Shanghai, China Travel Studio with Tongji University
Prof Ann Pendleton-Jullian & Prof Sarah Cowles
In collaboration with Nick Bruckelmeyer, Jonathan Leonard, and Kyle Schneider.
A global post-industrial shift has rendered waterways and many warehouses and factories unused. The objective of the Suzhou market project addressed issues of scale, system, pattern, play, and emergence with the goal of reactivating the once bustling waters and banks of the Suzhou River in Shanghai. Approaching these topics, we identified existing systems, and through the addition of familiar elements, re-activated a diminishing Shanghainese lilong vernacular housing strategy on the river itself.
Overall, our proposal is a system of multiples that emerge from individual pieces. The individual piece is a specifically designed boat that, when multiplied, becomes a lively peripatetic market. The design of the boat functions on a series of dichotomies: public and private, retail and residential, service and storage. Each of these programs sectionally relates to the others allowing for aligning relationships to other boats in a collective arrangement.
Activation of spaces through connection typologies allows Shanghai’s underground economies to emerge. Orientation of the vessels present in a market dictate the type of market and reversal of the archetypal orientation make a socially constructed signal of the underground markets presence. This reversal of orientation creates commerce only shared by the individuals piloting the merchant ships. Through a specific, coordinated alignment, the underground market remains hidden from authority, analogous to the prevalent socioeconomic construct present in Shanghai today. This yields an understanding of the types of interaction in terms of cooperation, coordination and conflict.
In essence, this project is a global issue, but relies on the individual specificities of the Shanghai culture and dynamics that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Specifically, a project like this cannot be immediately replicated anywhere without being closely bound to ways the affected population lives.
Status: School Project
Location: The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture