Work details
Application Number 0000801642
Author Wong, Jane Kate, Canada
Coauthors Vasanthakumar, Saeran , Canada
Zhu, Lu , United States
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Work title: Micro-Architecture / Parallel Properties (0000801642)

China''s economic reforms has transformed its urban character, deeply embedding its global megacities within the complex network of inter and intra-regional flows of labour and capital. From this arises the collusion of state oppression and global capitalism that has fed an underground movement of casual to active dissidence. An ecosystem of resistance that comprise multiple localities, signaling possibilities for a new type of collective action - or new modes of urbanism that lies outside hegemonic structures. It is within this extralegal space, that micro-architecture / parallel properties positions itself - as part of an underground systems of social and economic relations that exist within the city. Specifically it posits an extralegal, internally consistent, property system that recognizes informal additions built by migrants and designed by architects. In doing so it gives rural migrants access to a network of specialized skills, safe building practices and financial mechanisms that they are traditionally denied. It begins with architects creating a building toolkit comprised of modular, replicable standardized micro-architectures. They are emphasized as low-cost, low-energy additions with immediate practical value. Grassroot NGO''s circulate the toolkit through communities, documenting additions as property, or fixed assets. Over time, through accretion of this network, this creates a parallel economic system, tied to recognized fixed asset systems. Participating NGOs and informal communities can thus treat physical micro-architectures, as fixed assets because they are tied to an accountable, virtual system. Within this framework, rural migrants can securely take out loans, forge partnerships, aggregate multiple assets or mortgage housing additions outside of their immediate social network - or criminal organizations. micro-architecture / parallel properties thus creates positive feedback loop of economic - material exchange, and subversively acts as a vehicle for a working policy of hukou reform.