How Rao Jinyu, SCI-Arc Graduate Integrates Children's Psychology with Architecture to Create Her Unique ArchViz Project in C4D
C4D, architecture, children’s psychology, softness, and female perspective… What will you think of if you see all those words together? Miss. Rao Jinyu, a graduate of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) created her unique architecture design by integrating all these elements, delivering warmth and comfort.
The first 4C Architecture and Design Creativity Exhibition themed Paradoxical was successfully held in Shanghai in July and August 2021. Fox Renderfarm, as a TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, is honored to be the sponsor of this event and have the chance to support the emerging and vigorous architects in China.
Among the exhibitors, Fox Randerfarm is very glad to have had an interview with the brilliant Designer and Director Mr. Xin Liu. He discussed how he shifted the boundary of physical and virtual worlds in 3D art through his designs and creations.
Besides, Fox Renderfarm has also invited another outstanding architect Miss. Rao Jinyu to our interview.
- Rao Jinyu
- From: China
- Master of Architecture II, SCI-Arc
- Bachelor of Architecture, Shanghai University
Unlike the conventional architecture we generally see which is solid and cold, the architectural artworks by Rao are of bright colors and soft materials. You will always find some surprising objects in her projects, such as stuffed toys, inflating balloons, or scattering flower petals. From the objects she chose to her unique design language, audiences can easily sense femininity, a romantic atmosphere, and a sense of comfort.
Grow Back to the Eden © Ran Jinyu (Rao’s Undergraduate Thesis)
In fact, the younger brother of Rao has suffered from manic depression for a long time. She always accompanied her brother to do the therapy. In the meantime, her interest in children’s psychology grew, and she hopes to help them through her architectural design. From Grow Back to the Eden, her undergraduate thesis to Soft Architecture, her graduate thesis, she gradually explores and researches the possibility of the environment of the institutions for children’s psychotherapy.
In our interview, Rao shared her inspirations, pipeline, and other ArchViz production details with us. Moreover, she discussed the differences between the learning methods for Architecture in China and America, artists who inspire her, and her empathy and care for children’s psychology.
Soft Architecture Animation
Fox Renderfarm: Hi Jinyu, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Rao: My name is Rao Jinyu. I would like to perceive the world sensitively from a female's perspective, and my architecture design is my inner monologue to the outside world.
Fox Renderfarm: How did you constantly form your colorful and romantic design language?
Rao: I learned children's painting when I was a child. The colors of children's images are very bright and vivid, which improves my sense of colors and cultivates my aesthetic appreciation. I am a sensitive and emotional person, at the same time, I am quiet and introverted, so I hope to express my feelings with vivid colors and by creating a romantic atmosphere. I may be a pessimistic person, but when creating, I prefer to use bright colors. I like to design romantic things to express my inner expectations and things that will make people happy. My work is a reflection of what is in my mind.
Student: Jinyu Rao
Advisor: Florencia Pita
Pre Advisor: Jackilin Bloom
Cultural Agents: Jasmine Benyamin
Fox Renderfarm: What is the inspiration of Soft Architecture?
Rao: This is my Graduate Thesis. I designed it as a children's psychological counseling center. There is an institution in the United States called Children's Institute, a children's psychotherapy institution. I want to put my soft building in the middle of its courtyard, which is a reconstruction program. The target audience of soft architecture is children, who like to play in giant inflatable installation toys that are soft. Soft objects are more attractive to children, and they can help children improve their mental health.
Soft Architecture Front & Back Render
Fox Renderfarm: What are the references for Soft Architecture?
Rao: Harry Harlow's Monkey Love Experiments - I learned about this experiment while I was doing my undergraduate thesis. It concludes that softness can substitute for the love provided by the primates’ parents to their children. So I chose to achieve psychological healing by making the buildings soft.
Cute Aesthetics - This inspiration comes from the article "The Cuteness of the Avant-Garde". It reckons that soft materials can be more easily shaped according to humans’ affective demands. That means pinching in different places of soft materials can get desired deformations. From this point of view, soft things interact with people, and it responds to a human’s psychological needs, unlike a cold wall which is unable to provide any response. So I infer that soft touches are helpful for psychological healing.
Fox Renderfarm: Why did you add Yoshitomo Nara’s painting of children in your artwork?
Rao: The protagonists of Yoshitomo Nara's paintings are all little girls. From the expressions of these girls, you can see the helplessness of the children. Children may understand everything that happens in the adults’ world and they need care and love. Maybe they don't like the way their parents regulate them, but they can only express it through helpless expressions.
Fox Renderfarm: What is the inspiration of Wearable Architecture?
Rao: When the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak just began, the instructor of my work - Hernán Díaz Alonso, CEO of our school, showed us a video of a music festival. Everyone who participated in the music festival was in a balloon which also became a kind of isolation.
The Flaming Lips - Assassins of Youth [Live Show]
Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us the different forms and functions of Soft Architecture?
Rao: Wearable Architecture is mainly a balloon.
Clothes - When the balloon is deflated, it can be used as clothes with beautiful pleats.
Architecture - When the balloon is inflated, it becomes a big space that can shelter people. It can float in the air, water, etc. It can turn each Ferris wheel carriage into a room and renew the abandoned amusement facilities when it is inflated.
Landscape - The surface of the balloon is a hydroponic system that can absorb the smog in the air and turn it into plant food. The plants will be scattered on the ground after the explosion to renew the abandoned amusement park/city and become a landscape system.
Fox Renderfarm: What is the reference for the material of Wearable Architecture?
Rao: I saw 2 photos. The creator pours oil paints of different colors together. The green and pink paints slowly blend together and form the beautiful transition effects on their verges. The pictures are taken at that very moment. When I was creating Wearable Architecture, I considered the permeability and sealing of the building. And I also needed to assess the position of windows and walls, so some parts were simulated as translucent gel material. I made the darker parts transparent, such as the parts in pink, brick red, mint green and so forth. In this way, the open part of the building is very organic, stretching along the boundaries between different colors.
Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use for Wearable Architecture?
Rao: Cinema 4D + Octane renderer. And I’ve used a lot of dynamic simulations in C4D.
Cloth Simulation - for the pleats and soft parts of the cloths.
Soft body- for the inflating/inflated balloons.
X-Particles - It is used to make the scattering effect of blooming flowers after the explosion. Each flower is a particle, so it can be made with the particle simulator.
Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG?
Rao: When I first entered the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), it was the Graduate Thesis Exhibition. I found that 70% of the artworks in the exhibition contain animation. I never thought about using animation to present architecture before. Still, I found animation a very powerful medium, since it can be made as movies and TV series, and it is also a very good way to demonstrate architecture.
Fox Renderfarm: What is the main difference between the learning methods for Architecture in China and America?
Rao: Architecture education in China pays more attention to basic knowledge. It mostly discusses architecture itself and has fewer connections with other disciplines. In the past, when I was taking my undergraduate in China, I often had to produce an A1 big picture with a lot of architectural analysis drawings: site analysis, landscape analysis, architectural function analysis, and conceptual analysis... On the one hand, it can lay a solid foundation for students. On the other hand, it can make them think more clearly.
While the learning methods abroad will be more straightforward. I haven't drawn any analysis charts since I came to the United States. Whereas, here they pay more attention to architectural expression. It is no longer necessary to produce densely packed pictures or read pictures but more to intuitively observe and feel the architecture itself.
I have always wanted to design children's psychotherapy spaces. My undergraduate thesis, "Grow back to the Eden" is also a children's psychotherapy center. There are many tiny houses on a mountain. The architectural methods are adopted based on the residential relations between parents and children at different stages in order to solve the problems of children’s psychology.
Grow Back to the Eden
When I got to graduate school, I used a more simple and straightforward method - I directly made the building soft. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t make it that way in my undergraduate studies, and I don’t think it is feasible for me to do so at that time.
Fox Renderfarm: Any artist or artwork inspires you the most?
Rao: First of all, the mentor of Wearable Architecture, my principal, Mr. Hernán Díaz Alonso. He has a great influence on me in many aspects such as my speculative logic.
National Museum of World Writing © Hernán Díaz Alonso
Also, Wang & Söderström, they focus on the digital representation of physical materials, which is called Phygital Materiality.
IDENTS © WANG & SÖDERSTRÖM
And I particularly like Gaudí's buildings. His buildings’ shapes are round, mellow, and very colorful.
Casa Milà © Antoni Gaudí
Casa Batllo © Antoni Gaudí
Sagrada Familia © Antoni Gaudí
Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?
Rao: CG is a very cutting-edge and emerging way to present architecture, and it will have a huge market in China and will be constantly growing. Like Wang & Söderström that I mentioned earlier, they all make digital materials and express architecture in new media. It has great potential in the crossover expression of architecture. For CG enthusiasts, there is a lot to explore. Architecture can be linked with many fields to make fascinating effects. Just like what you can see in this 4C Architecture and Design Creativity Exhibition.
4C Architecture and Design Creativity Exhibition in Shanghai
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