Creating Restorative Environment for Highly Stressed and Depressed Workers: Using Foxconn Factory In Shenzhen As The Site

Department: Landscape Architecture
Research Centre: Virtual Reality Lab of Urban Environments & Human Health
Active Dates: December 2015 - July 2017

Title: Creating Restorative Environment for Highly Stressed and Depressed Workers: Using Foxconn Factory In Shenzhen As The Site

Team: Bin Jiang, Fengyu Bao (Co-PI, MLA student)

Project Funder: Faculty of Architecture seed fund

Abstract:

Between January, 2010 and April, 2013, 19 suicides attempts happened at the industrial parks of Foxconn. Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer at the time. In terms of the ages, the victims were among the age of 17-25, an age of youth. Recent researches and studies found that the one of the reasons behind the spate jumps of Foxconn is long-term exposure to high stress working and living environment.

The positive relationship between stress relief and green landscape has been proved by lots of scientific studies, there is still very few industrial park designs concerning about this issue. The current outdoor environment in Foxconn industrial park can be described as monotonous, lifeless and unified. A new industrial design method needs to be implemented to mitigate the problem.

In this study, workers’ opinions will be engaged in the process of Guanlan Foxconn industrial park design and participatory photo mapping (PPM)will be conducted as a tool for collecting first-hand information of Guanlan Foxconn park and workers’ opinions. In the first step, the workers will be hired to take photos of places where they like and dislike and then a standardized landscape assessment questionnaire will be used to assess the photos they take. Meanwhile, interview will be conducted to collect more information about workers’ stress status, living experience, and environment assessment. In the second step, based on worker’s opinion, we will make photo simulations based on the site photos they take to show how the place would be like according to workers’ preferences in the first step. In the third step, the photo simulations will be assessed again by the workers through the same standardized questionnaire. Thus a final design will be carried out.

A quotation: “ Jiang’s research project will be fundamentally important for improving workers’ mental health and well-being”- Prof. Huilin Lu, Peking University, leading social scientist on Foxccon suicide and working condition problems.

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UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE