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ZIJUN ZHOU

USA

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Design Description

It has been 68 days since I stayed at home after the COVID-19 pandemic happened. I still remember when things began to turn in an unexpected direction like it happened yesterday.
How do I feel during these days? Fear, shock, painful, angry, happy, relaxed, anxious, I guess all of them. The news is full of heart broken stories and political blames… Is this the world we all want to continue living in? Is this the best we can do as humans during this global crisis?
I want to escape from the chaos but the only place I can go are my front yard and the roof. With such a limited activity zone, I start to plant. I plant all kinds fruits and flowers, just look at them grow day by day, I feel a sense of joy and peace, the sense of hope.
What is the best thing for the world now? A space we can feel the peace of the moment. I found a kindred idea in an indoor planter. If we can create a whole ecosystem in such a small space at home, why can’t we also create a full-scale space for ourselves to interact with the larger world during this pandemic.
I have created the space that replicate the same feeling of isolation I’ve experienced in my own home. We must maintain social distance, but what exactly does isolation mean from a mental and social perspective? How does the lack of physical contact modify the experience of isolation, how does that effect our own mental conditions, and that of society as a whole? Like in our homes, these mini lofts have their own life sustaining systems, in this case represented by the small indoor planters. An ecosystem within an ecosystem.
The herb field contains 4 divided loft units, and it is intended be installed in public areas, the loft allows one person to stay-in each time with a certified daily or weekly pass. In the loft, everyone can re-enjoy the outdoor life while still keeping the social distance.
What’s the price for it? The price is growing and harvesting the herbs and vegetables in the planters, creating a new, healthy relationship with society.
Each loft contains a few indoor planters with pre-seeded herbs. While visitors book the loft for certain time periods, they also commit to maintaining the herb garden. The herbs will be collected and donated regularly to people or places that need them.
When the visitors complete their pop-up garden daily or weekly stay, the garden will be disinfected and ready for the next visitors.
I want to create a self-sustained circle. A circle where everyone can gain a sense of involvement and be responsible for each other, a circle in which everyone can help each other, a circle where everyone can benefit from our more generous and kinder sides, a circle where we can feel the beauty of humanity. More subtlety, a place to inspire us to reconsider about what human connection is, and the relationship between public and private.
If COVID-19 is the great equalizer, this pop-up garden would be the playing field on which this equalization occurs, giving anyone equal ability to reside in this public and thus prized space.

Designer(s)

ZIJUN ZHOU

ZIJUN ZHOUZIJUN ZHOU

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