Xinran Shen: HM of the Meditation Roofs

+ Xinran Shen 🇺🇳

Honourable Mention of the Meditation Roofs


1) Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I am an architectural designer from Shanghai, based in New York. My designs echo the pulse of both worlds. I enjoy visiting museums all over the world, absorbing the language of art. How do I spend my weekends? A sacred pause, where I indulge in the luxury of sleep. 

2) What inspired you for the Meditation Roofs?

One struggle many architectural designers face is the balance between work and life. Achieving a creative and thorough mindset becomes challenging without adequate sleep and a harmonious work-life balance. The concept of meditation spaces prompts a reconsideration of the approach to attaining this lifestyle, allowing me to delve into my own requirements when undertaking project designs.

3) Can you describe any particular challenges you faced during the design process and how
you overcame them?

In contrast to conventional architectural projects that rely on a series of drawings to convey ideas, this particular endeavor involves the intricate task of representing a complex concept through a single drawing. The challenge lies in skillfully subtracting elements to communicate ideas precisely and succinctly while leaving a powerful impact. The unconventional nature of visualization planning goes beyond selecting perspectives; it resembles the thoughtful approach of an illustrator planning a graphic composition.

4) How do you think your educational background or professional experiences influenced your winning design?

While at Columbia GSAPP, I delved into sustainability, biophilic design, and community-centered design. Integrating these principles, I shaped the Cubic Space. The concept of adaptable modules stems from my prior projects, emphasizing a design that evolves with the community—a testament to the universality and vitality of thoughtful architecture.

5) What advice would you give to students or young professionals looking to excel in architecture competitions?

Embrace audacity and make bold statements! Drawing from my experience in diverse competitions, I’ve found them to be perfect stages for presenting daring ideas in a brief timeframe. So, don’t hold back from making radical statements, and don’t be afraid of venturing into the seemingly unrealistic. Concentrate on crafting a compelling narrative, allowing your voice to be heard.

6) What are your future aspirations in the field of architecture?

Life is a canvas, and I’m just adding my strokes to the masterpiece, one architectural marvel at a time. So here’s to dreams etched in blueprints and the beauty found in the silent spaces between skyscrapers. Cheers, from the heart of New York with a touch of Shanghai soul.

Cubic Space


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