Taishan Commons is a multi-dimensional project that aims to elevate the region’s declining social governance while reconstituting the local power as the key stakeholder for rural development. Situated as both a research project and community resource, the platform seeks to record, analyse, and project into the future of Taishan Commons during its post-industrial transition.

As new modes of urbanity encroach upon the very definition of rurality, we must reconceptualize how these places can adapt, live, and thrive. Moreover, imagining more nuanced methods of heritage conservation, community building, and architectural habitation are key to keeping the countryside the dynamic landscape it is defined by.

The project has been investigated through workshops and design studios at the South China University of Technology, School of Architecture and Harvard Graduate School of Design, Department of Urban Planning and Design and Department of Landscape Architecture.

Taishan Commons 是一个多维度的项目,旨在提升本地日益衰落的社会治理水平,同时重整地方力量,使其成为农村发展的关键利益相关者。作为一个研究项目和社区资源,此平台致力于记录、分析和预测“台山社会”在后工业时代的发展。


本项目通过在华南理工大学建筑学院举行的研讨会和在哈佛大学设计研究生院建筑与设计学院、城市 规划与设计系和景观建筑系举办的设计工作室进行开发。

Principal Investigator

Elaine Kwong ︎︎︎

Research Assistants

Cadence Bayley
Sam Naylor ︎︎︎

Web Design & Illustrations

Sam Naylor ︎︎︎

Spring 2020 Studio ︎︎︎

Shing & Partners Design Group

Kathryn Firth ︎︎︎
Elaine Kwong ︎︎︎
David Rubin ︎︎︎

Cadence Bayley
Craig Borkenhagen
Vicky Chen
Shizheng Geng
Sai Joshi
Benjamin Keller
Sungchan Kim
Kwang Lee
Yaxi Liu
Sam Naylor
Zoe Wu
Xijia Zhang
Hua Zheng
Shunfan Zheng


The Taishan Project ︎︎︎

Cangdong Heritage Education Center ︎︎︎

Dr. Selia Tan ︎︎︎

The Transnational Lives of Chinese Migrants ︎︎︎


Can technology enable site-specific knowledge? A studio examining transformations in rural China tests the limits of remote ethnography. Harvard GSD. 2020 ︎︎︎

How I’m Restoring One of China’s Most Beautiful Villages. Sixth Tone. 2019 ︎︎︎

Director of Tourism, Tiashan City ︎︎︎

Stanford-led effort examines homes of 19th-century Chinese migrants. Stanford News. 2019 ︎︎︎

How the ‘Home of Overseas Chinese’ Is Memorializing Emigrants. Sixth Tone. 2017 ︎︎︎

Families who’ve lived in old Chinese town for generations being kicked out to make way for tourists. South China Morning Post. 2017 ︎︎︎

Dafen Village Faces Redevelopment as Art Park. MCLC Resource Center. 2017 ︎︎︎

At Home Abroad In Taishan County. The Wall Street Journal. 1999 ︎︎︎

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