1. Interior Behaviours
BA Industrial Design&Display Design, Hubei Institute of Fine Arts
'The RCA Work-in-Progress Exhibition 2018'
'The RCA Work-in-Progress Exhibition 2019'
'Democratic Seats', Kortrijk Creativity Week 2019
Otupia Anti-Social Housing
Some numbers of minority groups can experience social disadvantages compared to members of a more dominant, mainstream social group. In Japan, ‘Otaku’ is a negative form word against young people who are indicated in computer and anime, they are judged for their antisocial behaviours, preferring to stay at home with friends. People often see ‘Otaku’ as unwilling or unable to relate to reality. These niche groups are expanding as people turn inwards and seek out empathetic communities either online or in reality.
I designed this apartment for Otaku. I have designed aspects to meet their basic survival needs but also to help them enjoy, cultivate and celebrate their special interests within their living space.
The starting point comes from me and my friends wish to live together in the future. We like the opaque and inclusive characteristics of virtual life, which makes me want to design such an apartment system.
By researching living apartments and 5 Otaku groups’ daily life, I realised that an Otaku living block would need to be very different to address their core needs, there are 5 main design features:
1. Precious space - the hobby space is the core of each single unit, surrounded by living function spaces, the unnecessary function areas are adjusted or deleted according to the specific needs of the Otaku.
2. Communal space - the semi-open space between the core elevator area and the residential area. Using aisles to break the door-facing-door form of ordinary apartments to increase the privacy of their living space.
3. No contact delivery system - cargo elevators installed so Otaku can order their daily essentials online to be delivered directly to the door without physical contact with strangers.
4. The Augmented Reality exterior - people can scan the building using their device, and they can see different visual appearances.
5. To eliminate Otaku social panic - Glitch bar is a communication space, using partition walls to keep appropriate social distances with strangers.
I want to design a sanctuary for those, who for sound reasons have failed to find their place, in a normal world of relationships or community. By addressing their interests and loneliness, this 'Otupia' can reassure Otaku and the public that estrangement and sorrow are normal and that we are neither strangers nor shameful for experiencing them. As Otaku, they are proud to be so addicted to what they love.
Introduction of Five Kinds of Otaku
Work Otaku Working Studio（Right View）
Work Otaku Working Studio（Front View）
Food Otaku Kitchen
Food Otaku Bedroom
Game Otaku Bedroom
Game Otaku Playroom
Pet Otaku Tatami Space
Pet Otaku Bedroom
Cosplay Otaku Photography Studio
Cosplay Otaku Bedroom
Depending on the occupants’ needs, the kitchen and food pantry occupies most of the room in this space. Large, fully functional kitchen on the ground floor and a food pantry at the top of the stairs for storing food that needs to be protected from the light (such as homemade pickles or wine). The second floor features a garden and fish tank, where the client can also grow some common vegetables and spices for self-sufficiency, thereby reducing the client's unnecessary Exodus.
The attitude towards Work Otaku is to help them work more efficiently. The work area is positioned closer to the kitchen and bathroom to reduce unwanted movement in space. Use white curtains to block out some awkward life scenes and create a simple, clean workspace (especially for the formal online meeting) so that they can better immerse themselves in their work. By adding a transitional space (meditation area) between the workspace and the bedroom, I hope it can enrich the client's living experience.
When designing this space, I realize occupants like dressing up and sharing their fancy makeup. This led to the design of a small studio where makeup and photography are assembled. I conceived the logic of the actions of cleaning, dressing, shooting, and showing, thus linking the bathroom and the shooting space together. The hobby space is directly opposite a floor-to-ceiling window facing the exterior, through which customers can also show their outfits to the public.
This space focuses on the symbiotic relationship between pets and occupants. The pets sleeping shelf, occupants want to sleep with their pets and have them in the bedroom as well. Tatami mat is an area for owners and pets to play together. I also considered how to reintroduce some comfortable distance to each in an intimate relationship for health and fire protection reasons. The kitchen is walled off to prevent the pet from freely entering.
This space was designed to help my occupants better immerse themselves in their game world. I reference cinema design, using materials and curtains that block out light and absorb sound better. I cut holes in the wall separating the bathroom from the hobby space so that customers can see the screen, even when in the bathroom，they can continue to enjoy their game.
The Snug Area
The Bar Area
The Communication Area
The Communication Area
To eliminate Otaku social panic, Glitch bar is a communication space, using partition walls to keep appropriate social distances with strangers.
The entire bar is divided into two main areas, the individual cubicles near the bar on left side，I drew on the Irish pub snug for the design reference. There are some small, inside, screened-off rooms attached to the bar, with small windows for bartenders to pass drinks through, so no one could see the patron order. They also had curtain so that they couldn’t be seen from the outside, giving whoever was inside almost total privacy. On the other side is a more open communication area, also attached to a curtain to add some privacy. The lack of domesticity offers a relief, from what can be the fullest comforts of home.
There are two hidden entrances to the bar for Otaku, one for the snug area ，is connected to the building's elevator. And the other for the ‘ social escape exit’ in the washroom. When Otaku meets a stranger who is difficult to communicate with, just tell someone ‘ I‘d like to go to
the washroom ’, then slipping away.
People can scan the building using their device, and they can see different visual appearances. In my analysis of the character of the otaku, I think they are a group of people whose real-life seems rather monotonous, but online they have very fancy life. So when designing the realistic appearance of this project, I leaned towards a more monotonous form and tried to use AR to make something more interesting online.