• Thinking and Building on Shaky Ground
    Yun Fu
    Birkhäuser, 2023
    Yun Fu

Yun Fu, "Structural Arrangement of Cases in Schema 1 - Lightness," 2023. Digital image. Courtesy the author

Thinking and Building on Shaky Ground is a book about designing for risk and resilience and can be read at three scales. First, the book argues that it is misguided for designers to think about earthquakes as purely technical problems. Working with 120 case studies across 30 countries, the book shows that designers have come up with different design options and strategies that combine technical knowledge with several kinds of cultural and social understandings. Second, the book argues that the diversity of options and strategies for seismic architecture can be conceived in terms of six distinct schemas or ways of viewing the world. What is shareable between designers is not the repeated use of the same technical solutions but a sense of the schema. Third, the book argues that the ability to recognize different kinds of design innovation will be key to navigating the new scales of risk and uncertainty in the Anthropocene era.

Yun Fu is an architect, partner of Semester Studio, and faculty at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design (GSD), where he coauthored and coordinates the core Architecture in Urban Design studio and teaches lecture courses on Housing Architecture and Urban Design Theory. Fu’s scholarly work focuses on reexamining familiar design problems and definitions of good design. Recent publications include The Global Villager (Harvard Design Magazine, 2022), Southeast Asian Modern: From Roots to Contemporary Turns (Birkhäuser, 2022), and Korean Modern: The Matter of Identity (Birkhäuser, 2021). Fu held the Rome Prize at the British School, the Sinclair Kennedy Travelling Fellowship, and was the Confucius Visiting Scholar at Peking University. He received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from UNSW Sydney with the AIA Undergraduate Design Medal; a MArch I AP from Harvard University GSD with the AIA Henry Adams Medal; and a doctoral degree from Harvard University.