2020 GFD 🏆 Awards

3rd Award: REVEAL by Poyao Shih & Anita Cheng

REVEAL was an art exhibition for the very first Taiwan Arts Festival held at the Smith Center Arts Wing at Harvard University in November, 2019. The exhibition gathered various mediums of artwork including oil painting, photography, film, architecture, and archeaology, and provided a platfom for artwork inspired by Taiwan. The intention of the exhibition was to bring viewers from all backgrounds to experience the diversity and complexity of Taiwanese culture.

3rd Award- Global Future Design Awards 2020
Architect/Designer | Poyao Shih & Anita Cheng
Category | Pop-Ups & Temporary
Team | Poyao Shih, Anita Cheng
Country | United States
Photographer/Copyright | ©Poyao Shih, Chia Liang Liu
Year: 2019

Location: Camrbidge, MA. USA
Photography Credits: Poyao Shih, Chia Liang Liu
Fabrication Team: Emily Tseng, Tim Wei-Ting Hung, Eugene Chuang, Cody Yiu Eve Lee, Po-Yu Chen Yuan-Ting Chang, Fan-Yun Lan, MeiCheng Shih, Wendy Ting, Wen Lei Chiu, Tiffany Yang, Jerry Lin, Sammi Chung, Ada Shaw, Feng-en Tu, I-Ting Huang, Charles Chen, Vita Wang, Ya-Yun Hsiao, Hung-Ju Kan, Ken C. Chang, Siao Huei, Chuan-Heng Hsiao, Amy Weng, Hung-Yi Wu, Hsin Yin Tu, Adeline Wang, Huichi Yang, Blake Liu, Chi-Ning Chou, Chihfu Wei

©Poyao Shih, Chia Liang Liu

The exhibition was designed with a series of modular structures made out of transparent roofing panels (corrugated boards) and 2×2 timbers inspired by the omnipresent building elements for rooftop expansion in the cities in Taiwan. The intention of using familiar materials ties with the expression of Taiwanese culture and identity placing in the US as our critique to cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary medium.


As the main material for this installation, roofing panel is widely used in backyards or greenhouses in the U.S. However, it is a cultural signification and representation of urban life in Taiwan. In the 90s, when the demand for housing was high and the regulation of housing was not so restricted, housing expansion on the rooftop has become a common, popular, and affordable solution to housing shortage and increased housing prices in the cities. Nowadays, rooftop expansion is no longer acceptable in major cities because of safety concerns. The amount of rooftop expansion has also decreased due to city developments. Housing demands has changed housing typology from low rise buildings to high rise apartments which don’t encourage housing expansion on the rooftops. This urban condition has been discussed in many fields including the design discipline. The expansion, although it causes safety issues and visual disturbance among the city landscape, is a unique phenomenon that represents the freedom of living and city dynamics growing in organic and self-developed ways.


Our approach to feature such significant material was to transform them into displaying structures that tailored to perform for different types of artwork and designed to integrate the interaction between their differences. For instance, small scale photographs can be mounted onto vertical roofing panel (type A, D); whereas artifacts for archaeological research project required flat surface to place items on (type E, F, G). Architectural project needs a combination of vertical and horizontal surface for drawings and physical models (type B3, H, I).


The name REVEAL seeks to bring new understanding of the roofing panels through a series of transformation. The design aims to rethink the beauty of the material itself and reveal the story behind every panel of the artwork. The exhibition space juxtaposes all the artworks and demonstrate their relatable dialogue through the transparency of the layout. It is also through the folding corrugated modules and displaying structure that reveal the art and culture of Taiwan.