲目性(genre blindness)。

Resonating from the arrangement of ancient Chinese sculptures as well as Jeff Koons’ Hulk series in the contemporary art scene, where the figures are facing each other across space, three buildings are arranged in a triangular formation to generate extreme tension and directionality between the objects. Without adhering to a specific genre or linear logic, the parts of the objects are lost in a multilayer coherence that is positioned and connected in a loose, quasi-animate, and non-dialectical way. This new understanding of coherence can be understood as genre blindness.

▼平面图(点击查看大图)plans (click to view the larger version)



Although the buildings are individuated they are related, visually, formally, and programmatically. Not only are they assembled with similar parts, the objects also affect each other by means of genre blindness. This logic of representation provides an amalgam of architectural opportunities ranging from formal exchanges for reshaping existing geometry to spatial clues for interior organization.

▼立面图(点击查看大图)elevations (click to view the larger version)



▼剖面图(点击查看大图)sections (click to view the larger version)






Play the Part

Partner: Aaron Choi, Connor Covey
Advisor: Devyn Weiser



Working with multiple representations, including wireframe drawing, digital rendering, and image capture in Robot House, this project works on the idea of transforming ready-made parts by James Stirling into the proposal for Bibliotheque de France located in Paris.


To rethink about the idea of model in architecture, we created both digital and analog parts (ABS models) of James Stirling’s original proposals, we use robotic motion, precise image capture to create new images as volumetric compositing. The effects of physical models are achieved through the precise rotation that the robotic arms can perform. The palette of white, black, and gold also influences these effects as they begin to flatten, reflect, and express shadow.

▼平面图(点击查看大图)plans (click to view the larger version)







Partner: Aaron Choi
Advisor: Peter Testa


Using Barrières designed by C.N. Ledoux in the 18th century as original objects, the project starts from reconfiguring buildings into minimal components. Without fixed recipes, parts from Barrière du Combat and Barrière de la Sante are addressed with an interest in the fact that anything could be. By referencing Comme des Garçons’ Fall 2016 couture collection as an interpretive framework, original parts are being developed into a catalog of syntax that transcends the classical ordering of the original objects.


This project stems from the idea of “image as a copy”. Though machine vision, we shift the hierarchies of image and model to create new modes of architectural representation. Our project focuses on the study of elevation as image in both digital and analog. By closely analyzing the elevation in these two realms, we challenges the assumptions about the copy to create a generic aesthetic and non-correlationist ‘ontology of the image’. In the workflow, objects are represented in both digital and analog, with two capture modes, orthographic and spherical in the Robot House. The captured images are transformed into points, lines, figures, meshes and colors. The image-based information is informal compared to the original Ledoux form. When these two systems are overlaid, they begin to define and correct each other. As we look at elevations in this project, new elevations are generated based on these two systems. The images can then start to project, orthographically and perspectively, onto interior and exterior parts.







Representational Object

Partner: Connor Covey, Carrie Li, Peter Biggart
Advisor: Peter Testa



By setting up the quasi-robotic camera booth in SCI-Arc Robot House, the project explores the machine vision of architectural elements through the transformation of vision, imaging and cognition, in order to develop the post-representational language for architecture.


利用四个不同的勒杜设计的堡垒,并且参照罗伊·李奇登斯坦(Roy Lichtenstein)《House I》的手法将堡垒的立面扁平化,制造新的模型。这些模型在正投影空间、准投影空间和假投影空间中被拍摄。这种对投影空间的切换是受到杜尚《T’um》中绘画空间的不同的影响,不同的物体能够通过时间和运动被塑造。

Taking four different Barrières designed by Claude Nicolas Ledoux and flattening them in the manner of Roy Lichtenstein’s House I, the proxy models were then captured in shifting frontal projective, quasi-projective and pseudo-projective space. The influence behind the shifting of projections in a single picture plane is the painting by Marcel Duchamp T’um thus new types of objects relate to time and motion could be constructed. As Tristan Garcia distinguished two kinds of representation in his theory of things, self-representation and selfless-representation, the superposition of quasi-correlated realities is a state in between. The workflow starts from projecting the abstracted and degraded information of shadow on the flattened orthographic model, and captured by 6-axis robot arms with 420 different viewpoints from spherical captures, the information translates between orthographic to perspective, objecthood to artifice, real to fake. The multiple projection and different position of foreground and background start to defamiliarize the object. The homogeneous of Ledoux’s elements and craftsmanship of model allows information to transform, thus creating the non-aesthetic and non-anthropocentric objects.


Influence of images was taken from a series of 27 paintings produced through the 70’s and early 80’s. These paintings look at exploring different techniques of expressing objects, whether it be through an outline or even through the use of the Grisaille method. In particular We’ll Shake the Bag was studied for its use of multiple layers and transparencies to create a unique sense of spatial depth within the flattened image. Also the idea and sensibility of a certain romanticism was also taken from the painting, this was expressed through the colors that were airbrushed onto the models. The concept of overlaying several objects was then then taken further using the machine vision and post processing techniques.




What the Fug

Partner: Aaron Choi
Advisor: Peter Testa



The work explores the limits of architecture’s representational and material possibilities linked to the emergence of new digital/physical composites. Taking the rooftop of Le Corbusier’s Unite d’habitation Marseille, proxy models at scale 1:200 are produced for photogrammetry in Robot House. Through the workflow of 3D scanning, point cloud constructing, real-time image projection, photogrammetry is being used as a new type of physical modeling environment to invest the idea of non-human correlated work from the perspective of a non-idealist or Speculative Materialism.

在美学上,这个项目保留了这整套工作流程所留下来的美学特征,并将此定义为极丑(fugly)的物体。其中对极丑物体的五点概括包括错置(例如Rick Owens Fall 2017, COMME des GARÇONS Fall 2016)、超表皮材质(例如Cy Twombly, Urs Fischer, Damien Hirst)、胖乎乎的形状(Jonathan Lasker, Thom Moran)、肢体错位(例如Marisa Merz, Mike Kelley, COMME des GARÇONS Spring 1997, Shary Boyle)和糟糕的数字化(例如Bastiaan de Nennie, Studio Truly Truly, Sigve Knutson)。

Aesthetically, the project is looking at fugly object, which the five points are defined as misplacement (Rick Owens Fall 2017, COMME des GARÇONS Fall 2016), hyper-texture (Cy Twombly, Urs Fischer, Damien Hirst), fatty figure (Jonathan Lasker, Thom Moran), misfiguration (Marisa Merz, Mike Kelley, COMME des GARÇONS Spring 1997, Shary Boyle) and badly digitalization (Bastiaan de Nennie, Studio Truly Truly, Sigve Knutson).





Partner: Mia Johnson, Tiffany Adler
Advisor: Anna Neimark


Through most of the twentieth century, modernist ideology found its root in classical values by the transparency of mathematical precision and its consequent claim to truth. Now consider, for a moment, for those things have seemingly nothing in common like dolmens, Mondrian’s canvas, or, a mountain in Himalayas. To draw a mountain, we need to invent it, and this is where this project starts, how a mountain as an object can be immutable, representable, readable and combinable.

在表达一座山的时候,在这里,Dhaulagiri Himal的一部分,我们表达的是一个不在场的事物,一个想象中的网格系统和一系列的坐标。在形式分析的体系下,这些物体试图不遵守规则,用不正式的方式来服从分析性的网格体系。在此之中,它们并没有被削减成为一个简单的图解、体量或者算法。它们有时会遵循,有时会抵抗常态。它们的不完美——高误差、低像素、空无一物的表面,实际上很难被很准确地建模。所以它们生成了粗鲁的形态、奇怪的细节、空白的角落,而这一系列的产物,我们称之为不正式的分析。

By representing a mountain, in this case, a part of Dhaulagiri Himal, we are representing absent thing, an imaginary grid system and a set of coordinates. Under the interpretive power of formal analysis, these objects tend to misbehave, to occupy the analytical frameworks informally. They do not reduce to a simple diagram, massing, or algorithm. They might, at times, align, and, at other times, deviate from normal. Their imperfections—high tolerance, low resolution, blank finish—are rather difficult to model precisely. So they produce rude forms, odd details, blank corners, all products of what we will call informal analysis.





Advisor: Elena Manferdini


Color, with its uncanny politics, now occupies the center of architectural representation. The painterly has been reintroduced few years ago in architecture to refer to a series of atmospheric and ambiguous material effects germane to the fine art canvas. But given the difficulties of successfully translating such ethereal qualities into the finite geometry and limited material palette of architecture, we have witnessed the rise of simplified versions of such translations from colors into material tectonic.

As for “stacking card”, they relies on a precise logic: cards are arranged in a preset order, to effect a specific and durable outcome in the game. Staking cards does not rely on the novelty of the content (which is always the same), but on the variations of the possible arrangements of the parts. Similarly, colors could also be arranged through scripted chronicles to reach specific qualities, in this case, transparency. With a careful analysis of Josef Albers’ color interaction, colors are scripted in HSB system, a cylindrical-coordinate representations of points in an RGB color model that describes colors (hue or tint) in terms of their shade (saturation or amount of gray) and their brightness (value or luminance), to translate traditional painterly effect into digital without the aid of figure, texture nor material. The study tries to translate color into material tectonic allowing for the speculation of multiplicitous architectural qualities, the transparency affects the perception of volumes and interiors and creates misreading and sfumato effect on the façade.





第一阶段的绘图,需要叠加三个不完全的正方体框架,通过grasshopper模拟环境、调节参数,控制框架的旋转方向、尺寸、粗细、轮廓线、中心线,甚至边框是直的还是曲的,曲形的边框还可以控制弯曲度(misbehavior),还包括背景网格的粗细,同时,还能根据框架的粗细生成多幅图像。而第二阶段的物理渲染则是在机器臂实验室完成,目的很简单,为了尽可能地实现数位空间的渲染效果。这种后拍摄手法动摇了矢量与标量之间的效用,从而产生了新的图像,在这个过程中,Heinrich Kühn的彩色片、大卫·沙利的幽灵绘画与安迪·沃霍尔的丝网版画是重要的艺术参照。

At the beginning a raster-based rendering project will be produced within a hybrid analog/digital setup. We captured physical objects using the earliest form of color photography, three color process, and the latest digital tools, including robotically controlled camera paths in Robot House. The images will be mapped back to the digital models using Grasshopper scripts that exploit discrepancies in resolution and registration. This post-photography approach oscillates between vector and raster effects to yield a new form of image making. Heinrich Kühn’s autochromes, David Salle’s Ghost Paintings, and Andy Warhol’s screen prints serve as references.

学校or工作单位:南加州建筑学院,Testa & Weiser Inc.
联系方式:[email protected]

When: 2014 to present
Where: Los Angeles
Who: Kaiho Yu
From: Zhuhai, Guangdong
School & Firm: SCI-Arc, Testa & Weiser Inc.
Contact: [email protected]

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