To Fold a City ... ...

Yuran Liu

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To fold a city is to densify the physical city scape and dynamic the surrounding experiences. Through case studies focusing on utilizing Deleuze’s writing, the fold, several folding conditions are created and developed to mitigate the existing social-spatial condition of Beijing China.

Social-Spatial Distancing in Beijing


Let’s start with something fun, like a fiction novel ... ...

One of the fictional novels be Hao Jingfang is named Beijing Folding. This novel described a fictional future of Beijing where three different classes occupying different lengthens of a 48h-day. The population in these three levels forms a pyramid structure. While the time they can live in a day is unequally distributed, the resource and works they are allowed to do are also assigned in an unfair way.  Although the actual condition is not as literal and obvious in the reality and current condition, a linkage can still be drawn from the novel to reality. For the three levels, physical location zone can be drawn. It roughly illustrates the condition of the real situation of Beijing where upper economic class has less transportation time between the resource needed, working location, and cultural education distribution. They have more time to themselves. On the other hand, people with lower economic level, spend more time earning a living.

the Fold: Deleuze


Among the existing architectural interpretations of Gilles Deleuze’s the Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque , architects have been focusing mainly on the formal explorations. However, beside of the topology and formal interest that had expressed in the Fold, Deleuze also argues on the duality spatial quality a folding operation can achieve. The current architectural practice’s focus on the Fold is too narrow to carefully examine the spatial experience folding can accomplish and the cultural, political, and architectural consequences these folds can achieve.

Folding as Architectural Strategies


A Formal Architectural Strategy

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Eyebeam Atelier Museum of and Technology 

Diller + Scofidio


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Eyebeam Atelier Museum of and Technology 



A Spatial Architectural Strategy

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Mobius Housing



A Spatial Architectural Strategy

Rolex Learning Center



An Experiential Architectural Strategy

A Experiential Architectural Strategy

House N

Sou Fujimoto


Folding Beijing


Design Experiment 1-4

Design Experiment 1

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Design Experiment 2

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Design Experiment 3

The Social and Cultural Value of an Application of the Experience of the Folds

The status of current day urban environment is a stratification of individuals and families, through assigning specific programs to districts, blocks, buildings, levels, and rooms in mass volumes and continues chunk. This method resulted in a stagnated social structure, singular goal among people, and absent of urban livelihood. Folding the city provides duality or even triality, allows pyramid to calashes, collide and collapse. History and culture then can be shared and access with abundant creativities, working and living environment can arrange without distance. Resources flows between fluidly regardless of boundaries.

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Design Experiment 4

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The furniture project I am designing is a headset. The aspect of the fold I am trying to present is the visual duality the fold can produce conceptually. By presenting three couples of concepts: singularity and augmentation; fluidity and stagnation; absent and overflow, the headset served as a tool of expressing the relationship between two seemingly opposite concepts.

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Folding Beijing


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