Urban Archtifice: Regenerating Residential Facades Through Acupuncture

Ran Mei


To legitimize and make use of weirdness in the Chinese cultural fascination of symbolism and objectified architecture, I decide to put it in the most function-oriented program in the city - collective housing, or more specifically, the transformation and regeneration of existing housing types in Chinese megacities. To inject iconicity into the most banal and repetitive structures of Chinese cities, the residential high-rises, I aim to create a human layer that parasites the faceless facades of housing blocks; to take advantage of the novelty value of collectively generated iconicity to legitimize the personal appropriation of “public” space; to bring back people’s right to build and self-improve their personal dwellings in a designed framework, through everyday agency and means; the economic value of the collective iconicity of the transformed facades would act as an incentive for the residents to open up their gated communities to the city.