A MOBILE SECTOR OF GLOBAL AND INFRASTRUCTURAL SPACE

A MOBILE SECTOR OF GLOBAL AND INFRASTRUCTURAL SPACE

MAYA MASHIACH

While global networks afford power to the individuals they connect, they also render them vulnerable to the effects produced by others within the network. Consequently, the invisibility of global connectivity makes it possible for the exploitation of unsuspecting individuals by non-local agents in addition to these inhibiting individuals from taking full advantage of the potential power to resist that exploitation that global networks might afford. Although other virtual mediums of interaction have their advantages, their biggest downfall comes from the fact that their space of engagement is removed from the public sphere. However, a tangible infrastructure that could represent the flows of and exchanges of globalization would allow for a conscious and public engagement with these forces.This tangibility would allow humans to gain an immediate and direct connection to the otherwise inscrutable global reality in which they live. This would result in a new subjectivity, wherein individuals became empowered to act within this global context.

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This thesis will demonstrate the potential of such a tangible manifestation of this global reality in the form of speculative globalized infrastructures for the city of Shanghai. The typology of infrastructure is familiar to humanity and presents itself as an organized machine. This prescribed organization is in contrast to the accidental nature that takes place within life itself. This dichotomy between rational organization and the messy nature of humanity, however, could result in a desirable balance. If presented with an unorganized and sporadic infrastructure whose character and function is responsive to global agents, humanity can either flourish in this unbalance or suffer from its lack of relief. To flourish, individuals would need to view the physical destabilization that characterizes such an infrastructure not only as a means of global inter-connectivity but also as a positive potential for bottom-up urban transformation. The political empowerment that such a virtualization affords is particularly crucial in the context of a city such as Shanghai. China, and more so Shanghai, provides the grounds necessary for both virtual and physical globalization.

 

SHANGHAI, CHIINA

SHANGHAI, CHIINA

SAMPLE SITE:

As the eastern terminus of the historic Silk Road, Shanghai has long been an agent in the global flows of economic and political power. Such agency, however, is in stark contrast to the relatively limited political freedom of its local population. The physicalization of its contemporary global connectivity through tangible infrastructures could therefore finally confer comparable agency to its citizens, and thereby allow Shanghai to serve as an example and catalyst for a new global subjectivity. 

PUDONG

DISTRICT

HUANGPU

RIVER

NANJING

ROAD

PUDONG

DISTRICT

HUANGPU

RIVER

NANJING

ROAD

MAP OF DISTRICTS

MAP OF DISTRICTS

NANJING ROAD

NANJING ROAD

PUDONG DISTRICT

PUDONG DISTRICT

THE BUND

THE BUND

GROWTH FROM 1970 TO NOW

GROWTH FROM 1970 TO NOW

CURRENT IN-PLACE INFRASTRUCTURE

CURRENT IN-PLACE INFRASTRUCTURE

    A Mobile Global Sector is a series of new infrastructural implementations that reflect the agents in power within the system of globalization that conducts our modern world. These series of entities take place within the context of Shanghai, in order for the various appropriations to present themselves through the infrastructures. The urban landscape of a mega-city allows for various mobile typologies to exist in harmony with the in-place architectural infrastructure, as well as the political structure. These three different case studies presented explores and utilizes blimps, helicopters, and boats as the underlying capacity for its movement throughout any city. This specific sector of items attribute a phycial awareness to the people, in their presence, that supercedes the virtual global network in place in this society. 

DOCKED

OBJECTS

04

DOCKED

OBJECTS

04

BOAT - PARK

TERMINAL

03

BOAT - PARK

TERMINAL

03

HELICOPTER

HELIPAD

02

HELICOPTER

HELIPAD

02

LOCAL - AGENCY

SCREENS

01

LOCAL - AGENCY

SCREENS

01

THESIS TIME!

THESIS TIME!

 
 

LOCAL - AGENCY

SCREENS

LOCAL - AGENCY

SCREENS

01

01

These corporate-sponsored hovering screens more throughout the city, engaging its citizens. Ostensibly used for advertising purposes, these screens solidit testimonials from individuals as a form of highly-visible corporate propaganda. However, in enlisting the voice of everyday individuals, such individuals are empowered to respond in a manner that enables subtle critiques of the prevailing corporate and governmental power structures through tactics that include coded language, double entendre, body posture, and over- or under-enthusiasm.

AXONOMETRIC SECTION IN PIECES

KIT OF PARTS AXONOMETRIC

WALL SECTION

CORPORATION APPROPRIATION AXONOMETRIC

SITE PLAN OF CLUSTERING ON NANJING ROAD

ANIMATION TIME!

ANIMATION TIME!

 

NANJING ROAD

NANJING ROAD

Nanjing Road is the world’s largest pedestrian walkways and outdoor shopping mall in the world at about 5.5 km long and 28 m wide.  It is located in the People’s Square, which is a hub and city center of Shanghai. The road attracts over 1 million visitors a day, making it one of the busiest shopping centers in the world.​ The road is split into its distinct East and West parts. The East is known as the major public commercial zone and is filled with international department stores, attracting both tourists and foreign settlers. The West is known as a more domestic commercial zone, consisting of 5-star hotels and office buildings. Nanjing road represents the flip side of economics, an important aspect of Shanghai, exhibiting consumerism at its peak.

 
 

HELICOPTER

HELIPAD

HELICOPTER

HELIPAD

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02

This entity is a flying architectural extension to existing corporate towers that provides a temporary helipad and accessory space for face-to-face meetings conducted as part of global commerce. As it manifests its presence intermittently in the space of the city and at different times, it gives form to the fluid space of global forces that are entangled with the local reality of the city, allowing the impact of such global influences to be recognized by the city’s population. Meanwhile, during the times when this mobile infrastructure is attached to a corporate workplace, it affords the workers occupying that building the opportunity  to inhabit and appropriate the spaces of this structure, which otherwise are programmed for the temporary work and leisure of the corporate executives conducting global business.

IN-SITU AXONOMETRIC ATTACHED TO BUILDING

CHUNK AXONOMETRIC SECTION

SECTION ELEVATION OF INTERIOR APPROPRIATION

WALL SECTION

KIT OF PARTS AXONOMETRIC

BUILDING ATTACHMENT FLOOR PLAN

ANIMATION TIME!

ANIMATION TIME!

 

PUDONG DISTRICT

PUDONG DISTRICT

    The Pudong District is located east of the Huangpu River and across from the historic city center of Shanghai. Pudong is the economic hub of China, which led to the Chinese government setting up the Special Economic Zone to be here in Shanghai in 1993. This district is home to the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and the second tallest building in the world, the Shanghai Tower. According to the 2010 Census, there are 5.04 millions people living in the Pudong district, which is 1/4 of Shanghai’s total population. Although Pudong was originally the least developed land, it has risen in the ranks to be the reasoning behind its classification as a mega-city.

MAP POINTING OUT PUDONG DISTRICT

 
 

BOAT - PARK

TERMINAL

BOAT - PARK

TERMINAL

03

03

The Boat-Park Terminal allows citizens of Shanghai to physically engage the fluid spatial reality of global commerce. The program re-appropriation takes advantage of the political and legal flexibility of such space to transcend the existing geographical and cultural reality within China. In this case, the political and legal looseness of these floating warehouse spaces is leveraged by the local population in order to afford an extension to Shanghai’s public spaces. Located on the Huangpu River near the Bund in Shanghai, this entity ostensibly serves as an offshore warehouse to store goods that are being imported to or exported from China. However, its ample deck surfaces have become a place for the spontaneous creation of new public programs and events including: farming; chicken coops and cattle pens; selling fresh produce, noodles, pancakes, and other food; and spaces for fishing, doing laundry, and sleeping. In doing so, the fluid and liminal space of global commerce has become a new physical space whose inherent virtuality can offset the urban and political rigidity of Shanghai.

IN-SITU AXONOMETRIC ON THE WATER

SECTION ELEVATION OF ROOFTOP APPROPRIATION

APPROPRIATION ELEMENTS AXONOMETRIC DIAGRAMS

CHUNK AXONOMETRIC SECTION

WALL SECTION

FLOOR PLAN

ANIMATION TIME!

ANIMATION TIME!

 

SECTION DIAGRAM OF THE BUND

THE BUND

THE BUND

The Bund is an extremely long pedestrian walkway that spans Shanghai’s Huangpu River. The people of Shanghai have appropriated the Bund to be more than a boat docking program. It is now the home to many shops, restaurants, and museums, that line themselves with the river. The Bund is centered on the Zhongshan Road, within the former Shanghai International Settlement. Originally the Bund was constructed with no vehicular access, however in 1990, the roads along the Bund was expanded by 10 lanes in order to accomodate the high foot traffic and create a more accessible walkway. The Bund acts as a viewport to the original sea trade that developed the original economy of Shanghai.

 
 

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04

DOCKED

OBJECTS

DOCKED

OBJECTS

HERE WE SEE

EVERYTHING UNDOCKED...

HERE WE SEE

EVERYTHING UNDOCKED...

HELICOPTER HELIPAD,

PUDONG

HELICOPTER HELIPAD,

PUDONG

BOAT-PARK TERMINAL,

HUANGPU RIVER

BOAT-PARK TERMINAL,

HUANGPU RIVER

LOCAL-AGENCY SCREENS,

NANJING ROAD

LOCAL-AGENCY SCREENS,

NANJING ROAD

HERE WE SEE

EVERYTHING DOCKED...

HERE WE SEE

EVERYTHING DOCKED...

HELICOPTER HELIPAD,

PUDONG

HELICOPTER HELIPAD,

PUDONG

BOAT-PARK TERMINAL,

HUANGPU RIVER

BOAT-PARK TERMINAL,

HUANGPU RIVER

LOCAL-AGENCY SCREENS,

NANJING ROAD

LOCAL-AGENCY SCREENS,

NANJING ROAD