CONNECTS Fellow: Tina Shen

“This is literally the first time that I’ve had the chance to talk to so many people: developers, people who live in the buildings, people who operate the service….It’s a really cool back and forth [process] to see how successful the design is, but also to look at the projects from a different point of view: by the locals, the residents, and also by the clients.”

– Tina Shen, CCA CONNECTS Fellow


Fellowship Description

Tina (Mengjie) Shen worked alongside Katie Ackerly, Associate at David Baker Architects, to develop a new post-occupancy toolkit for evaluating residents’ use of space. Tina shadowed Katie on site visits and helped create occupancy surveys, which which will provide David Baker important data for future projects. This process of integrating engagement into the design process allowed Tina to see first hand how design affects quality of living.

Tina spoke to how important engagement is to design:

“This is like the real time, having a conversation with those people, to listen and to observe, and to get the information from them. It’s a different learning process for me to think about how design really changes and affects their life quality….like after design, after people move into the building, what are the factors that make a difference. [This is] what we can learn as designers to improve or get a new insight of design for our next projects.”

CONNECTS Qualities

This Connects Fellowship is an example of:
  • Community impact on student
  • Importance of hands-on learning experience
  • Value of CCA student perspective
  • Opportunity for specialized creative project

Impact Statement

Site Mentor, Katie Ackerly (L) and CCA Fellow Tina Shen (R) share how CONNECTS impact them and their community:

“Tina provided a new perspective on the objectives we defined, and allowed us to put attention things in buildings that otherwise get overlooked.”

“Helps me look at architecture and design in a completely different way through having direct interactions with locals.”