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Red Line Park

This project is adapted for 2009 SZHK biennale from an urban research project titled Red Line Park. It is NOT to be viewed as articulated constructs or designer objects of some sorts, but rather a built sample of a grass root urban initiative which encourages residents of gated communities to participate in the process of gradually turning walled communities into open communities and bringing parks to everyone’s door steps.

Red Line is the property line in the context of Chinese land use, on which typically stand the boundary walls of gated communities. The Red Line Park proposal was born at the convergence of two critiques to current urban conditions in China. On one hand, the shortage of inhabitable public spaces such as parks in the city; and on the other, the over abundance of boundary walls of gated communities all over the city that not only waste great amount of precious urban land but also severely segregate urban fabrics, rendering the city greatly inefficient.

Red Line Park project proposes to turn the walls on the red lines into a system of linear park. It was conceived as an open source project that draw upon creative solutions from designers, craftsmen, and ordinary residents inside gated communities, with a 'source code' defined by OPEN Architecture. The ‘source code’ includes module dimensions and a series of key words that defines the common nature of all the park modules. The actual form and ideas behind each park module could be unlimited. Residents in gated communities are encouraged to take the initiative in making changes to their own communities.

Red Line Mobilized is a demonstration of this open source project. Worked under the ‘source code’, and after many rounds of lively debates, our team and our friends of all sorts collectively generated more than 60 ideas for how to turn typical boundary wall modules into inhabitable park modules. Out of this pool of ideas, some big some small, some practical some laughable, 8 were chosen democratically. Then they were further developed jointly by OPEN and a group of workers. Workers were given rough hand sketches to outline 8 ideas together with total freedom of creating anything interesting. All materials used are recycled or recyclable. The outcome is these 8 pieces of park modules that are not to be judged as finished design products, but rather a collective process involving many enthusiastic minds and trying hands!

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