Honorable Mention in 2017 Evolo Skyscraper Competition
Site: New York, US
Date of Project: January 2017
Teamwork with Tongda Xu, Luojia Zhang, Dinglu Wang, Tianjun Wang
Since the industrial revolution, production fuels the capitalism and consumerism, then the big cities and skyscrapers become possible. This was when workers began to play an important role in this complicated social system. Due to the height they need to work at, construction workers are viewed as one of the most dangerous professions. They are risking their life building our cities when architects and city planners seem to take all the credit.
Ironically, the construction builders are underpaid, surviving at the bottom of the society. As our cities sprawl over the land, the confrontation between the worker class and upper social classes has become sharper than ever. The luxurious skyscrapers take up the urban space, while the constructers of these buildings end up in city corners or even homeless. Seldom do they have a chance to live a city life.
This project imagines that there will be a worldwide campaign, whose form of protest is to occupy the skyscrapers in cities, conducted by blue collar class, who later build their own Babel on top, and declare their possession.
Karl Marx furthered on the basis of Hegel’s theory of the alienation of human will by specifying the alienation of human labor. The sepration of labor purpose, labor process, labor products and laborers has left the construction workers in exhaustion and poverty.
“ Human’s behaviour is influenced by his needs. Only unmet needs can influence behavior as motivational tools.” Maslow’s hierarchy of needs reveals the inner relationship of the needs of human beings and the sequence of their appreance in the establishment of a civilization. However, in the campaign to declare the ownership of the city, the traditional hierarchy is challenged and overturned.
“Workers of the world, unite!”
Change will happen. The workers start from a common strike and take up movement. Soon the site of taking up will become a site to live. With scaffolds erected, workers move in, infrastructure built, a community of workers leaded by constructors grows out of the top of our concrete jungle. That’s the babel tower of workers, a heterotopia for worker class in the central and topmost area in a metropolitan, a deserved decent place to live and reproduce in the city they have devoted themselves to. Representing revolution of construction techniques as well as the new roll construction workers played, skyscraper is chosen as both the prototype and the site of the monument. Scaffold and safety net, reminding people of constructing set, are used to symbolize construction workers. The skyscraper is also a heterotopia for construction workers to live a life.
In our speculation, this campain first takes place in Manhattan, New York, the symbol of captalism, then spread to all over the world.