Embracing the Dichotomy

Sungchan Kim, Xijia Zhang, & Shunfan Zheng

In rural areas, agricultural production is a critical part of villager’s cultural identity, defining the activities of everyday life. However, often this custom is ignored and forced to be changed in order to urbanize the countryside by various urban policies. Rather taking this totalitarian stance, we propose a framework that practices everyday life as a catalyst which eventually revitalize the rural area.

Taishan’s cultural identity could be understood by two different agricultural lands (traditional rice farming and eel farms) which cover the majority of the area. By taking these two as main drivers, the project seeks the primary agriculture to trickle down to secondary industry and tertiary tourism through next 20 years.

Territorial Plan

Regional Plan

Fragment Plan

In the first phase, the framework suggests a hybridized landscape which is a combination of rice paddy and fish farm. According to the approximation of water resource in different sites, the new hybridized landscape will be differ by its ratio of water and farmland. This new form of agriculture will operate as an economic driver that provides new job to villagers and facilitate the village to attract new incomers etc. The village will enter its next phase by its initial economic growth, to meet growing needs. For instance, some villages would need more accommodation due to the increasing demographic or others will have to construct factories that turns agricultural production into commercial product. The project suggest two architectural interventions which are reinterpretation of traditional courtyard house in order to meet the new necessities as well a preserving old traditional buildings.

In sum, the project does not promote temporary development. However, by understanding and appreciating the everyday life, it suggests a sustainable vision for the countryside that extends in both future and the past.