Considering our physical built environment as the largest kind of interface between human and the surrounding space, Sora is interested in finding ways to computationally represent human visual spatial experiences that are produced by the forms that comprise designed ambient environments.

FORM studio, Fall 2016

(update in progress)

Some of the student works from the fall semester (’16) may be clear examples of ideas and concepts, especially of design thinking and fundamentals of visual/spatial design.

Conventional materials for self-supporting form

This is one of my favorites; it shows a simple and direct way to create 3d form by cutting and folding using flat sheet material. Parameters of the folded triangles – size (width : height ratio too), density in the plane, direction of lines, and locations of diverging and converging points of the lines. Different papers were tested. The final form was made of the wax-coated paper (the one used for paper cup) to maintain the form with no additional structure.

fold to 3d, final
study models made of copier paper


Generating all possible solutions

This project was an extension of one of the small exercises, the Schroder House anaylsis (De Stijl movement, Utrecht, Netherlands, 1924, brief intro). The cube-shaped space can be changed by pulling and pushing pieces. This rather simple design presents all potential compositions when sliding the pieces as needed, as part of the design process.

plan diagrams showing all possible plans & elevations by sliding parts


(more to come)

Gestalt theory in visual perception (void/solid relationship)

sectional diagrams showing the forms of individual layers


Joint without glue

flat sheet standing still
closeup 2

Naturally parametric

final – outside
early process model, showing the structure
early process model 2
drawing from the process

Simple robust constructible modules

looking in

light and form


Sora’s research comprises two main areas, computational design and design education.  Research interests include the following:

  • Design methods and representation
  • Modeling spatial qualities
  • Developing computer-aided design tools and systems
  • Physical/Digital Fabrication (hybrid Fab.)




Sora is currently a lecturer and designer who programs to conduct research.

Prior to her PhD work she worked in architectural design in Seattle and Seoul. She has been teaching Design foundations, Visual representation & Spatial composition, and Introduction to digital media, all for college students. She holds the Ph.D. in Computational Design (advisor, Mark D Gross), Carnegie Mellon University and M.Arch, University of Washington.

For more information, or questions and comments, email at sora.key at gmail.com.