Mega-block housing developments, at a rate of over 10 new superblocks completed each day, are taking over the fabric of Chinese cities. China’s dominant mandate for the built environment, that all new housing developments must be self-contained gated communities, embodies potential benefits for integrating commerce and services, maintaining density, and localizing infrastructure and governance, but induces consequences for transit connectivity, resource consumption, civic participation, and adaptive growth. Moreover, the image of generic housing blocks repeating across the landscape raises serious questions about the role of architecture and aesthetics in the production of the city. As China expands its exports from manufactured goods to the export of culture and construction paradigms, shifts in policy and design of the Mega-Block today may have massive long-term impacts on global development.
How can designers and planners partner with developers to create housing blocks that are both energy-conscious and profitable? What are the alternatives to Mega-Block development? How can we re-imagine the Mega-Block development by intensifying its efficiency while increasing connectivity to the larger urban network?
Join the Global Charrette Weekend, with participating teams from Columbia University, USC, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and other institutions, in this collaborative investigation of the urban typologies of China and beyond. Submissions will be judged for inclusion in an exhibition and forthcoming publication of the China Lab @ GSAPP.
Submission requirements will be posted at www.china-lab.org on Friday, February 15. The charrette entry will have four components:
- Axonometric line drawing/diagram of the team’s mega-block intervention, highlighting the primary concept
- Additional material to support the design/intervention concept, in media of the team?s choice (including drawing boards, video, essay, etc)
- Title and brief description of intervention concept
- Photos of the charrette in progress
Send an e-mail of intent to participate to [email protected], listing your institution, contact name and e-mail, team size (3 to 5 students recommended), and name of faculty adviser. Teams are encouraged to include students from multiple disciplines (architecture, urban planning, real estate, environmental studies, engineering, cultural studies, policy), and to request a faculty adviser. Download background information from www.china-lab.org.
Please contact the China Lab at [email protected] if your team would like to make alternate arrangements for participation.
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