Cindy (Jingyuan) Huang

[email protected]
Modos Intro Page

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s central city is suffering social depletion and devitalisation due to a pandemic and the new remaking and commercialisation of civic life at its waterfront. Library-City seeks to revitalise and re-socialise public urban space at the intersection of the city’s learning and entertainment quarters. Counter to the neo-liberal orchestration of desires through consumption, the project seeks to catalyse greater social performativity and citizenry agency through the nexus of learning. Revising an older modernist project for a ‘civic centre’ for the city, Library-City imagines a centrifugal urban intervention that takes the Central City Library as its pivot. Spun outward, it proposes a revised typology and operation for libraries—one that radicalises the institutional framework around collecting and managing knowledge by amplifying and diversifying social learning and variable plays in knowing.

Modos Instrument Models
Initial translation of library programs into mobile learning machines.

To better grasp this translational potential and the library’s radicalisation, a series of operating devices or ‘machines’ were devised. These in turn were ‘set in motion’ across the urban block and broader city terrain, a mobilisation giving rise to synergistic interventions drawing together neglected buildings inclusive of the St James Theatre, the ASB tower and a demolished cinema complex (Lido, Odeon and Regent theatres).

Modos Field Models Cropped
Library operations of distribution and collections are further translated at a wider urban scale testing for site strategies.

Learning and its translational potential on one hand, reverse the city’s occlusion of the hydrological network, bringing to surface the play of waterways and narratives associated with Waihorotiu. On the other, learning machines opportunistically plug into the proposed light rail network channelled through Queen Street, thereby potentially seeding counter-social performativity and learning agency across the city and Isthmus.

Modos Plan North Symbol
Overview plan depicting porous knowledge corridors integrated with a re-surfacing of the Waihorotiu waterways.
Modos Water Section
Modos Lorne Street
Events can pour out and intermix along Lorne Street that can be temporarily sheltered by a mobile canopy.
Modos Food Section
Modos Bank
Interior of the Bank of Curiosities where incongruous learning materials can be deposited, circulated and curated by mobile exhibition carts.
Modos Axo
Axonometric overview of project showing the transformed urban block and mobile machines which tap into the future light rail network.
Modos Aotea
Pop-up event at Aotea Square.