Virtual Romance



Today (2014) 33% of couples have met online. By 2040 number will rise to 70%. Started from analysing region of highest usage of dating app in London, pleasure pier is proposed to manifest how the and pscyhological changes induced by online services are revealed in the urban context.

There is a big change to our social and emotiona relationship since mobile dating. This up-and-comin popular industry contributed to 3.6 billion pounds to the UK economy in 2013.
London has the highest rate of single people in England (34.6%) with a percentage of 44.1%, whereas the City of London has 59.3%, coherent to why the borough of the City has the most active users of mobile dating, specifically in the area of Bank, Liverpool street, St. Paul’s and Moorgate.

‘Centrepoint’, ‘Shangri-La1933’ and ‘thenorthpole__’
Dating profiles (on Tinder, OkCupid and

Tinder Tender
Illustrated Digital Print

The kilometre around Bank Station is the most active mobile dating site in London. The drawing uses Tinder profile tags to map this piece of city, using these virtual profiles as a tool to reveal a ‘live’ landscape of idealised self-image and desire.

City of London Dating Pier
Digital Print

Can a pleasure pier intervening the City of London provide answers for online daters’ romantic destiny?

The Pleasure Pier is proposed in the region of the highest dating app usage in the UK. Its purpose is to test what online dating has introduced and influenced in our daily life experiences and behaviours, and reflecting how people project their romantic ideals in the urban environment. This pleasure pier, programmed according to ideas that the dating industry and mass media impose upon us, is
designed to expose and optimise the idealisation, romantic transaction and self-advertisement taken place in the virtual reality. Serving as an outlet for the daters’ desire, the pier immediately puts their fantasies into physical actions.

This pier, 1 kilometer in length (corresponding to the distance search unit of dating apps) spans across banks and commercial areas in the City out to the River Thames, interlocking the existing consumerist shops and amenities.

Along the pier structure, the walkway through and landscape design of the waiting space are the main typologies, containing spaces underneath / on top of the pier structure to test virtual romance. This series of spaces intend to overplay and intensify moments and ideas associated with romantic activities, online and offline, manifesting in a walkway of romantic intensity forcing us to act and analyse our own behaviours simultaneously.

One-to-one Study for Multipurpose Building Element:
Holistically plastic - Polyester resin casted on CNC milled extruded polystyrene foam, in which the insulation and buoyancy properties can then be taken forward for developing wall and floor systems.

Material and Form-finding at Urban Scale:
Fragmentation and transparency increase as the pier goes towards the Thames.

13 - 16th Feburary 2014
Work-In-Progress Show Architecture
Henry Moore Gallery, Darwin Building RCA, 
South Kensington, London