Tianyu Zhang

Beijing Drifters or a City of 1M, (Tiantongyuan Community, Banjieta Urban Village, China)  

Since the Chinese economic reform, Beijing became a symbol, magnet, and social mobility destination for people from the countryside. Chasing their dream, these people are officially identified as Beijing Drifters.  They contribute to the city's massive growth as a global megacity, but are not credited for this development, despite their indispensable contribution.  The Beijing Drifters are invisible.  As unofficial residents, they have no rights or autonomy, and no access to property. This project documents the massive gap between the Drifters' reality and dreams, and redesigns it as an urban speculation.  The design focuses on reframing a series of hypotheses of urban transformation and their measurable consequences, in an urban village where reality is stranger than fiction.

© Archipelago Studio 2020 @ the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto.