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January 25, 2012

Ruralopolitan Maneuvers: HOUSE 50

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Exhibit: January 20 - April 15, 2012, every Friday and Saturday, 2 PM – 7 PM
University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Liberty Research Annex, 305 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor

Today, one in every ten people in the world lives in a rural Chinese village- the most endangered human habitat on the face of the earth. Architecture has largely focused on, and been fascinated by the city and urbanism. This project turns its attention toward the rural village, and is part of a larger project that looks at what we call “Ruralopolitan Space” – a space that is neither purely urban or rural, but is a new hybrid and continuum between the two. Preservation - yes and no - bringing the rural village into the 21st century socially, economically and architecturally - yes.

For the Research Through Making project, we focused on the making of several intimate pieces at the scale of the house as well as on one village/township scaled infrastructure including translucent thermal curtains, a zero energy cold food storage and a forty foot long illuminated balloon called CLOUD that provides wireless internet to one rural village. Each project needed to be acutely aware of cost and availability of materials close at hand as it is operating in an environment in which the average yearly household income is $560 U.S.

Project Team
Robert Mangurian and Mary-Ann Ray
with Robert Adams, David Gregor, Irene Keil, Philip Lee, Zhang Jian, and Zhao Zhifeng; Richard Tursky (EXHIBIT Project Manager); Vikram Ivatury (CLOUD Engineer)

Additional help from
Jessie Cui, Sara Dean, Matt Dolan, Johnny Dwyer, Deena Etter, Ryan Fiebing, Oscar Garcia, Nicholas Ho, Kyle Kramer, Jason Prasad, Mindy Rouse, Catherine Wang, Philip Yu-Huan Wang, Sabrina I-Hsuan Wang, Kyle Wyatt, and Echo Ying Xiang

Special thanks and acknowledgments to
Tom Buresh; Caroline Constant; Douglas Kelbaugh; Mike Shriberg; Ai Weiwei, consultant; Beijing University of Technology; Pearl Valley Township; Shang Shui Guo Village Leader Zhang Shang Shui Guo Villagers; Kaymont Meteorological Balloons

Additional support has been generously provided by
Graham Foundation for the Arts; Michael Levine Fabrics; UM Center for Chinese Studies; Center for Global Intercultural Studies; Confucius Institute; Department of Oceanic, Atmospheric and Space Engineering; Experiential Learning Fund; Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute; International Institute; UM Office of the Vice President for Research 2011 Small Projects Grant

Posted by zzhu at January 25, 2012 01:13 PM