Ms.Tang at work

16.01.12 | presentation and visiting the factory – blog by ivar & alex

Today was the first day of the workshop. We started the day with a presentation to the students at Shenzhen University. The key questions we wanted the students to bear in mind, as we later would go to the factory, were:

1. How can we as architects understand the place and people we work with?
2. How as architects can we design collaboratively with non-architects?
3. What can we learn from an exchange of crafts and techniques?
4. How can we make something meaningful for the people we work with?

Knowing that the managers Liu and Zhou were open-minded about a possible collaboration, we hoped that the students would enter the factory with the same open mind, thinking how they could be inclusive and find ways to involve the people within the factory. Simultaneously we wanted to find ways to avoid disturbing the work of the employees that all need to continue earning money for their families. Discovering how we can make this workshop fun and inclusive for the workers as well as for the students will be the main challenge over the coming week.

At the factory the students immediately mingled with the workers. As many of the workers have done their job for many many years, they could easily continue producing while engaging in discussions with the students. We will wrap up today’s work by asking the students to compile what they learned today and present this to everyone tomorrow. It’s worth mentioning that the students have been split in two groups, one for filmmaking and documentation, the other for design research and development. It’s also important to add that both Xin and Xiaoming have been invaluable partners until now, and it’s been a pleasure to prepare for this workshop. Let’s now hope we can have the same positive collaboration with the factory.