Wanjing Xiao

Document Type

Thesis, Senior

Publication Date

Spring 2012




urban behavior, Beijing, informal activities, economy, mixed use




Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


"This project contends that the transitional urban fringes are places where the informal economy grows in the most spontaneous and efficient form. By investigating the transitional urban fringe, one can study its informal urban behavior at local and long-term effects, enabling the social awareness and political force to manifest in an informal linkage leading illegal economy towards legalization, while encouraging a new form of 'formal'"...

"This thesis proposes a statistic informality that is able to resist the clearance from urbanization. The new paradigm will be extracted form existing informality models acting as a field condition to bridge the formality and the informality occurring in RUS. It will adopt the framework of heterotopia, which David Grahame Shane describes s a mediator between top-down and bottom-up developments. A series of small scale interventions will be proposed to be parasitic and co-exist with the legal structure, which spreads out over the neighborhood of JXQ. Meanwhile the architecture will also provide a legal platform, leading illegality toward legalization. Thus, the project will test whether architecture can materialize the external forces and conflict, and upgrade informal structure as a linkage among various cultures, different social needs, and the illegal and legal economies."

Additional Information

Advisors: Anda French / Randall Korman