ARCH 701-208, Matthias Hollwich

ARCH 701-208

Unforgettable Urbanism

In today’s society we have shifted from owning to experiencing - but what happens when we forget? A product we own is physically with us for as long as we choose, whether that be a home, a car, or a keepsake, while an experience, if not remembered, is as if it never happened. But what is memory, and what makes us remember a single experience over thousands of daily impressions? New science emerging from brain research gives us clues about what makes us remember and what makes us forget. This studio explores the science of memory and how we can create unforgettable memories. The design strategy will not be about a style, a theory, or a form—it will be about the memories that we shape. We will create places that are not just Instagrammed, but remembered for a lifetime. 

Residential Tower and commercial Tower merge on the top
Qiaomu Xue
Ian Lai
Two towers meet to create one iconic form
Qiaomu Xue
Ian Lai
Physical Model
Qiaomu Xue
Ian Lai

Houston, a booming city in Texas, has an incredible competitive advantage to any other city in the US: It has no zoning laws. A developer can technically build whatever they want. A site can become a mixed use neighborhood, it can switch from residential to industrial to commercial and residential, and a building can be as high as the sky or as low as a single story. The only limit is the planner’s imagination and the city’s infrastructure capacity (traffic, water supply, drainage, and the power grid). New progressive ideas of off-the-grid infrastructure, 0-car usage, hyper sustainability, and mix use strategies can also render this limitation mute. We will plan a 40-acre site in Houston using architecture to reduce traffic, eliminate grid dependency and shape memories.

Architectural rendering of a skyscraper with an open cavity
Yuan Zhang
Yiling Zhong
Architectural rendering of a skyscraper with irregular edges
Yuan Zhang
Yiling Zhong
Architectural rendering of a pavilion
Yuan Zhang
Yiling Zhong