Zhang Miao: Pursue her Architectural dream at Wenzhou-Kean University after a 3-year Research on a Village

Major: Architectural Design

Graduate University: College of Architecture and Design at Wenzhou-Kean University

Zhuji, Zhejiang

Zhang Miao, a girl always wearing a sweet smile, has realized countless architecture goals during her four academic years at Wenzhou-Kean University: joining the urban village research project as the student leader with the professor, trying to build “houses” for animals, and serving as the secretary-general of the American Student Association of Architects, etc. As for the future, she cast her vote to Wenzhou-Kean University once again and pursue further study in the Master of Architecture program.

Being the Guardian of an Old Village

 

Wangzhai Village, an urban village near Wenzhou-Kean University, is facing the problem of demolition or preservation in the process of urban development. In her freshman year, Zhang, together with three partners, set up a typology research team for Wangzhai Village under the leadership of Professor Vincent Peu Duvallon from the Department of Architecture.

Their footprints have covered the village. Under the guidance of the professor, they came to the village and spent three years on field investigation, designing, and planning for the ancient Wangzhai Village. With their unremitting efforts, this ancient town was revitalized.

 

In 2019, they brought their research results to the International Symposium of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University for an exhibition. In 2020, the project designed by the typology research team for Wangzhai Village was adopted by the second phase design of Wenzhou Kean Town.

“The Wangzhai Village project not only gave me a great sense of accomplishment, but also enhanced my innermost awareness of cultural protection,” said Zhang. The adoption of the renovation results of Wangzhai Village by Wenzhou Kean Town has also become her proudest thing in the four years’ schooling.

 

Pursuing the Art of Harmonious Coexistence of Human, Nature and Architecture

 

The process of learning architecture is also a process of thinking about the relationship between architecture and society, as well as the relationship between architecture and nature.

She once tried to build a “house” for bats. This is not an easy job – the construction of the house must facilitate Biology students’ study of bats and take into account the habits. After an in-depth understanding of the living habits of bats, she and her team made full use of their knowledge of architecture to design a new home for the bats. During this process, she felt that promoting the harmonious coexistence of man and nature is an inescapable mission of architects.

 

In September 2019, the design of Bat Home won the Excellent Design Award at the Interdisciplinary Design Competition of the college. So far, the project has come to practice.

 

Enjoying the Past and Future Life at Wenzhou-Kean University

“The biggest change I’ve made at Wenzhou-Kean University is to become more confident,” said Zhang firmly. When she first entered Wenzhou-Kean University, Zhang was not very adapted to the American-style environment, and she had few interactions with the professor. The professor noticed the nervousness of the students when they were speaking English. With a rigorous and responsible attitude towards teaching, he asked every student to have one-on-one communication with him after class and state their own understanding and ideas. Therefore, Zhang bravely took the first step to build self-confidence. Day after day, Zhang is no longer afraid to express herself in English, and her eyes also sparkle with confidence.

As for the future, Zhang decides to stay at Wenzhou-Kean University for further study. On the one hand, she has accumulated abundant resources at Wenzhou-Kean University. On the other hand, she wants to continue her undergraduate construction projects for exploring house renovation and village protection, and develop her own career in Wenzhou at the same time.

During the four years at Wenzhou-Kean University, from a little girl who was timid to communicate in English to an excellent graduate who speaks English fluently, from a green hand in architecture to a head in village reconstruction projects, Zhang has taken this path bravely and firmly. In the future, Zhang will continue to write a new chapter of her dream on the stage of Wenzhou-Kean University.

 

Alisa LAI(LAI Qiuhong)、Overseas Department(SMDC)