Taking the train from Guangzhou to Shenzhen, I will be meeting a group of HKU students and participating in a workshop in a rural village called Fairy Water Village in Hunan Province. From what I understand, the workshop will be working on the conservation of a historic Guest House in the village and building small structures in the village using traditional construction skills and craft.
Objectives of the HKU workshop (from the programme booklet):
Students will experience the current Village modernization (新农村建设) in China through the educational and research activities for exploiting new vernacular architecture that synthesizes the innovative design and the new technologies with the traditional craftsmanship, based upon the study of the culture and local architectural context in Fairy
Water Village in Hunan Province; b. Students will learn both the knowledge and the skills on understanding vernacular architecture, passive design approaches, and building tectonics with local materials and crafts. Activities include survey drawings of historical houses, data collection and analysis with drones and photogrammetry techniques.. c. Students are expected to experience the design and build exercise of some small structures for the village community through experimenting propotypical design methodologies.