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For a long time, the city could be understood as a collection of static objects. Although there are many programs in the same building, their sealed private interiors were totally disconnected from and disengaged from the exterior public realm.
During this unprecedented pandemic period, a skyscraper could be seen as a neutral shell which doesn’t allow any activities or human interaction and skylines are a frozen dormant backdrop in almost every city in the world. No one has experienced this situation before, which influences all of us as individuals and as a collective group.
During the Post-Pandemic era members of the public are readily seeking the relief of boredom, the opportunity to interact with others or a place to reach out for fresh air. Simple ideas of social entertainment--going to a cinema to watch a movie is no longer a form of enjoying our family time and threatens our health. At the political level, social isolation restricts public gatherings and stifles group expression, our political opinions, and our ability to stand up against immoral actions.
But it does not remain this way.
Urban Mask has been adapted to meet these needs. Buildings are no longer only machines of living or structures of financial capital but creative, collective, altruistic entities. The façade, covered by an Urban Mask now supports personal needs, urban democracy, and collective well-being. The modular and flexible scaffolding systems is a structure for double-side “masks” for facades to wear, which provide an opportunity of not only watching a movie in their home but an expression of their feelings and exchange of emotions towards the outside world.
By pushing out private void to public volume, Urban Mask becomes a transitional medium and virtual space that blurs building envelopes and connects people in our new reality. A screen becomes a space that can be experienced without our physical body. You are able to buy something, order your dinner, or watch a movie through this big screen in your home without going outside. On the other hand, the screen becomes a new format of social involvement. That creates a new conversation between a privately isolative room and public space since people have the possibility to broadcast some news or share empathetic words or even create a social movement to the city through their own “mask”. Everyone can speak freely through the masked screen. No one will be a leader in this urban social movement, but everyone is as important as each other no matter what you are race or appearance or sexuality. Finally, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and we will get there and be stronger by working together through the current challenges.
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