Ji Xin is the recipient of the SOM Foundation 2015 China Prize for Travel / Research. Having received his Master’s Degree in Architecture in January 2015 from Southeast University in his home town of Nanjing, Xin also holds a BArch degree in Architecture, received in June 2013 from Southeast University.
Xin's initial plan for his Travel / Research was to study the relationship between public urban space and economic urban diversity, which would go deep into the research of only two cities: Boston and New York, focusing on the community public spaces in Boston and with the High Line in New York. Realizing that this plan would require a lot of knowledge about the Boston neighborhoods and their history, it became apparent that a more suitable focus for a short-term research effort would be to visit public urban spaces in more cities to provide a broader picture about the urban situation. Xin’s Final Report is presented in five parts, in the sequence of travel :from: New York, to Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Each city is presented in a series of photographs, with Xin’s overall impression of each city visited described by three characteristics: New York – “Density, Void andMemory” ; Washington D.C.– “Order, Nature and Majesty” ;Chicago - Time, Space and Vitality” ; San Francisco – “Hill, Water and Life” ; and Los Angeles – “Car, Event and Flat City” .
Currently enrolled at Harvard University Graduate School of Design,( M Arch II 2017 ), Xin’s focus of study at the GSD is how to stimulate public participation by presenting valuable stories and experiences in public spaces. It is a multidisciplinary design effort which combines digital media, physical environment design and literature research. As Xin explains, “ This study will stand between the pure technology representation and the profound philosophic idea, trying to utilize the public space to express enlightening ideas. Based on the existing physical environment, the study will discover unseen reality bycreating an event, an exhibition or an installation. The research based project will focus on one topic at a time and reflect the research through utilization of digital media and contemporary art.” Xin believes that creating memorable moments in public space is the way to enhance people’s awareness of the importance of public space to all of us.
Following completion of his architectural studies, Xin aspires to join an architectural firm in Boston or New York, and eventually set up his own firm.