happy hearth


Typology:  Short Film

Timeline:  Summer 2022

Tutor:  Nathan Su

Collaborators:  Kuan Heng Chen

Our living, working, and recreational spaces are layered with the imprints of our choices, relationships, and ideologies. They reflect the broader world we inhabit, including technologies, cultures, and infrastructures. Architects shape rooms for human behavior, while writers and designers see them as repositories of history. In our project, we created "After Images" of events within and around rooms.

Using Unreal Engine 5 and Cinema4D, we crafted detailed virtual interiors, focusing on set dressing, lighting, composition, and rendering. Like photographers, we captured scenes in progress, revealing clues to social, economic, and environmental contexts. Our goal was to reimagine the consequences of near-future events over hours, months, and years.

These immersive virtual spaces offer more than visual appeal. They provide insights into the narratives and implications of the events that shaped them.




Derek Hayworth rushed to evacuate Happy Hearth, his longtime home, as forest fires became an everyday part of life in 2050. As he looked back at the place, he felt a strange sense of nostalgia for the lost character of the old days and the Chinese household that had lived there before him.

Long ago, architecture was sensitive to the land and the people who inhabited it, granting spaces a sense of soul and belonging. But as Derek surveyed the modern architecture around him, he couldn't help but feel that it had lost this connection, serving only a specific function and born out of necessity.

The devastating fires were fueled by climate change, igniting pine needles, shrubs, and grass in extreme heat. The destruction they wrought was a powerful reminder of the need to rethink our relationship with the environment and the way we design our built environment.