Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor

Malcolm Rio

Second Advisor

Pablo Castillo Luna

Third Advisor

Aaron Tobey


The existence of surveillance areas restricts many bad behaviors, but why do we still feel vague anxiety and uneasiness when walking through street corners and promenades in a city protected by a network of cameras? As China has implemented grid management of cities through the establishment of the “Skynet”—— a system that uses facial recognition and surveillance cameras to strengthen public safety, the crime rate has dropped significantly. But public safety doesn’t just mean fewer criminal activities. Reducing people’s perceived insecurity and anxiety has become a new challenge in China today. “Corner Revolution” explores the transformative power of architectural design to enhance urban safety and tranquility. The thesis focuses on gray spaces in between public and Private space - corners, alleys, dead ends, etc. - aiming to alleviate the anxiety and insecurity existing in daily spaces through spatial intervention methods, and to have a positive impact on human behavior, thereby transcending the limitations of “China Skynet”. Using virtual reality (VR) technology, users are immersed in a 1:1 virtual environment and experience the profound impact of thoughtful design elements such as layout, lighting, materials and landscaping to evaluate the feasibility of different design interventions. This immersive and dynamic and flexible approach bridges the gap between theoretical concepts and real-world applications, is more adaptable to the fast-paced and updated urban life, and provides new guidelines for creating tranquil and safe urban spaces. The “Corner Revolution“ ultimately champions the role of architecture in promoting social well-being and redefining the boundaries of urban design.



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