News » POSTED 18.03.2014

Shaping Light: From Origami to Sun-shading screens

Nancy is visiting RMIT for Semester 1 from University of Oregon where she has been Head of Architecture at the Portland School. She is based in SIAL and collaborating on postgraduate research and to the new Master of Design Innovation and Technology Program.

Nancy Yen-wen Cheng, RA,LEED AP studies how tools and methods shape how designers think. Her Shaping Light project explores how physical prototyping and digital methods can be combined to foreground material properties in design. She is studying how shading devices with undulating surfaces can block heat and glare while using the sun’s movement to create dynamic visual interest. She is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at the RMIT’s Spatial Information Architecture Lab, collaboratively developing and measuring the cooling potential of folding surface structures. 

Cheng has been teaching sustainable architectural design and design communication at the University of Oregon since 1996, where she directed the Architecture Department’s Portland Architecture Program 2009-2013. She previously taught at the University of Hong Kong, connecting global partners in Virtual Design Studios. Since that time, she has used social media, electronic portfolios and international exchange programs to link students to professional experts. Cheng has headed the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA), the national AIA Technology in Architectural Practice group, and edited issues of the International Journal of Architectural Computing.

Shaping Light: From Origami to Sun-shading screens