Innovative Award-winning Female Architects First Uses AI & Big Data on Architectural Creativity for Community Building—PRC-Magazine

(17 May 2021, Hong Kong) Hong Kong is in great demand for land resources. How to make good use of land and maximize the potential of space pose great challenges for architecture and urban space planning. Yimei Chan and Ann Yan, Design Principals of internationally renowned architecture firm LOD, combine AI and Big Data technology with architectural creativity and apply to different projects and community planning to create better future communities. Their design research will be exhibited at the Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibition, Italy, from 22 May to November 2021.

The European Cultural Center presents the biennale architecture exhibition with the title TIME SPACE EXISTENCE. An international group of 212 architects, artists, academics and creative professionals from over 51 countries are invited to investigate our relationship with space and time, re-envisioning new ways of living and rethinking architecture through a larger lens.

Exhibition Website:

The exhibition TIME SPACE EXISTENCE investigates the relationship between people, space and time. Through User Journey Map Installations, LOD will collect on-site data including people’s duration of stay, activities, density and movement. Collected data will then be analyzed and represented as image projections. The data analysis will help inform architectural design and community planning decisions with AI technology.

Yimei Chan, Design Principal of LOD, said, “Using AI and big data, behavior scenarios can be measured and space can be quantified with activities and experience modules. We can better understand the four-dimensional interactions between People / Time / Space / Activity, thus providing blueprints for architectural design and community planning in the rapidly changing world. Taking community space facilities as an example, different genders and age groups such as the elderly, adults, young people and children, have their own unique behavioral patterns. Within same space setting, people may choose to act alone, as couple or group. Their behavior patterns can be defined and related to the spatial module setup: active vs. passive; quiet vs. busy; bright vs. dark, etc. Besides, furniture setup, modular functions and flexibility also influence how users inhabit the space. This design research explores how to use the concept of community utopia (communitopia), through big data and cross-dimensional virtual and real space, to rethink the interactive scenarios and designs of future communities.”

Woman Power – The Story of Two Moms Pursuing Innovations and Sustainability

Why LOD has the idea of using AI and big data technology for the Biennale Architecture Exhibition? It has been common pursue of innovations in community and sustainability design for both Yimei Chan and Ann Yan, the female design principals of LOD. Both Yimei and Ann are the mothers of two children. They first met at a co-working space over ten years ago. Due to commons in design values and philosophies, they established LOD with holistic and cross-disciplines approach of architecture and interior design. Yimei’s architectural background and Ann’s interior design experience provide clients with Branding Architecture services that integrate design thinking and user experience design methodology. Despite many challenges along the way, they have successfully established their architecture practices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Barcelona, serving clients from Fortune 500 companies, leading developers, technology and internet corporations, such as Huawei, Tencent and ByteDance. Their design projects include airports, railways, large-scale mixed-use developments, shopping malls, hotels, exhibition centres, apartments, offices and co-working space, etc. In addition, LOD has won numerous awards over the years, with Yimei being awarded several US LEED-Certified building awards. Both Yimei and Ann have won special awards in the field of female architects and various urban revitalization design awards. (See attachment)

“Our architectural concept is based on enhancing users’ emotional experience. We have built LOD as an architectural design laboratory. Through innovative design thinking and cross-disciplines practice, we believe in holistic approach and the concept of integrated sustainability. Sustainability should not be limited to Environmental Sustainability but also Social Sustainability and Economic Sustainability.”, said Yimei Chan.

As Yimei Chan mentioned, LOD does have many innovative ideas and sustainability concepts. In additional to the above research using AI and big data technology in architectural design, these can also be reflected in the followings:

  • For Smart Home solutions, conceive an O+ Home system with mattress and toilet design that can collect and analyze users’ health data;
  • For shopping mall projects, apply VR and AR technology and integrate Game Application Strategy to optimize and make good use of “dead space”;
  • In response to the trend of online offline shopping experience, reinvent the design of shopping malls with innovative and integrated design solutions; 
  • For residential projects, redesign underused lift lobby on each floor into community space to enhance interactions among residents;
  • Design themed exhibition/retail center with new technology experience, gathering robotic companies, aerial photography companies such as DJI, e-sports stadiums and other smart technologies, etc;
  • Participated in various conservation design and architecture projects such as the Haw Par Mansion and Xiqu Center in Hong Kong, injecting social values into the projects;
  • Participate in a number of urban revitalization projects such as MORE Residence Langyuan Station, to readapt new use from an old textile factory in Beijing and Sanlitun Marina Residence, a revitalization project by retaining the original building structure and reconnecting to its history and neighborhood. Despite great challenges to ensure structural safety, fire safety and community stakeholders’ opinions, it is of great significance to inject new life into the existing urban fabric.

Amid the rapidly changing world, LOD is committed to continue to develope new innovative design solutions and sustainability concepts to the architectural design projects from different clients around the world!