Shenzhen Biennale, December 2015 – February 2016.

‘Re-make - We make’ was a workshop and exhibition at the 2016 Shenzhen Biennale. The exhibition was designed and produced as a collaboration between workers at a local clothing factory and students from Shenzhen University’s Department of Architecture, through a design-build workshop taking place from 11-23 January 2016. The ‘Remake – We make’ exhibition screened films featuring four community-engaged architecture practices, including WORKSHOP architecture. The ‘Re-make - We make’ workshop created a 'live' participatory event which enabled the social processes showed in the films to be explored in a local Chinese context.

M&L FASHION CLOTHES Co.,Ltd. is a small factory in Baishizhou, an urban village in the city of Shenzhen in China. Several larger factories in the area have been demolished to make space for new development. M&L will hopefully be able to stay for another 2-3 years before the redevelopment affects them.

The M&L factory is run by managers Mr Zhou and Mr Liu, who started the factory together in Baishizhou after returning from abroad 3 years ago. They produce clothes and distribute them all over China. The tasks within the factory are divided clearly. The threads are knitted together by Mr. Guo and Mr. Liu, who operate the knitting machinery. The pieces of fabric they produce are then stitched together by Ms. Tang, Ms. Chen and Ms. Fan. If there are any holes in the fabric, Ms. Zhu will patch them. Any extra threads will be cleaned and removed by the other Ms. Tang also working in the factory. When each piece is ready, Mr. Luo will iron it and attach the labels so that the other Mr. Liu, who works in the factory, can package the pieces. Many of these workers have been doing this job for more than 10 years, some as long as 30 years.

Through discussions, drawings and testing, each of the giant fabric tubes was designed to represent – in the knitted fabric itself – the stories of each worker. As with the clothes the factory sends all over China, both the managers and workers come from many different provinces, far away from Shenzhen. Not all of them get to see their family every year. Many of these new tubes represent their longing for home, and to be with and to hear the stories of their families. 11 people at a knitting factory, 11 tubes – made in Baishizhou.

The ‘Re-make- We make’ exhibition was curated by Lucy Bullivant. The workshop was led by Ivar Tutturen & Alexander Furunes (of WORKSHOP architecture) and Xin Guo (of dot Architects/SZU), Yan Gao (of dot Architects/HKU).

Please see WORKSHOP architecture's 'Re-make - We make' project and blog for full details of the project.

type: workshop + exhibition
status: complete


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