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City of Desire
In the last five years, a new way of consumption – the 'sharing economy' – has permeated into people’s daily life in China. Products such as sharing bikes can be used simply by scanning their barcode. However, this on-demand sharing economy has generated massive quantities of objects which are gradually eating into our urban space and changing our cities and homes. Consequently, more and more objects are appearing in people's domestic life.
'Slash youth' is a group of people (and a lifestyle) which emerged with the rise of the sharing economy, who are not satisfied with having only one job but prefer to have more diverse jobs and identities. They are young professionals who live in rented apartments. When they move into the room, they gradually fill it up with their own objects, either related to their interests or their jobs. So, with the massive quantity and diversity of objects, their rooms become more than a space to sleep, but also a living, working and dining space. Therefore, what really defines the building typology is not the conventional architectural elements, but the 'objects' which appear in the space and define the use of the space.
Taking inspiration from Reyner Banham's words 'a home is not a house': when your house contains such complex piping, wiring and lighting, when this hardware could stand by itself without any assistance from the house, why have a house to hold it up?
And if we have so many objects in our life, which are enough to construct the space itself, then why do we still need the walls?
'City of Desire' is speculating an extreme scenario of people's future lifestyle whereby the excessive quantity of objects becomes the main architectural character in the future Chinese city. So in the 'city of desire', all the conventional buildings will be replaced by the 'tower of objects'. For instance, in the tower which 200 'slash youth' inhabit, the architectural elements such as walls and ceilings were replaced by a metal frame structure, allowing the 'slash youth' to fill up their rooms and common space with objects. Thus, buildings have been converted into an accumulation place of objects that people can inhabit in. And eventually, our city will be a giant site for the infinite accumulation of objects, but only provide different proportions of space, which will offer alternative ways of living or choosing to be alone – in their room or being together – in a collective space.
School of Architecture
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- B.Eng Architecture, Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University, 2015; BA Architecture, University of Liverpool, 2015; MSc Landscape Urbanism, Architectural Association School of Architecture, 2016
- Architectural assistant, Relational Urbanism Ltd, London, 2016; Internship, Kengo Kuma & Associates, Shanghai, 2017