Date of Award
Master in Interior Architecture
The typical city museum is more concerned with the city’s past: focused on founding myths or historical events. The content is frozen and lacks engagement. Simultaneously, the city itself develops rapidly and shifts, just as the citizens move and change. To address this disconnection, it is necessary to create an active city museum that joins place, memory, and people by putting museum learning in context throughout the city and engaging audiences in their daily lives.
Dalian in Liaoning Province, China, is recognized as a historical and tourism district with a unique city fabric and collection of architectural styles. The city has a complex history of colonization, resistance, and development under rapid urbanization during the 20th century. To understand these layers of the city, this thesis also proposes the city museum consider personal narratives instead of traditional objective information, to understand this place from its citizens and visitors; no matter which era, people are the anchor points of the city’s past, present, and future. The accumulation of daily lives constructs the flow of time as well as the bridge to potential possibilities of any city.
Thus, the Dalian City Museum’s venue is within the Route 201 Tram system that interacts with the cityscape numerous times a day. The 201 Tram carrying passengers through the center of this area district developed along with the city’s early stages of urbanization. Despite rapid changes throughout Dalian, the line itself was not demolished and is still actively used by residents and tourists alike, witnessing their daily lives. Consider Route 201 as a story box that goes through the city as a guide for city exploration, not looking at the streetscape as postcards and finding the best angle for a photo, but from a position to understand and participate through educational transportation experiences with a familiar gaze from the perspective of people through the window. In the design of the tram city museum, the DLW300 carriage is transformed into a collective way for residents and visitors to enhance understanding of Dalian City. Just as commuters’ destinations relate to home, leisure, work, school, daily life and the moment of transportation itself, the content of the mobile city museum tells stories from these categories,not only pulled from the past.
Si, Yuyi, "Terminal: through the "windows" of a Tram Car Museum" (2021). Masters Theses. 721.
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View exhibition online: Yuyi Si, Terminal -- Through the "Windows" of a Tram Car