Jr-Gang Chi and Shingo Masuda: Unfolding Elements: Scripting a New Architectural Totality

Jr-Gang Chi and Shingo Masuda

Jr-Gang Chi and Shingo Masuda during their lecture in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium. William Staffeld / AAP

Jr-Gang Chi, the principal of the Jr.Gang (ar-ch) architectural research lab, is an award-winning Taiwanese practitioner and a professor of architecture. His work has been exhibited and published across the U.S., Japan, Spain, France, and Taiwan.

Shingo Masuda, the partner of the Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects in Japan, is a three-time AR+d award winner, including the first prize in 2014.

Chi and Masuda aspire to integrate architectural theory with practice. Together, in 2014, they formed a design-focused cross-cultural lab to advance their research collaboration, using Chi's "Operative Theory" and "Impromptu Architecture" and Masuda's "Scripting Totality" as a basis of investigation.

Inspired by Tafuri's opinion on "Operative Criticism," Chi envisions the "Operative Theory" as a productive form to decipher history. Through resetting the ideal conditions of selected theories, "Operative Theory" becomes an interface, where a mixture of theories creates new ideas. "Impromptu Architecture," in turn, reformulates architecture as a synthesis of everyday actions, instead of the backdrop for them.

Masuda's "Scripting Totality" focuses on reorganizing architectural elements within everyday space. By scripting and rescripting various boundary conditions, his work forms unexpected architectural and urban networks. Together, "Scripting Totality" and "Impromptu Architecture" create new points of interventions for everyday living, and engender spontaneous experiences in their networked actions.

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