HELPER - An Sledge Liu

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“Helper” is an installation constructed of locally sourced and reused wood located in front of the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design on Monument Avenue. In this webinar, An Liu will discuss the research, design, and construction of a purposely prickly installation to explore the relationship between individuals and their environment. An’s design philosophy is a nod to renowned architect Louis Kahn, who famously imagined a conversation with one material, asking, “What do you want, brick?” Instead, An asked, “What do you want, stick?” The use of sticks recreates an essential experience that draws occupants’ attention upward to both nature and time.


Further, the design’s intention forces occupants to address wasted materials by highlighting human’s impact on the natural world. Occupants cannot disregard the sharp ends of the abandoned materials used and, thus, must acknowledge the lifecycle of wood. The sticks point to countless places that resonate with visitors. This webinar dives into equity, sustainability, site studies, scale, and climate change through an inventive irritative process.


An “Sledge” Liu

An Liu is an interior designer who thinks architecturally and pays particular attention to the environment and other fundamentals of spaces. An received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Exhibition Design and a Master of Fine Arts in Environmental Art Design from Nanjing Normal University in 2013 and 2015. He then relocated to the United States and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts with a Masters in Interior Design in 2017. Liu’s work is deeply rooted in his personal experiences, observations, and social identity. His personal experience and professional history often complement and support one another. Drawing inspiration from his community and others, An captures the value of cultural landscapes in materiality and architectural forms. Further, he avoids the depletion of natural resources to maintain an ecological balance in the built environment. Sustainability is a critical factor across various fields, of which his projects include: exhibition design, museum design, environment design, retail design, and self-initiated art practices.

Spencer Grice, Principal Architect at SMBW


Tarin Jones, Educator, The Branch Museum or Architecture and Design

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