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Zhujiajiao, Shanghai, China


Capturing the poetic imagination of an ancient village is no easy task. Created over many generations, the imprint of its people are contained in the weathered patina of its structures, the labyrinthine cobblestone paths of its streets, the mysterious and timeless iconography that permeates its many surfaces, and the ever-changing and enigmatic sounds of its inhabitants echoing throughout its public squares, small alleys and water’s edge.

In recognition that truly honoring the deep and underlying legacy of a place can only be achieved by embracing a more radical and contemporaneous conception of memory in architecture, our proposed installation for the ancient water-village of Zhujiajiao, located on the outskirts of Shanghai, China sought to draw attention to the power and promise of bringing imaginary creatures to life. Fascinated by chimerical monsters that live between land and sea, the irreconcilable orientation of a Mobius strip, and the seductive attraction of disagreeable beauty as a new aesthetic paradigm, the search for animate form as both an iconographic and an immersive sensory pursuit became a significant design priority.


Conceived as a series of lightweight floating cloud pavilions, exquisite listening stations, and awe-inspiring memory machines held afloat through a series of sinuous tendrils, a continuously changing program of ancient and contemporary stories are offered as cultural attractors in the form of music or narration for all the citizens and visitors of the village. Credits: Sound scores created by the international sound artist Francesco Lopez.


Commissioned by the curators of the 2015-16 Shanghai Urban Space Art Season Biennale.


CNC Milled Foam Core

Lightweight Fiberglass Shell

Bent Steel Tube Frame

Raspberry Pi Media Controller

Linear LED Strip Lighting

Integrated IR Sensors

Embedded Sound System


Parker Bunce, Cody Seipp


Laufs Engineering & Design



Francesco Lopez

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