Xiaoxi Chen Laurent is the recipient of the SOM Foundation 2015 Travel Research Fellowship. For her Research Topic, entitled, “Fortified Sustainability: A Critical Design Manual on New Intergovernmental Architecture, Xiaoxi will visit examples of historic and contemporary intergovernmental organization (IGO) buildings on four (4) continents, using sustainability as an “updated lens for a contemporary look at today’s spatial challenges to unlock the full potential of responsive and responsible design.”
Her research hypothesizes that sustainability and security are the top design criteria of new-build IGO architecture and will visit well-known IGO sites as a means to investigate the larger implications of current building trends. Architecture serves as the site of inquiry and is understood as the physical manifestation of accumulated political and material capital. In this context, sustainability and security are analyzed not only as technical and performative factors of architecture, but also as primary drivers of design and instruments of policy promotion.
Xiaoxi received her Master of Architecture Degree in May 2015 from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation where she was awarded the Total Design Prize for all-around outstanding performance in the design studio and seminar sequences. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed her final year at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-La Villette.
Xiaoxi has worked in diverse and interdisciplinary offices and understands architecture as an inherently collaborative confluence of multiple fields, which allows for a more inventive and relevant process to address contemporary spatial issues. She believes that by pushing the limits of the architectural profession while successfully collaborating with other disciplines, architecture can provocate new social, political and aesthetic relationships in complex built environments.
She is based in New York City, where she is currently working with the office of 2x4.