As a kid, Feifei loved to draw – but it was never more than a hobby. “In China, art wasn’t very celebrated. You were always told to become a scientist or engineer.” When Feifei moved to Australia for high school, however, everything changed. “Nobody could control me anymore. I studied whatever I wanted.”
She chose to study both art and math, exercising her creative and logical mind simultaneously. Throughout her undergrad, Feifei explored a wide range of mediums including photography, painting, and drawing. One day her mentor – Sydney based artist and architect Richard Goodwin – suggested she pursue architecture.
After exploring architecture in the later years of her undergrad, Feifei moved to the states to enroll in MIT’s Architecture School. Soon, she noticed differences between the programs. Her courses in Australia encouraged hand drawings, while MIT expected analytical diagrams. “I’m truer to myself when I draw – I don’t have that experience using a computer.” Consequently, Feifei decided to hand draw her thesis project, Urban Playhouse. “It took about fifty days to draw. The meditative slowness offered a deeper understanding of what I had experienced.”
In the wake of consumerism, Feifei believes that architecture has become increasingly objectified. “We are no longer encouraged to experience and reflect.” By imagining herself in each environment, however, she was able to experience space from a variety of perspectives. “A lot of memories came back, like how I played with my friends when I was younger. My hope is for this discovering process to spark the audience’s interest and encourage them to dream in their own ways.”