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The Global School

PERFORMING BAITASI

The Global School (TGS) project prefigures the establishment of an unprecedented international research & educational institute dedicated to design and the city tasked to network local and international organizations, institutions, companies, professionals and visionaries in various design fields to become part of a new design community and thereof partake in the development of tools and methodologies for engagement with the social and built environment of Baitasi.
The 1500 sqm space has been repurposed by Beijing based reMIX Studio into a polifunctional ‘theatre of happenings’ featuring facilities inclusive of a workshop room, a salon space for informal conversations and sharing sessions, a large auditorium where core forums will be presented and an exhibition area introducing an overview of research-driven projects conducted in the area by local and international practitioners over the past year.

About the transformation of the market designer Nicola Saladino states: ‘’The food market has been closed for more than a year and the building transformed into informal storage spaces and improvised dormitories for migrant workers. Our intervention aims at recovering the original spatial features of the market, which are part of the collective memory of Baitasi, and transform its linear sequence of abandoned rooms and corridors into a vibrant system of interconnected functional clusters’’.

The core exhibition, says creative director Beatrice Leanza, ‘’presents audiences with a journey through paths of analytical and experimental coalition that take the historical and present problematics of Baitasi (social, economic, spatial) as blueprints for testing new forms of design thinking beyond scales, – that is, with punctuality and precision, across them’’.

As part of the foundational field-work ignited via the program, BTS Remade teamed up with Shenzhen based start-up Shanzhai City to launch here their Impact Learning (IL) project. The IL system is a network of field agents and socially innovative community-engagement technologies for data collection and insight communication. Data will be analyzed and visualized through a publicly accessible online dashboard and via public exhibition and video projection within the community.

The exhibition includes year-long experimentations with the urban fabric of BTS by way of digitally enhanced tools looking at the evolution of the city as a dynamic system of hard and soft interwoven factors thus perusing hutong regeneration through the lens of cross-disciplinary experiments on data-based design ideas and methodologies. Central to these are the results of workshops conducted by AA (Architecture Association – London) Visiting School and IaaC(Barcelona) lead by LCD (Laboratory for Creative Design), and the Pop-UP SutdioX – China Workshop series which will unfold during the weeks of BJDW. Baitasi in Layers and Urban regeneration in the Era of Big Data provide further insight into relevant explorations.

Research on historical forms of collective living in China is presented by AA Visiting School – Wuhan, as essential to understanding what they mean to both society and individuals nowadays, thus rediscovering opportunities of regeneration from the deep logic of these social and spatial configurations in China, an architectural legacy of which present at the heart of Baitasi with the SuifuJin Socialist Building. Group exhibits from CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts)’s renowned Every Day Social Issues program lead by Ben Hughes and his students’ collaboration with German renowned glass maker Nachtmann are also presented here for the first time.

Newly created projects taking inspiration from life in the hutongs for the development of products and urban furniture are on view, developed by SKD Art Education and A-T ARCHITECTS, Andrés López & Isabel Driessen, Casper Notenboom, among others. Furthermore Reorient Express and the V&A’s Unidentified Acts of Design projects articulate narratives of practice and individuals’ lives which add to a radically changing ecosystem of innovation produced at the crossroad of grassroots culture, professionalized amateurism and transborder/transdisciplinary forms of collective knowledge-making.
A dense set of discursive programs, talks, roundtables, presentations, together with making-sessions and workshops, are constitutive of the BTS Remade program, as an essential exercise that, together with exhibitions and context-specific interventions, help generating a novel ‘narrative of participation’, by harvesting material and intangible data as product of field work and site-driven research.

TGS also includes the TGS LAB run by LCD (Laboratory for Creative Design) which focuses on augmented design methodologies, rapid manufacturing and open-source systems for hutong regeneration, and the TGS Pop-Up Canteen designed and operated by D-T-Z-W Design Studio offering temporary services to visitors by way of employing local resources and hacking into the existing commercial ecosystem of the area.

TGS Space and Exhibition Design:

reMIX Studio, Nicola Saladino

Projects in TGS Main Exhibition:

BTS in Layers / 4 Yards in Baitasi / Data Alley / Collective Forms in China / Urban Regeneration in the Era of Big Data / IaaC (Institute for Advance Architecture of Catalunia, Beijing) – Hyper Cities / Baitasi Remade by AA Visiting School (Beijing) / Impact Learning Baitasi – Digital Transparency and Data Literacy / Po-UP Studio X/Columbia – Baitasi (Chian Workshop Series) / CAFA – Everyday Social Issues & Designed in CAFA, Made in Germany / Soft City / Hutong Summit / Hutong Folding (SKD School) / Increase-Decrease / Unidentified Acts of Design (V&A Gallery Shekou) / Reorientexpress.

TGS Facilities:

Salon, Workshop, Auditorium, BTS Shop, Media and Info Desk, Recharging Stations, Rooftop Garden.