Ceramic Works, Urban Morphology, Spatial Dynamics – Shipai Village

Research Design Workshop
11-17 December 2014

Dr Lina Stergiou, Associate Professor, workshop leader
Collaborating Professors from GAFA: Kim Saeng Hwa and Jin Tao

Shipai village, Guangzhou, becomes the focal area of a research and design study, where the vast changes that this district decisively and unexpectedly underwent from the 1960s onwards are examined in urban, morphological and material terms. Major urbanized areas in China and Asia share similar processes and comparable patterns of urbanization.

Shipai is defined by complex and diverse morphological and spatial characteristics, in which the ceramic tiles have a prevalent position. Its rich urban micro-scale is analyzed along with the role that the ceramic works play in it: such as the relationship between the ceramic tiles and the building mass; its connection with other materials; the textures and materials of the facades; qualities of transparency, semi-transparency and non-transparency; the relation between solid and void; between light and shadow; and the additions to the facades such as electrical wires, water pipes, air-condition units or iron frames.  The analysis leads to spatial propositions for Shipai village, which translates in abstract forms the qualities of the complex urban fabric. The eight propositions are comprised of a ceramic unit, which is repeated in variations. Design proposals capture the identity and formal properties of both the Shipai urban mass and the role that the ceramic tiles play in it.

This research and design workshop is part of the international one organized by the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts GAFA, Guangzhou, and Chi Ti-Nan, with 75 students along with 17 faculty members from 9 Universities: the Department of Architecture, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University, Suzhou; the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture, Mumbai; the Department of Architecture, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute SFAI, Chongqing; the Urban & Architectural Institute, National University of Civil Engineering, Hanoi; the Department of Architecture, Shanghai University; the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore; the Architectural Association, London; and the School of Architecture, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology RMIT.

Photos: workshop students Memo, Cassandra, Ethan, Zhao, Chen, Hong, Yin, Shen, Shi, Aixingero, Zou, Zhou, Di.

See related Exhibition of Ceramic Works, Urban Morphology, Spatial Dynamics, E9 Exhibition Hall, Redtory Art & Design Factory, Tianhe district, Guangzhou, China.