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2007 DIYism Workshop: Taipei

Sanzihou is the site of a former American military housing compound in Taipei. As a peri-urban neighborhood mixed with an iconic Cold War landscape developed during the Korean War, Sanzihou is a contested site at multiple levels. On one hand, preservationists and developers have battled over plans to redevelop or preserve the area. On the other hand, residents and students engage in a different kind of contestation as they battle over the lack of adequate housing and other public amenities. In 2007, UW students participated in a Design Charrette organized by the Organization for Urban Re-s (OURs) in Taipei to envision the future of the area with a focus on reconciling preservation and the everyday life of the local residents. In the 5-day charrette, teams of students examined the reuse of a suburban-style American military housing complex as a part of plan to address the future development and conservation of the Sanzaihou neighborhood in Yangminsan.

Focusing on a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach, the student projects explored ways to improvise the everyday landscape in the neighborhood for improvement. The focus on the everyday provided an alternative spatial discourse and practice that addresses the needs and assets of the community and unleashes the social and spatial possibilities in the landscapes of the contemporary city.

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