“In this experimental garden, we have intended to plant a seed which would self-grow and bear the unique fruit rooted in local community without too much designers’ presupposition and intervention. ” – FLO
THE IMAGINEERING OF BAMBOO FOREST GARDEN
Symbiotic relationship between people and nature is critically important in many ways. A natural forest incubates opportunities of life, and our project – Bamboo Forest Garden, incubates new interactive opportunities for the local community.
We were responsible for the ‘Design and Build’ of the 500 sqm outdoor playground during SUSAS Shanghai Urban Space Art Season. It is a public exhibition project that lasts for 2 months. We were only given less than 6 months from design to completion, and a very limited budget. Under these challenging circumstances, our answer to this mission was to ‘Imagineer’ it.
IMAGINEERING = Imagination + Engineering
THE ORIGIN OF IMAGINEERING
The world-famous Disney has a department called “Imagineering” established by its founder – Walt Disney in 1952. Today, Disney has become the world’s largest creator of dreams. The Imagineering Department is one of the most important departments of the Disney company; its main responsibility is to dream. From the very beginning, the department was structured having people from different fields and backgrounds, but all with one common trait of having rich imaginations. So far, the “Imagineering” team consists of animation directors, writers, screenwriters, special effect experts, costume designers, colorists, programmers, architects, landscape architects, mathematical modelers,mechanical engineers, etc., covering more than 140 disciplines in totality. A team of such diversity is one of the kind in the world. Until this day, these magic makers still come together and continuously accomplish ideas that seem nearly impossible.
WHAT’S THE SECRET BEHIND THE MAGIC?
The Dream Team of Concept Ideation: “The source of emotion is naivety.” What Walt envisages is a group of people from diverse backgrounds who dare to dream, and united together to build a fairy tale for the children of this world. Although everyone’s perspectives and responsibilities are not necessarily the same, they all have one common dream in mind.
The Dream Team of Technical Know-How: Imagineering is a combination of Imagination and Engineering; it is the fusion of creativity and technical know-how. Thanks to all the inputs from experts of different technical backgrounds, ideas are constantly challenged and those challenges can be effectively solved to realize those seemingly wild imaginations.
OUR PROCESS OF IMAGINEERING – BAMBOO FOREST GARDEN
“Blooming Puhuitang” is the theme for 2021 SUSAS Shanghai Urban Space Art Season in Xuhui District, symbolizing the blossom of community lives within Xuhui’s 15-minute activity radius. We were responsible for the ‘Design and Build’ of the outdoor playground project. “Blooming Puhuitang” takes place in the Tianlin Community where it has an aging population and lack of public amenity for children. The site for Bamboo Forest Garden is less than 500 sqm in size, and we were only given less than six months for the entire duration of the project from design to completion. It is primarily a public temporary exhibition that will be opened during the festival for 2 months. The construction period is limited to only 40 days, and we were also given a very limited budget. Under these challenging circumstances, the design team asked ourselves – How can we realize the project through creative exploration and experimentation?
Our answer was to ‘Imagineer’ it. Through the imagineering process, we have been open to the maximal possibility in this small scale site and lead teams to create a nature-like refuge in the concrete jungle that we’re living in. In the end, the project becomes far more than just an installation itself, but also an experimental showcase of human-nature dialogue that explores the abstraction of organic mutualism in the art of living together.
OUR IMAGINEERING STRATEGY:
We attempted to answer project challenges through the above four strategies. In the end, our project has formed a multi-disciplinary team of district government, street office, planners, landscape designers, construction team, community children and volunteers. Different parties collaborated together to create an imagineering dream for the children and the community.
WHAT COULD IT BE?
Due to the lack of children’s activity space in Xuhui‘s Tianlin community and the short opening period of the festival, we hope Bamboo Forest Garden can be a child-friendly project in which community children can participate during the entire lifespan of its realization.
Other landscape architecture offices involved in the design of landscape: SATUN Design
Location: 639 Qinzhou Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China
Design year: 2021-06
Year Completed: 2021-09