Today MVRDV, The Why Factory and the JUT Foundation for Arts and Architecture unveiled their giant 6 meter tall installation of colorful building blocks as part of the new Vertical Village exhibition in Taipei. The sculpture is part of the fourth edition of a series called “Museum of Tomorrow”, which explores East Asia's rather rapid urban transformation. In recent years, large blocks of faceless, nondescript apartments have been constructed to accommodate the mass influx of people into the cities and the exhibit asks whether there is a better way to provide dense housing for these newcomers in an affordable manner.
East Asian cities have experienced an enormous amount of pressure to build rapidly in order to accommodate the number of people moving into cities. Low-rise traditional villages have been razed to make way for giant buildings, faceless towers and nondescript slabs. Often these buildings have been constructed with little regard for aesthetics, and have poor indoor environmental air quality, little sustainability and even, at times, issues with structural integrity and safety. Not only are these new giant cities an affront to our design and architectural sensibilities, but they completely erase tradition to make way for mass-produced solutions.
The Vertical Village explores the alternatives to faceless urbanization in exchange for densification by way of preserving the qualities of the traditional village. “The exhibition offers an alternative, a contemporary Vertical Village – a three-dimensional community that brings personal freedom, diversity, flexibility and neighborhood life back into East Asian – and maybe even Western – cities,” explains MVRDV. Visitors to the Chung Shan Creative Hub in Taipei can check out the 6 meter tall installation of a very playful vertical village concept as well as a variety of analytical models and research elements. Visitors can also design their ideal house with an interactive platform, “The House Maker”, and develop their Vertical Village with parametric software, which was developed using a Grasshopper scripted Rhinoceros model by MVRDV and The Why Factory.
Along with the exhibition, a 528 page volume can be purchased with additional research and countless color illustrations. It features detailed case studies for Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Djakarta, Seoul and Bangkok, interviews with Winy Maas, Alfredo Brillemburg and Hubert Klumpner, Lieven De Cauter, Peter Trummer and families living in Taipei, among others. The exhibition opens this week and continues until the beginning of January 2012.