Danning Niu
Design Portfolio


Reflection Room Design
Fleet Library, 15 Westminister Street, Providence, RI
Fall 2019, 1 Week

Whether it be a prayer mat, a meditation rug, or simply a carpet in your bedroom, this extra surface defines a space that transcends the common experience. It provides opportunities for a connection to a higher being, the deepening of conscious awareness, or genuine comfort. Borrowed from a vocabulary that simultaneously has sacred connotations and is familiar to us in everyday life, our design of a reflection space seeks to show respect to all religious practices, enrich spiritual experience and allow a moment of solitary refuge from the business and anxiety of everyday life.

Team: Kelly He, Mary Iorio, Serafima Kovalevskaya, Guijiadong Lin, Priyanka Marupudi, Wesley Sanders, & Qing Shi

The “mat” design takes the form of a continuous surface that extends from the ground and wraps around the entire existing room. This simple gesture elevates the ground, upon which many contemplative activities take place, and transforms the harsh edges of a rectilinear space to a sensal, curvilinear enclosure. The openness of the platform allows free movement and interpretation of the space.

Full-scale prototype

We believe the contemplative nature of a space is evoked through a total experience. Therefore, not only do we want to create a versatile and ergonomically comfortable form that serves the purposes of individual introspection, meditation, and religious observation, we also seek to create an aesthetic ambience with the choice of natural materials and ambient lighting. The horizontal cuts make the form structurally malleable and visually convey a sense of peacefulness. The diffused lights along the interior of the curve can be adjusted under different activity settings and create an immersive, tranquil atmosphere.