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Condenser of Memory

Experiential Living Complex Design 

Time: 2017 Spring

Team: Individual Work

Role: Researcher, Architectural Designer

Tool: Rhino, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign

What is Condenser of Memory?

The story takes place in northeast China where economy decreased dramatically due to its failure in industrialization reform. In 18th century, this area called Tiexi in Shenyang City of northeast China was once the industrial core area who worked as the economic center of China. However, with the speed of industrial reform, factories were closing and large numbers of workers were laid off. The once-vibrant city has become a lifeless place where youngsters were escaping. How to bring back economic growth has been a difficult issue for decades.  

For me, except from economy, cultural loss should be considered as another critical core issue regarding its relation to urban history and collaborative memory. As a result, this design coming up as a condenser of memory which can work as the extension of culture in order to awaken the past scenes deep inside memory. 

Residential Complex which provides special living experience for tourists as well as young artists can not only bring freshness as well as nostalgia due to the main design concept of recapturing and reconstructing scenes of the past. It is not only a complex of diverse programs related with living but also a complex of past experience, which includes factory, workers’ village, market, workers’ cinema, shanty towns and workers’ canteen. These spaces which represent living scenes at industrial age are a collaboration of memory, which people can memorize by seeing and feeling. Just as the industrial age, gaps between living and working were broken, and all aspects of life are united altogether, following collectiveness.

Culture should be memorized in another way apart from educational museums. Instead, one space which could be utilized as a real condenser to store, recall and create memories.


Historical Culture Context

What is Condenser of Memory?
Historical Culture Context
from Capture to Recapture

from Capture to Recapture

Industrial Scene Capture

Industrial Scene Recapture


Components as Condenser

Copyright ©2023, Qingyu Cai, All rights reserved

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