For the Silent Majority: Community and Urban Space Design Interventions in Shenzhen Foxconn Urban Village

The Pearl River Delta is historically the manufacturing heartland of China and currently hosts some of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world. The resulting industrial structure, its related networks, and physical space have a great impact on the social, economic, and ecological landscape of the region. The eventual post-industrialization of the PRD—especially in light of the current economic slowdown and efforts to shift to tertiary industries—are particularly challenging and require strategic urban restructuring of the region. However, conventional methods of urban planning often operate at an urban or regional scale, overlooking the importance and agency of the individual in shaping their environments. This studio will investigate the social, economic and environmental impacts caused by the rapid growth of the electronic industry in the PRD. We will explore how landscape and urban design can facilitate new regional visions of the ecological and social environment that can be realized at the material scale, working simultaneously at multiple scales. The course unfolds in three stages: first is to understand the working and living status of Foxconn workers and other related population; in the second stage, we will conduct semi-structured interviews and field trip for a site in Shenzhen. The site is Qinghu Community adjacent to the Foxconn Longhua Industrial Park; In the third stage, we will develop planning and design strategies and techniques to create a more restorative and resilient community environment at the site and material scale.