A small manifesto first:
- Architecture should help people integrate and identify with their proximate environment, both social and physical.
- Architects play a role of orchestrators, tutors and perticipants in processes of positive change, not just produce architectural icons.
- Park is a multi-sensorial experience, that should not be dominated by the visual aspect.
- Park should be a place of leisure, occasional solitude, but also of communitarian action that constantly reinterprets and reuses it’s space.
The departure point of our project starts with the conclusion that people in Suqian need to identify with each other, with the city and with the park in first place.
The mechanism of producing pride and feeling of belonging to some place because some external force (municipal or private) „plants” a new iconic architectural design, as it happens today around the world, is, in our oppinion an outdated and costly strategy only deepening the alienation of the inhabitants vs making happy the tourists who receive another object to include in their selfies (i.e. The case of New York’s High Line and a line-up of „tallest buildings in the world”).
We think that architects should not be treated, quite an opposite of Dejan Sudjic thesis dating from late 80-ties, as creators of artefacts fitting a global tendency of turning cities into giant money-making machines based on tourism, instead of really caring for the people who actually LIVE IN THE CITY!
During our research process we have understood that the design of the park is strictly linear, while we would rather like to propose a do-it-yourself approach that anyone could use as an alternative to follow-the-line narrative. Apart from that we wanted to use the park as an active bio-climatic tool that would help the „park activist group” model their „follies” in the most responsive and contextual way possible.
This is why we propose a project that consists a form of an extra layer that can be added to whatever the final physical form of the park will be (and whatever the winning proposal!). This layer is action-based and relies on people, interactions between them, the physical outcomes of these and on time, including daily, monthly and seasonal changes. We propose a series of motives related to eternal values of play, being COOPERATION, SECRET and FUN, that can take form of a number of different physical shapes devised, produced and used by the inhabitants of Suqian.