BASE Beijing : Located in Caochangdi :  Founded by Mary Ann Ray + Robert Mangurian 
The Wandering Pillow
Pubic intersection of the village
In the Upper Water Valley Village a single object can determine the character of a space. The Main St intersection told its story through the trail of a lone pillow sewn from an old pair of pants. We watched this pillow make its daily rounds visit after visit. From this small, yet poignant observa- tion it seemed the appropriate response to the understanding of public paths and intersections was not one of grandeur, but of simple necessity and comfort. Would-be-forgotten pants made into another ordinary object become an icon and generator of place. Thus, the introduction of more pillows could inspire this idea of gathering and communal space.

30 pillows were sewn composed of printed images from the village, such as faces, landscapes and surfaces. Printed on canvas they also included words spoken by the villagers from different interviews taken this year. The pillows were stuffed with peppercorn shells and recycled plastic bags and could be kept outdoors.

In addition to pillows, 350 postcards were made from images taken from our time spent in the village; photos depicting moments of individual lives and routines, the sprawling fields and mountains encircling the village, and friends sitting together.

An event was held in which the pillows and postcards were distributed. Like the original, the pillows were left discreetly upon ledges. Villagers then encountered the pillows and postcards and were able to sit, take or share the objects. A projection was displayed at nightfall of various still images, video and time-lapses of the village.

The event created the largest occurrence of activity and commotion yet to be seen in the village. Children had returned from school, residents of other villagers arrived out of intrigue, and as the light dimmed in the sky, the flickering images illuminated the long path of the Main St and the many faces of the community.

Our time spent in the Upper Water Valley Village could be described as investigative or analytical, but in truth is was something else. It was in- spiring, warm and unforgettable. This conclusion comes not from the re- search but from the relationships with the people of the village. A public space means nothing without the people that occupy it. Meeting and com- ing to know the people of this village was invaluable, and the pillows and postcards embodied the want to give back to a place once made up of strangers, but in the end made up of friends.
Map highlighting the public space
Scale matrix :: public spaces
Pillow Design
pillow materials
Projection in Village's public intersection // photo by Matt Decotis 
Solar Sombrero
The farmer is in the fields under the beat- ing sun all day, when he returns there is but one light bulb hanging to illuminate the bible-black night. the idea of the hat is too collect solar energy during the day by placing solar panels on the exterior of the hat, which would then charge a controller feeding energy into the bat- teries to then light the LED lights within the hat.
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