Summary by Zheng Hong 郑虹 (student, SZU) (installation group)
Jesus turns his back to people here. This is my first impression of this area, Baishizhou. When my friend showed me this place, I could see the statue in ‘Window of the world’ from the urban village side. From there I could only see the back of Jesus. This finally reflects my conclusion about this whole area, poor, unfortunate and forgotten by God.
During these 2 weeks, I made fabrics together with 2 workers in the factory, the guy responsible for ironing and the other, packaging. I am not good at chatting with people, and it was hard for me to start the conversations at the very beginning. But they were really nice, and they showed great patience to me, offering their support.
It has been a really amazing experience joining this workshop. It was a great chance for me to dig deeper into this area. We talked to all the workers and learned a lot from them. Instead of seeing their pale faces when working, I was surprised to find all the workers in the factory were actually satisfied working here. It was really nice learning that they love the city and love what they are doing.
As a student majoring in urban planning, I’ve been told a lot about urban villages. That was the reason I decided to join this workshop. More than just watching on my own, I had to talk to people living in this area. I came here every day, I worked here, I had wonderful meals here and I made friends here. Besides the negative aspects of the urban village, I learnt more about its positive side.
It was the first time I knew I was making something for somebody when designing. I had to have many conversations with the guys I worked for, letting them know what I was doing and what they would finally get. The whole process was related to many other people, not only me and my tutor! And now I can really understand that architecture design can never be completed only by one or two persons. It’s related to all the people that will use it, see it and talk about it.