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Condition_Lab is a Design Research Laboratory based within the School of Architecture at CUHK. Established in 2018, our primary focus is to improve people’s lives through design.

The Lab’s research resolves around designing socially responsible architectural prototypes. By working hand-in-hand with local partners on real sites, our aim is to develop projects that foster a better sense of community. The prototype acts as a vessel to generate new knowledge about how people inhabit their environment.

Our philosophy revolves around the paradox embedded into the word “condition”, as a noun it refers to a context, a circumstance, or a situation, while as a verb it implies change - to condition something based on an original state.




Condition_Lab © 2020 School of Architecture,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
 



Condition_Lab is a Design Research Laboratory based within the School of Architecture at CUHK. Established in 2018, our primary focus is to improve people’s lives through design.

The Lab’s research resolves around designing socially responsible architectural prototypes. By working hand-in-hand with local partners on real sites, our aim is to develop projects that foster a better sense of community. The prototype acts as a vessel to generate new knowledge about how people inhabit their environment.




Rural Prototypes
Hong Kong, 2019
Direct Grant
Redefining a New Material Consciousness for Hakka Villages


This design research project looks at the possibilities of rethinking abandoned rural Chinese villages and capitalizing on a disappearing rural culture. After the catastrophic effects on urban heritage, modernization is now in the process of decimating most of China’s rural villages. By designing “prototype” for the abandoned Hakka village of Hexin Wu (何新屋), located in Guangdong Province, China, our ambition is to present an alternative way to re-think the issue.

The project wishes to challenge conventional preservation paradigms, instigated by a national rural heritage policy focused on introducing tourism as a rural solution. In short, we aim to make abandoned villages operational again. By conceiving the village as an ecosystem, we will study a series of “real” prototypes with associated implementation strategies. “Real” in this context relates to showing sensibility and practicality to deliver proposals that can be achieved (financially) and implemented (buildable) by the community.

In this context, Hexin Wu village represents an example of a Chinese village, rich in heritage, not deemed worthy of preservation. An abundant number of villages of this kind exist, all of which are confronted with a dark reality: i.e. face certain extinction or lose their soul by giving way to the practice of “Disneyfication”, a form of architectural conservation that mutates villages into an architectural taxidermy museum.



Fund
HKD 200, 000

Period
2019 - 2020

Research Team
Prof. Peter W. Ferretto
WANG Haoran Howard

Collaboration
Guangzhou University
Prof. CAI Ling


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