Zhicheng Xu

Zhicheng Xu is a graduate fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Department of Architecture.

Studied Landscape Architecture and Studio Art, he graduated from Purdue University in 2015 with distinction. Originally from Chengdu, China, he is interested in exploring how culture manifests itself through architecture and landscape, as well as the interaction between humans and the built environment. While at Purdue, his research project: Natural Water as Cultural Water was honored with an Excellence Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) - the highest honor given to academic work in the field.

In professional practice, Zhicheng directs his work toward small scale installation, urban design, and architecture. He worked with Sasaki Associates in Boston on many notable international projects, including Kabul Framework Plan in Afghanistan, Tec de Monterrey Masterplan in Mexico, and Las Salinas New Community Plan in Chile. At the same time, he manages Minimax Studio, an experimental design platform where he engages in competitions and research while collaborating on architectural projects with like-minded individuals around the world.

Zhicheng’s works have been recognized nationally and internationally. He has won awards from the Urban Land Institute, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the National Landscape Architecture Foundation, ASLA-Indiana, and ASLA-Boston. He has participated in architectural exhibitions at the RMIT Design Hub and the Latrobe Regional Gallery in Australia, the Center for Architecture in New York, and in Boston. He has also published projects and writings in magazines, such as the Landscape Architecture Magazine in the US, Archiworld in Korea, and the LAFrontiers in China.

Areas of Interest
Art and Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Building Materials, Computation, Digital Fabrication, Fine Arts, Graphic Representation, Heritage Planning, Housing, Landscape Architecture and Natural Systems, Modern Architecture, Public Art, Urban Design, Visualization


2009 - 2015
BSLA, Purdue University
2009 - 2015
Minor - Studio Art, Purdue University

Academic Experience

Present -
Research Assistant, Harvard GSD
Present -
Research Assistant, MIT
2017 - 2018
Guest Critic, Boston Architectural College
2014 - 2015
Teaching Assistant / Professional Cooperative Programs, Purdue University
2013 - 2014
Committee Member, Purdue University College of Agriculture Awards Committee
2013 - 2013
Teaching Assistant / LA Core I & II, Purdue University

Professional Experience

2019 - 2019
Design Researcher, ecosistema urbano
2013 - 2018
Project Designer, Sasaki Associates
2017 - 2018
Committee Member, Landscape Architecture Foundation Olmsted Scholar Committee


2019 -
Urban Land Institute National Urban Design Competition First Prize, ULI Urban Land Institute
2019 -
Honor Award, ASLA American Society of Landscape Architects Indiana Chapter
- 2017
Honor Award (Project completed at Sasaki Associates), American Institute of Architects
- 2016
Honor Award (Project completed at Sasaki Associates), American Society of Landscape Architects
- 2015
National Olmsted Scholar Finalist, Landscape Architecture Foundation
- 2015
Olmsted Scholar, Purdue University
- 2015
Henry W. Gilbert Award, Indiana Landscape Association
- 2015
Pierre L’Enfant International Planning Excellence Award (Project completed at Sasaki Associates), APA
- 2013
Award of Excellence, American Society of Landscape Architects
- 2013
Award of Excellence, American Society of Landscape Architects Indiana Chapter
- 2013
Gruel Memorial Endowment Scholarship, Purdue University
2011 - 2013
Rex Hall Scholarship, Purdue University


- 2014
Boston: Sea Change Exhibition (Completed at Sasaki), Boston District Hall
- 2014
Urban SOS Competition, Center for Architecture in New York
2012 - 2013
Trainsting Cities Exhibition, RMIT University Design Hub Gallery / The Office of Urban Transformations Research