Related Staff : Merve Bedir
Dafen painters village’s transformation is an echo of Shenzhen’s rapid economic and urban development, as well as its agenda to become a creative city. When it was the ‘factory’ of the art world, Dafen village was at the fringes of Shenzhen and largely ignored. The Art Industry Association of Dafen facilitated a digital revolution and visibility by partnering with a major online lifestyle platform. In the last decade, the rising real-estate prices, the art market intervention in the urban village, and the different government policies have made it difficult for migrant painters to stay in the village. This physical transformation of Dafen to a shrinking village is unfortunate, however it is also the liberation of the Dafen method from a specified physical territory to a larger online territory. This studio focused on Dafen village, developing proposals for its future, considering new technologies, digital presence, and online shopping, as well as real estate transformation, changes in Shenzhen’s image, working conditions of painters, and new migration. Students first looked at the dynamics and issues around Dafen Village as a whole, and developed visions and initial strategies for Dafen’s transformation. Afterward they focused on a part of Dafen, to develop spatial interventions that are in line with their visions.