Ruralopolitan Maneuvers / HOUSE 50
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 nor 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 Research Through Making, we focused on the making of several intimate pieces at the scale of the house as well as on one village/township scaled infrastructure. 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.
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)
Project Team: 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 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