The thesis rethinks high-density urban housing typologies through the removal of lifts, cores & corridor circulation with the employment of an exterior, decentralised system. This results in a topologically complex, mixed-use building typology where circulation allows for a threedimensional, networked architecture. By implementing the technology of wireless energy transmission & wireless communication, LIF(e)T is capable of allowing spontaneous communication between users of the system. The lift system allows for creating spaces on demand & a distributed energy system, while also collecting solar energy & transfering it wirelessly. Additionally, variation in facade transparency as well as the distribution & movement of the lifts produces qualitative design effects that are intrinsic to the life-cycle of the building. The project utilises the logic of stigmergy within an algorithmic methodology to find comparatively optimised networks, determine efficient behaviours & define populations within a particular site scenario. Through testing of various prototypes our project explores the possibility of universal movement & space geometry for passengers as well as temporary space aggregation, lift behaviour in regards to the force needed for movement & the flexibility of wireless power transmission technologies within the temporal aggregations of lifts. The project is situated in Shanghai between Shanghai Pudong International Airport & Shanghai city centre in order to address working & living relationships that have emerged between the dense metropolis & transportation hub. The system allows for efficient mobility between public programmes that are mixed with housing through our novel transport system. Furthermore, we utilise renewable captured energy & decentralised energy distribution for a more efficient use of resources.

Project Name:

Robert Stuart-Smith

Team Name:
C.I.Agent Group

Team members:
Tianyi Chen (China), Vineeth T. K. (India), Haocheng Yang (China), Lei Yang (China)

Tyson Hosmer


autonomous lift unit

diagrammatic functionality


public space

public space


functional model

exterior view