Action #4

Step Out and Look Wider

Consider your Action 3: when working with your chosen lexicon phrase what peripheral ideas/spaces did you touch on or think about. What is the broader field around your initial intervention? How is this important to you? How is it important to someone else? How is this important to a community? What’s the relationship between this and global-scale concerns?

Take these thoughts (or writing) with you and…
– Leave your home. (if you’re not in quarantine)
– Prioritize seeking things of nature. Seek out beings, found materials and phenomenon.
– Develop many-things inspired by the peripheral space / the field / the broader context.
Allow yourself to re-define the problem through new acts of making

Prompting questions: (You are not obligated to answer these)
Consider how your neighbourhood contributes to your feelings/sense of home?
What does a change in context do to your thinking?
How does/can nature play a role in your designs?

Imagine if you’re living in the centre of a urban city, surrounding by skyscrapers, which is two-hours driving distance from the nearest natural park. How can you find some green near you?

The very first step is locate where you live in this city. For me,I pointed my house in this map (the orange dot);

NEXT, I decided to get downstairs and have a look at my surroundings, there must be some details I ignored.

After that, I start searching my neighbourhood to see the ‘nature’ around me. And I found there is a small market selling fruits and veggies just near my house (I’m surprised I didn’t know that, and one of my neighbours told me it just opened this week).

Walking into this market, there are the thing I’ve searching for. Those fruits and veggies are the gifts we get from the nature.

And back to the topic of action 3, ‘ecologically literate‘. Remember we only focus on a small piece under this huge one, which is: how to build a sustainable human society?

As an example, I bought an apple from the market, and we can treat this apple as the earth we’re living. They all has a spherical body with top surface, medium part and inner core, so in some point we can say they’re quite similar.

What if I peel this apple?

We can say this apple – without its skin is just like the earth being polluted. (Both losing the self-protection function) So, what can we do next?

Ideally, it would be great if we can get rid of daily pollution we made, and decreasing the unnecessary consumption for each people (it’s more like put the skin back onto this apple). But it’s very hard to achieve this in real life. So I just walk out and try to find some inspiration on what I can do next.

So I leaving my room and getting out.

With one hour by train, I arrive at a mountain near my city. It’s quite interesting, this place is only an hour’s drive from the city, which is very green with even squirrels and birds, none of them are common in the city.

And I go further, I can even see pandas.

The only problem is this place is too cold for me, but perfect for Pandas.

It’s amazing to see all these within two hours drive from the city, and by visiting these places, I found that environmental protection is very important. If you want to maintain a sustainable community, the initial step is to reduce waste in the community. So I’ve narrowed my topic: waste disposal in the community.

Action #3


– Start at the screen, and make into new spaces!
– Your making should be an attempt to understand and explain a theoretical construct on the stretch lexicon. Consider making, to understand which phrase your working on…research through design.
– Use the list of making terms found on the moodle for guidance and think of yourself as exploring, not necessarily answering.

Starting from something completely off-screen is quite difficult for me since I almost did everything with my screen on. And even in these decades, after experience the internet boom, it becomes harder and harder for people to get rid of the screen. Especially for us generation z people. So I decided to go back to a time where I haven’t start using computer, what did I do this time?

This is a photo I took last year at a kite festival in a city near my hometown.

What I can remember before I have my very first computer and nintendo nds, I usually enjoy flying a kite with my friends in our city central park or open land in countryside. It was a good memory to me, but it seems nowadays there is no space for kite in the city.

So, what is the ideal life for human in the future? It’s a common-sense that robots gonna be part of our life (even my father agreed this idea), but what else from that? I think is important and essential to consider the relationship between city and nature.

This is a Japanese anime from last century which is called cowboy bebop, and this might the first time for me to consider about human life in future, like city in future, human in future, will us move to space and etc.

This anime is a sci-fiction one about the futuristic misadventures and tragedies of an easygoing bounty hunter and his partners in the space, they go from job to job across the galaxy looking for the high priced fugitives to bag. The music of this series is amazing, it’s the first time I enjoyed jazz, also the plot is fantastic and romantic. Most of all, for me this is more like a starting point to consider our lives living in the city.

From the SKETCH Lexicon, there is a topic about ecologically literate. Anf for me, it is a topic more like how to make a sustainable human society?

Since my background is based on wood science, I’m used to working digitally, like use AutoCAD/c4d/illustrator. The way of extending the studio for me is more like looking for new and more effective ways to connect our thoughts in distance. And these are the ideas coming to my mind.

This one is Brock Commons in UBC, a student dorm made from 100% wood, as the time it was open, it is the tallest wood-building in the world. And wood is a excellent material for sustainable.

Also, this pic is an example that people try to enjoy their city life with nature (those greens) in their house, but it looks a little bit messy. This is the problem I’m struggling with, how do people and nature coexist harmoniously in the city?

Action #2

This time I was grouped with Pablo, we decided to learn one dish from each other, and I choose Tomato with Scrambled eggs to teach. This is one of the most popular Chinese home cooking, it tastes sweet and a little bit sour, runs perfect with rice ( traditionally, our Chinese prefer rice).

personally I don’t mind tomato skin.

And after talked with Pablo, we agreed on this dish and I got the recipe of how to make Dulce de Leche from him. I have to say that I love this source sooooo much!

It taste sweet and I can feel the smell of milk and caramel!

Action #1


My background is in UBC wood science, basically what I studied during my undergrad is how to build wood structures, no matter buildings or small wood furniture. Along with environmental science, economics, sustainability, very diverse.

This is a footstool I sprayed in my undergrad. Vintage style, blue with rust red, polish in the middle.

In my spire time, always I would take a hand with my friend’s guitar workshop (very tiny), we took orders from local school bands to help them customize/maintain their guitars (or bass).

A very short video on how to treat the surface.

The above one is a photo I took in my hometown, Shijiazhuang, China, a city I stayed since my childhood till I finished my grade 12. And I’m currently stay here while taking remote class.

This is a photo I took in Vancouver last year, beautiful maple leaves.
Maybe you can recognize this is Gastown, Vancouver.

And I moved to Vancouver since my first year to university, almost five years ago. I quite enjoyed stay in Vancouver, since I love the feeling that living with nature. My apartment is 20 minutes walk from wreck beach and within 10 minutes walk to pacific sprite park. I had to say that the I love the surroundings, also, Vancouver has it’s unique atmosphere: friendly and freedom.

For me, living in China and Canada is quite different. I’m more used to artificial afforestation in China, but it’s refreshing to live in Vancouver. The differences between them reminds me my childhood inspiration Miyazaki Hayao, a Japanese movie director. He always talks about the relationship between human and nature in his films, especially in the context of highly developed industrial civilization, which inspired me a lot.

A poster of Miyazaki Hayao’s movie: NAUSICAA (风之谷)