Nancy Cheng

Portland Architecture Program Director & Associate Professor, University of Oregon

I study how tools and methods shape design thinking.  I am interested in how the sensory experience of places can be supplemented by virtual connections and digital tools. I work at building sustainable communities within my school and extending outward.  I’ve used the Web to enhance learning since working on Virtual Design Studios at the University of Hong Kong.  You can see how I use wikis and websites in design communication and architectural studios below and on my teaching page that links to older material. My old website has more background info about earlier research in Virtual Design Studios.

Email me: nywc at uoregon dot edu



I am intrigued by the mystery of light and shadow: sometimes we can see a shadow and not understand how it was produced.  The evocative quality of changing shadows lead me to focus on screens for filtering light as a way to experiment with digital fabrication processes.  I can experiment with how physical and digital processes can be combined to generate compelling screens that control how sunlight is admitted into a space. Parametric software and machine processes can generate new kinds of apertures and surface qualities.  Playing with lighting sources, angles of incidence and view can reveal the optical-material effects and produce endless visual variations.

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