Dominant types and the idea of the City: Housing Beijing

This studio works typologically. It recognizes the city as a repository of architectural knowledge and potential. The city here is understood through its persistent architectures, its dominant types. To make a connection between type and the city is to establish a link between the works of architecture and the wider milieu in which the work is produced. For a type to be dominant, it has to persist and prevail. What is the most prevailing is also the most typical and what is the most typical is also common to all. And no other sphere is more common to all than the city itself. Thus, dominant types can be understood as the typical elements that constitute the city and are the very embodiment of the common.It is through this ideological and pedagogical premise that we will approach the design topic for the year. The task is to rethink and design a communal housing project for 1,000 inhabitants in the city of Beijing. After more than one decade of surrendering the provision of housing to the market, the urgency to rethink and provide for affordable housing has resurfaced in China. Our task will be framed by three preconditions. The first considers the typical dwelling unit as an irreducible space of coexistence in the city. The second considers the overall structure of this housing type as an artifact that embodies the idea of the city. And finally, the influence of the type must act beyond its site boundaries as a dominant type for the city.A studio trip to Beijing is tentatively planned to understand the persistent elements of the city of Beijing, the wall and the courtyard. The outcome of the studio will be subject to a publication and exhibition.Studios will take place every Thursday and Friday.Christopher Lee will be present on the following dates:August 30, 31September 08, 09September 19-23: Studio trip to Beijing (tbc)October 06, 07October 20, 21November 03, 04November 17, 18December 1, 2(Studio Reviews, specific date TBD)