2nd Ring Beijing 2049

The studio was carried out in the fall semester of 2010 with a group of 12 graduate students from the University of Hong Kong. The larger goal of the studio was a manifesto on the city of tomorrow. It has been a long time since most architects really cared about the future of our cities. But our cities are in crisis mode. The studio called for visionaries who have real concerns and real passion for the future. Students identified issues and crisis we are facing in cities today, taking Beijing as a case study, and then came up with radical strategies for the city of tomorrow.

The tangible goal was to reinvent a most unique member of Beijing’s ring road system, the 2nd ring road, using 2nd ring as the testing ground for integrating the radical strategies for the city of tomorrow.The studio was structured in three parts: urban research, writing of manifesto and urban design. Students were self organized into 6 groups during the research phase, each group focused on one aspect of urban issues. After extensive research, they were asked to each write a manifesto about the issues the city is facing today and propose radical strategies to deal with the issues they identified. Then they traveled to Beijing to document the site, carried out field research, also participated in an urban mapping workshop. Upon returning to Hong Kong, students were asked to reshuffle the groups and each group worked on a design proposal for a collectively selected site along the 2nd ring road. In the end the students had came up with 7 unique and intriguing proposals which tested their manifestos in the design projects.