All Projects
 ︎︎︎Research
 ︎︎︎Teaching
 ︎︎︎Design

News
People
Contact
Outreach

Facebook
Instagram
Issuu
Wechat
 



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.




M1
Hong Kong, 2018
Condition/ Real Villages:
Rethinking China’s Countryside 


“Architects don’t invent anything, they transform reality. Architecture does not have a pre-established language nor does it establish a language. It is a response to a concrete problem, a situation of transformation” (Siza, 2015)

This Design Research Studio 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 “real” projects for the abandoned 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. 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 these abandoned villages operational again.

By conceiving the village as an ecosystem, students will design a series of “real” prototypes with associated implementation strategies. “Real” in this context relates to showing sensibility and practicality to deliver a series of 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.

The studio is organized around a series of discussions, an exploration of thoughts via spatial proposals. The design process will be done through models, vis-à-vis understanding design through threedimensional exploration. Drawings will be removed from the design process and only introduced in the last phase of the project, conceived as a survey of the designed space. Students will work in teams of three, conjuring a strategic scheme from which an individual project will develop. Finally, by working in a real village, which requires tangible solutions the aim of the studio is to rekindle a connection between the Design Studio (within architecture education) and social responsibility. Architecture improves people’s lives; student’s projects should not be confined to a remote hard disk or worse a landfill site but should be pushed into the real world to make an impact on society.

︎︎︎ Studio Brief


Studio Instructor
Prof. Peter W. Ferretto



︎︎︎Previous   Next︎︎︎