Rui Ma profile picture


Architecture - PhD/MPhil/MSc by Research

Mode of study:

Full time

Research title:

Object, Action, and Space: Architecture as comedy-generator apparatus in comedy films


Rui Ma is a young architecture graduate who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Melbourne. He has acted as a team leader for architecture competitions and was one of the students responsible for inviting local architects to give lectures to the students and the public. He has working experience in architectural design companies and cultural institutions in China. His article on the historical buildings in Melbourne received over 7000 page views in total. He also has experience in architectural filmmaking, interviewing architects, and translating architecture-related journal articles from English and Chinese and vice versa. He also has a wide range of volunteer experiences within the discipline, such as the Open House Melbourne, the Open day of Robin Boyd Foundation, and the Melbourne City Forum.


Cinematic Architecture/ Comedy Film/ Design Pedagogy

This research will closely examine the relationship between comedy and architecture through the lens of cinema. The aim of the proposed research is to identify how architecture and its elements can act as comedy-generator machines, such as in the work of Buster Keaton, Mr Bean, Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, and Jacque Tati. Cinema has proven to be a rich archive for architects to conduct post-occupancy studies. Studying comedy films will provide a unique perspective to look into the unusual interactions between people and architecture in everyday life. The possible outcomes of the research can be useful to the field of theory, pedagogy and design of architecture. This research is conceived to have a pedagogical phase through which the research experiments with how comedy (and spatial comedy making) can operate as a pedagogical tool for design thinking.