Students: Gary Chien, Maya Desai, Hayley Imerman, Holly Jordan, Safora Khoylou, Esmond Lee, Timothy Lee, Antoine Morris, Matthew Spremulli, Sando Thordarson, Sandy Wong, Joseph Yau.
Beijing’s Line13 was built in the late 1990s as a speculative infrastructure in order to stimulate the development of the countryside north of the city. At the time it was built, only line 1 and line 2 existed. So Line 13, as unlikely a route as its number suggests, sat as an anomalous form, designed to irrigate the periphery for real estate speculation. This process has allowed strange new cities like Huilongguan, a commuter suburb of monotonous slabs, to grow up surrounding the line, creating zones of uneven development, where the messy vitality of existing uses meets the overbearing coherence of new subdivisions. Despite its urban character as infrastructure, the areas that line 13 traverses are in between sites; housing blocks, universities, office and business parks, share space with golf courses, farms, villages and desolate wastelands.
However the unevenness of the line opens up potentials, in the gaps between overdeveloped space. This workshop examined the northern leg of Line 13; the area between Longze and Beiyuan, studying three systems to see how each might be redesigned to create opportunities within this socially polarized, ecologically degraded, and culturally empty landscape. These interventions work to render the peripheral system more complex, breaking the linear system and uni-directional system of line 13 into a superlinear system that creates multiple connections between its parts.