Chuheng Tan (M.Arch)

Haipeng Zhong (M.Arch)

2022 – 2023


This project is about landslide-responsive design in the mountainous region of Yunnan, China. It aims to mitigate the effects of landslides on slope constructions by studying and strategizing slope remediation and planning. The method focuses on exploring the resilience of structural systems based on mycelium bio composites, assessing their potential to withstand landslide impacts.


The primary cause of landslides is the absorption of excessive moisture by the rocks and soil on slopes, which diminishes the soil’s internal friction, thereby reducing slope stability and eventually triggering landslides. Buildings situated on mountainous slopes are particularly vulnerable to damage from debris flow erosion, resulting in significant loss of life and property. The current landslide resistance structure strategy can be summarized as rigid protection and flexible protection. Rigid protective structural materials rely on overall stiffness to resist dynamic forces; flexible protective structural materials are lightweight and cushioned, distributing forces through their deformability. The team has evaluated existing methods in slope engineering and drainage systems, integrating these with a thorough mudflow assessment approach.


The proposal includes altering the slope’s geometry, incorporating retaining structures and stepped terraces to enhance slope stability. Additionally, the implementation of a drainage system to remove excess moisture from landslides is designed, thereby increasing soil internal friction. The project also proposes a land use comprehensive rearrangement method, aiming to restructure urban infrastructure and amenities in a way that can either redirect or lessen the effects of landslides.


Moving to the building structural level, the team incorporates the use of Mycelium biocomposites and introduces sandwich panel modular system. It employs genetic algorithms and topology optimization to create a structural system that can effectively be resistant to landslides. This system can be further developed to encompass more complex customized material systems and structural optimization based on simulations of other extreme environmental conditions.