Hutong Mushroom

Authors: Li Han, Jin Qiuye

ISBN: 9787112219179

Publisher: China Architecture & Building Press

Urban Studies Degree Zero is an urban studies project led by DAS founder Li Han and Prof. Jin Qiuye at Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture. Different from the “production of knowledge” which is the result of most urban studies, Urban Studies Degree Zero is based on the concept of “Writing Degree Zero” by Roland Barthes. It is outcome-driven and focuses on the quality of the completed models and drawings as the outcome of the studies. Therefore, Urban Studies Degree Zero becomes the “production of works”.

In Hutong Mushroom, the participating students were asked to select some most characteristic cases from the local houses built or renovated by the residents in the hutong area of Beijing and represent them through meticulous architectural models and watercolor drawings. The models and drawings are not merely documentations for the urban studies, but because of their high quality of completion, they are also given the value for independent appreciation. Based on those works, the authors discuss the alternative attitude and methods in urban studies and analyze the spontaneously developed status of hutong in Beijing and diversified spatial forms inside from a professional perspective.