Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master in Interior Architecture


Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Jonathan Bell

Second Advisor

Markus Berger

Third Advisor

Julia Bernert


There is an imbalance between the opportunities for aesthetic education in big cities and underdeveloped areas in China. Taking Shanghai and Beijing as examples, museums in big cities consume most art educational resources. People who live in rural or small towns hardly have access to the arts, making the aesthetic gap larger between cultural centers and cultural deserts.

This thesis proposes a new exhibition system that could send a series of accessible and sustainable exhibition structures around China to narrow the educational resources gap and synchronize cultural curriculum between different places. Decentralizing and democratizing the cultural center and bringing the exhibition space out of the museum will weaken its sanctification into four underdeveloped areas that lack cultural amenities: Qingdao, Handan, Yongshou, and Nuodeng. I will use Qingdao, my hometown, as a specific sample to show how a unit of exhibition structure could separate and regroup according to different cultural contexts. After a few years, I believe the culture desert will no longer be a desert, and the oasis will be across China.

I was inspired by a burr puzzle, an interlocking puzzle consisting of notched sticks in ancient China, to design the configuration of the exhibition’s structure. The structures will be assembled as a cube and transported easily by a truck. Each piece has a different shape and it could be combined into groups or exhibited by itself. This exterior exhibition won’t display any original artworks, but use augmented reality and holograms to show virtual images. The gap of principal structures will be filled by tiny cube seats made with local materials, which will offer regional characteristics to the public and recall nostalgia for the land they are standing on.


View exhibition online: Ruohan Duan, Cultural Acupuncture



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