Millennial City

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From the Medieval Walled City model to the contemporary Grid City model, the anthropocene CITY has evolved as a new species to a stage that surpasses humanity. Its main goal is efficiency and prosperity of the city itself instead of individual human aspirations. At this moment the city has repressed individual by collective goals, it is no longer under humanity’s control. On the contrary, the CITY controls humans. Guangzhou and Foshan, two typical Chinese cities, are at this moment in a process of merging into one mega-conurbation. During this process, there is a brief moment in which a new development model can emerge. The land between these two cities has urbanized to a state “beyond-village” and is turning into a contemporary city. All the necessary ingredients are there - nature,housing, infrastructure, industry, agriculture, commerce- constantly changing in balance. Before the city’s grid reaches this in-between land, there is no dominant form in the whole area. It is a spontaneous and unconscious mutation giving strong diversity to this land. The project frames this fleeting condition in a canvas, and develops this phenomenon of spontaneous mutation into a new city model based on programmatic mutability. This is the model for the Millennial City. In order to subvert the contemporary grid city model, the Millennial City model brings back humanity as leading force of city development. The mutations are enlargements or radiations of perceivable essence within the original sites, stretching in such a way that is not possible to be erased by the city grid. Programmatic mutability is embedded in the canvas as the medium of the project as well as the project itself. From blank to filled, every step is materialized. As the real city is built, building to building; the Millennial City on canvas is drawn inch by inch. Meanwhile It can be covered and modified constantly as in reality. There is not one single drawing that will represent a final vision of this city. The project is the mutations of the canvas and the programmatic mutability that guides them. In front of the canvas, the draftsman of the Millennial City is one of the Millennials who live in the city. From its point of view, a city should begin from a micro scale in the same way the city is drawn... spreading from one single building instead of a top-down projection. It is both a reading and an interpretation of every single condition of the built environment. It includes intuition, faith, craftsmanship and endless endeavor. Either as a millennial city inhabitant or millennial city draftsman or millennial city planner, we all share the same pursuit but in different forms. That is to resist a labyrinthine reality and remain faithful to the wings of Icarus for escape.