vendredi 30 avril 2010

# Latent City by Yaohua Wang

Our friend Yaohua Wang (see his Carbon tower and his interview of Wes Jones, his thesis tutor) from Sci-Arc sent me his thesis project he just presented in a room apparently fully packed !

The production of work is simply amazing and the ingenuity of the project is being proven in every rendering. However, a very important part of what makes his Latent City such an amazing projects is embedded in its narration and in this regard I HIGHLY recommend to take the time of watching the 15 min long movie below that explains very didactically why this city is called latent.
The narration implies the architect Foral (aka Yaohua !) finding an agreement with the State in order to build a new city for almost no money. The agreement has to remain secret because it implies a manipulation of big industrial corporations that will own the land for twenty years, build an industrial city according to Foral's plans and therefore providing an important infrastructure. When the city is built, local economic policies forces industries to relocalize their factories outside the city which is abandoned. The state can thus build a new city on the other using the already built infrastructure that has been designed planning on this scenario to occur.
The latent city is thus a palimpsest city whose transformation has been planned since the beginning.
Anyway, the film is far more vivid than I am, so once again I recommend to watch it. The achievement of both design and political narration are compelling.


Latent City by Yaohua Wang from Foral on Vimeo.

Here is Yaohua's summary of his architectural attitude:

Firstly, for me what is the dream of architecture? And, how could this dream happen?

IN SHORT, my dream is 'against'. Architecture against capital rules. Architecture IS against constraints. Architecture IS against the people who have the real power but are doing things which they know are not good, but still do it because it can bring them more profit. This attitude of 'against' is my dream and the

idea of a city with no dead end is just one tangible instance of this attitude in a very specific social context.

and then how, how can I realize this dream in a condition like this?


How can you be 'against' the knife if you are just the fish on a chopping board ? You must be 'against' it wisely, and that means sometimes you should be a little

slippery. and well prepared.


When you can't force it to happen, you should hide it. Camouflage it, make it appear to serve the demands of irresponsible capital. and as time passES by, architecture stays. Be patient, wait for the

opportunity to reveal the real intention. WAIT FOR THE CHANCE TO disclose the latent dream.

And that is my thesis.










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