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Do The Wild Thang Teaching 2011
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Do The Wild Thang

Design Research Studio, RMIT University

In the throes of marginal swellings, crude and dramatic up-scalings, explosive and chaotic fragmentation, and congestion beyond the point of dysfunctionality, Beijing presents an opportune moment to rethink the social-spatial organisation of cities and to re-imagine the potential for emergent hybrid urban-infrastructural forms.

This studio focuses directly upon Beijing’s infrasprawl and in particular its ring road organisation. Beijing is a city dominated and most commonly described by its ring roads. Indeed, pursuing a policy of massive
highways in the middle of the city Beijing’s ring roads now consume approximately 30 square kilometers of land – more than the entire down town area of Beijing. This infrasprawl not only gobbles up arable
land and habitable space, and creates stark divides between neighbourhoods, it generates a vast randomised distribution of urban voids and gruesomely uninhabitable public space. Indeed due to the ensuing traffic congestion, this infraspawl paradoxically renders much of the city inaccessible and uninhabitable. Places are simply too arduous to get to and air quality is appalling. (Beijing is now rated the world’s most polluted capital with respiratory issues pandemic across the city and lung cancer the number one cause of death.)

This studio seeks to develop design proposals for Beijing that, while engaging with the urban dynamics and realities of Beijing, aspire to conceive and evolve new urban forms or what could be called ‘infrahybrids’. Of particular interest to this studio are the ecological infrastructures being pioneered by Turenscape, Landscape Architectural Office in Beijing, the Ring Road reconfiguration proposals of Open
Architecture Office, also in Beijing, and the work of BAU Architects, and Neville Mars and Adrian Hornsby.

This studio seeks to explore and test dynamic modeling and generative systems as means through which time based processes and complex systems can be engaged with and responded to. Experimenting with rule based systems, interactive and performative modes of modeling we will be generating a range of spatial propositions for hybridizing of Beijing’s Infrasprawl.

Throughout the semester there will be an emphasis on experimentation, design through making, and the production of rich and beautiful drawings and models,

Studio Poster

Studio Poster