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︎Studio 4, Year 3

Dorothy Zhang

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Centre of Conversation


We are losing languages at a rate of one language every two weeks. By 2100, half of the world’s languages might disappear.  Although documentation has been the usual approach, culture ultimately cannot be stored but enacted and lived out. Against the backdrop of libraries, archives and museums, memory is perhaps our greatest link to culture.

Languages are not just dying in remote villages; they can die on the 26th floor of skyscrapers too. Jackson Heights in Queens, New York is one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in the world, home to 167 languages including several Himalayan languages which are hanging on by a thread. The difficulty for new immigrants is the struggle between their desire to preserve cultural traditions while also immersing themselves in the city they now call home.

This project formalises the scenarios of language practised on the street through different programs of radio, auditoriums, classrooms and libraries. As a cultural centre, the preservation of language is about the spoken language, oral history and the continuation of cultural activities. Shielded by a layered construction and a solid thick sandbag wall, a corridor of stairs forms an acoustic barrier. The interior hempcrete wall is supported by timber structure.
 
Contact:

Dorothy Zhang

︎Studio 4, Year 3
dorothyzhang212@gmail.com





Year 1
MStMAUS