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New [Socialist] Village \

Darryl Chen, working in collaboration with Hawkins\Brown, was selected to exhibit at the 2012 Venice Biennale for the British Pavilion. The work is featured in the Venice Takeaway, an ambitious research project aiming to promote new ideas for UK architecture.

Darryl travelled to the outer-Beijing village of Caochangdi, a thriving community where bottom-up opportunism meets top-down regulation. Pitting the political ambiguities of the Chinese planning system against the UK's own, the project speculates as to how Caochangdi provides the clue to unlocking the potential inherent in the Localism Act.


Taking inspiration from a renowned scroll dating from the Song Dynasty, Qingming Shang Hetu, a five-metre long scroll was created to depict both present-day Caochangdi and a future British entrepreneurial village. The scroll features intricately detailed illustrations of scenarios within a new kind of village that fosters a uniquely British brand of entrepreneurialism. The proposal was also disseminated through a mass-produced 'little red book'.

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