2023 — Design and Architecture
Residency location: Digital
Li Bin s an architect, landscape architect, design scholar, global traveler, and researcher of the polar and the alpine landscapes. Currently based in Beijing, she is the founder of the multidisciplinary design studio OfficeTransect and she is an Assistant Professor at School of Architecture, Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). She holds a PhD from The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), Norway, and a Master of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States. Her work of spatial design and visual arts has been exhibited globally including those at The Shenzhen-Hongkong Biennale, MIT Media Lab, and The Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum (within the Arctic Circle). She has received a body of awards for creativity and innovation including The Legatum Fellow at MIT.
Her passion for global geomorphic geographies has made her work drawing in multidisciplinary encounters of architecture, landscape, anthropology and geomorphology, on scales of both the local and the global, on issues of the Anthropocene and climate change, countryside and planetary urbanization, and the creation of space and place, materiality and atmosphere, the lived and practiced landscapes with time. For her PhD research in 2015-19, she created a transgeographical and transcultural design research titled “Trans-alpine Landscapes: Transecting a Chinese High Mountain in Transition”. Through artistic transect walking and imagery recording, she explores the alpine landscape changes and relations between the Hengduan mountains (and Mount Gongga) in Southwest China and the Alps and the Arctic regions in Europe.
This artistic residency project expands the spatial and temporal idea of “archive” from the architectural to the geographic remote. Taking a digitally transgeographical approach to the glacial zones of the Swiss Alps, she will trace and visualize selected glaciers and glacial archives of the Alps in parallel with the ones in China. The project will artistically reflect on the Anthropocene we are living in now when the changing climate and planetary urbanization are deeply affecting ice in high places. As a scholar designer from China, she will establish a collaboration with those in Switzerland that share an artistic passion for ice and glaciers, the alpine zones, climate change and urbanization, and Anthropocene.
“Glaciers / Ice” as the theme for an artistic practice is strongly related to her passion for the ecology of alpine regions. As Switzerland is situated in the heartland of the Alps, it becomes the ideal country of artistic residence for her. She has created design and visual art pieces related to the glaciers in the Hengduan Mountains of China while recognizing a close connection to the ones in the Swiss Alps. She expects to create a design piece — A “Remote” Glacial Archive— that visualizes glaciers in both the Swiss Alps and the Chinese Hengduan, with the support of scientific monitoring of glaciers from the Swiss and the Chinese alpine stations and the artistic and scientific materials about both geographies stored at museums and institutions.