4th Year Design Studio, Autumn 2007
The course will operate in the Datun River valley of the Sanjhih county, North Taiwan.
The aim of the course is to research the Taiwanese local knowledge phenomena in the
A) Fishing community
B) Farming community
and to produce architectural design reactions based on the local knowledge research.
Datun River valley provides fruitfull insights to original the Taiwanese ways of life in close connection with nature. The small fishing community and its harbor preserves the traditional knowledge of changing weather conditions, navigating on the ocean and predominant movements of the fish and crab.
The farmers have been cultivating the valley for tea and rice over generations and as the fishermen, know the environmental conditions through their hard labor. The architectural solutions in both the fisherman community as with the farmers reflect a natural understanding of the site specific environmental conditions as the houses are build by the same hands as the fields are farmed or the boats operated. This local knowledge is valuable to study in order to direct contemporary architecture towards a more natural relationship with the environment.
Another layer in the Datun River Valley is the factory industrialism that was introduced in the beginning of the 1980’s. The industry polluted the Datun river making farming commercially impossible. In the recent years the river has been naturally restored and the industrial pollution put under control. The Datun River valley is now looking for the future where factories and sustainable farms are operating as neighbors.
In the Datun River valley the student group can work, study and relax in the T-Factory ruin.
NEW FARM HOUSE
As an individual task the students will design a 50 m2 house located in their chosen place in the Datun river valley or on the sea shore. The architecture must reflect their understanding of the Local Knowledge.
The students will realize a 1:1 scale fragment of their design - a personal shelter in which they are required spent over night.
Marco Casagrande, Visiting Professor