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A Significant Other
The Lotte Tower is the tallest object in Hanoi. By virtue of its form, it is the city’s official contemporary landmark. By effect of its function, it only engages with the wealthiest percentile of the city. Caught in the crossfire between an unsparing mode for economic growth, an authoritarian regime’s restrictions on criticism, and supralegal rights, it is unchangeable from within. The project therefore explores changing it from without, through the introduction of an antithetical neighbour. Advancing a design theory of critical reflection through mirroring, the proposal culminates in a library of common goods that has the potential to reach the same dimensions as the Lotte Tower. The UNEP-funded building would allow people to borrow objects and use leisure facilities at no cost, in an effort to appease the city’s relentless production and consumption of low-quality goods – an issue perpetuated by manufacturing companies with headquarters in the Lotte Tower.