“It is around an understanding of the value and importance of what we call “felt experience” or “affect architecture”, aspects of space and living in space that cannot necessarily be diagrammed or put into parti drawing, but is essentially the web of immaterial and intangible aspects of what it means to be part of a space that really sort of… hits you in the chest. Overly unresearched topic in architecture! (…) For us, we always talk of the ways the materials can speak to you, which is to say, that we can sense materials. We have an ability to feel them and they have an ability to communicate things to us and for us it is where often the architecture emerges.”

Meng Li and Linda Zhang are founders of Studio Pararaum, an award-winning architecture, design, and art studio based in Zürich and Toronto. They consider their practice to be a provocation of architecture’s capacity to communicate through felt experience—affect as a design process towards lived experience. Their work has been exhibited and presented internationally in Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, including the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, the Milan Architecture Design Expo, Canadian Centre for Architecture, London Festival of Architecture, Syracuse Erie Canal Museum, Toronto Offsite Design Festival, Berlin Institute for Endotic Research and the Berlin Centre of Art and Urbanistics.

In the Sensing Urban Matter podcast, Linda and Meng take us through their practice that experiments with the intangible aspects of architecture while attentively processing material behaviour and its representations. Their projects, from commemorating cultural history of Erie canal waterway infrastructure, to pinpointing the origin of stones being used in Tessiner square (Zürich, Switzerland) bring questions of memory, representation and contradictions of the nature/artificial binary.

More information:

Studio Pararaum
Rock Skin

Architektūros fondas’ programme Sensing Urban Matter is part of the Future Architecture platform and European Architecture programme 2021, and is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and a strategic partner Lithuanian Council for Culture.

Future Architecture