Summary by Shi Jiaxin 石佳鑫 (student, SZU) (installation group)
Actually, for the first few days I didn’t know what were doing. What is the relationship between knitting and architecture? Can our work help the workers to solve their problems? Even the workers I discussed things with felt puzzled. But as the workshop went on, the workers started trusting us more and more. They told me about their youth, their family, how much they missed their children, what they think about their work and what are the most important things to them. Once, they even invited us to have lunch in their dormitory. They were so supportive all the way through, although sometimes we were not so clear and they didn’t understand. But from that time, I wasn’t confused any more, I started to enjoy the work. I really wanted to do something for them in return. It’s really amazing to build this kind of relationship with people I didn’t know this before. They may not have the same education as us and their job might be tough, but inside, they are friendly, simple and beautiful people that made a huge impact on me.
On one hand, I want to make a pavilion for people to feel and touch the life of the workers, as well as to learn that we share quite similar stories, that we live in the same city and that we are related to each other and should be responsible to each other. On the other hand, I hope we can make a difference to the workers, like when we asked about their favorite things or what is the important for them to show, they always told us they are just ordinary, there isn’t anything important about them. But when we asked them to join the design, they became excited talking about the colours, the patterns…. I hope we can make them feel proud when they see their own design put on such a big stage, to let them know: “you are important!” If we managed to add some hope and happiness in their daily life, then the effort we made during these 14 days would be worth it.
It’s the first time that I didn’t care about how it looks, but instead I cared about what they want to show and the time that we spent design together and the impact and relationship that we built between us. What if the architecture is not architecture, but a tool, to build relationships, to create memories, to combine different stories and experiences together? That will be so much fun!