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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 © 2021 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.



FUNG Sze Wai Veera

Thesis Topic:

An Endogenous Housing Production Model for the Dong Minority in Tongdao County, Hunan, China


Abstract:

The housing industry in Dong villages of Tongdao County, Hunan has undergone substantial changes over the last two decades. For centuries, the construction of the traditional dwelling has been an essential pier supporting the self-sufficient economy of the Dong communities. However, under the pressure of rural development, the local households seek to redefine the notion of house through the use of modern technology, material, utility, and stylistic expression, all of which are foreign to the very context of the local territory. In consequence, the associated economic activities in the house building process has been re-directed towards the urban areas, causing the further disjunction of the urban-rural development.

There is no denying that Dong housing is in need of modernization. However, intrinsic to this paradigm shift is the question of how to reorient these rural initiatives to maximize the retention of the benefits within the local territory, and more importantly, provide impetus for the sustainable development of the Dong Minority.

To this end, the research is structured into three parts. First, it aims to formulate a comprehensive profile of the existing housing construction industry in Pingtan area. Second, with the intention to uncover the underlying economic network, the research pays specific attention to the traditional and “modernized” housing production process in terms of individuals, activities, information, and resources. Lastly, the research attempts to propose an alternative house production method, in the form of a pilot prototype, to regenerate economic vibrancy at local level.