Exhibition ‘Collective Forms in China’ at the 2016 Beijing Design Week

 

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The Story of the People’s Commune
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The Story of the Danwei

The history of Chinese city planning follows a cellular logic of development, growth and control. In this logic, the changing ideas of collectivity and autonomy are embodied in both socio-philosophical and spatial terms through repetitive modular units – collective forms. In its essence, the collective form actualises the choreography of everyday life and it hinges on clearly defined social ties.

The urban danwei, rural people’s commune in recent history and the traditional courtyard house are collective forms that dominated both social and spatial organisations of their times. Laying the foundations on today’s urban and rural China, their impacts are still visible and real.

Historical settlements in Beijing like Batasi [the White Pagoda Temple] are often seen as enclaves, disconnected from their rapidly changing contexts and lacking the sense of aliveness. The fall of historical form and the alienated everyday life embedded in it reveal the dilemma of historical settlements in China’s urban development today. Revisiting the legacy of Baitasi through the lens of collective forms gives us a new perspective to rethink the issue of regeneration.

Through narratives drawings, this exhibition is aimed to tell a story of how people have lived and worked in danwei and people’s commune as well as the relation between everyday life and space. Examining the rise and fall of these two distinct historical models is to understand what collective forms mean to both the society and individuals, thus to rediscover opportunities of regeneration from the deep logic of social and spatial organisations in China.

 

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Exhibition Photos

集体形制让人不能不想起“单位”这个词。曾经根植在中国城市基因和个人记忆里的“集体”和“单位”,如今已从城市机体上衰败、脱落。但这种集体形制是否还可以衍化出新的空间体验,还能让国人承接与创造?

如果将中国现代城市的发展比喻成裂变的细胞,那么最基础的细胞便是一些可复制的模块化单元,即本次展览所关注的“集体形制”。而它最为核心的,是透过这种空间形式对其中的“人”所产生的深远影响。人们的日常行为规范在“集体形制”中被实体化,而社会关系网络被定义出来。在属于它们的时代里,无论是在社会作用还是空间组织上,城市的单位和农村地区的人民公社,都占据着极为重要的地位。在此基础构架之上发展起来的中国城市与农村,依然深受其影响。

此展览从集体形制的角度重新解读曾经的公社村落和武汉钢铁厂旧社区,试图为其重建与再生提供新的视角和可能性。展览通过叙事性的图解,展现曾经在单位和公社里的生活和工作,揭示生活与空间的关系。作为两种极为重要的空间模型,通过它们的兴盛与衰落,也许能让人更好地理解空间形式与社会和个人的关系,追溯更远更深层的脉络与原因,寻找重建与再生的可能。

http://www.btsremade.org/projects/collective-forms-in-china/

 

Highlights from our 2016 Workshop

 

 

 

 

Reports from 2016 Visiting School in Wuhan

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Danwei Site – Wugang, Wuhan, Hubei, P. R. China

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People’s Commune Site – Shigushan, Xinzhou District, Wuhan, Hubei, P. R. China

 

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AAVS Wuhan Seminar/Workshop/Review

 

General Collective Forms, AA Visiting School Oerview: http://cargocollective.com/acrossarchitecture/AAVS

Workshop Launch (Aug 2016): http://cargocollective.com/acrossarchitecture/AAVS-AA-1

Site Visit: http://cargocollective.com/acrossarchitecture/AAVS-AA-2

Interim Review: http://cargocollective.com/acrossarchitecture/AAVS-AA-3

Final Review: http://cargocollective.com/acrossarchitecture/AAVS-AA-4