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City Design (MA)

Jincheng Meng & Xiya Chen

The project is an outcome of on-site research conducted in Akka (Acre), Palestine, in 2023 during the studio field trip, primarily presented through a physical installation. The work highlights both environmental pollution and societal conflicts, serving as a specific case study and analysing the multilayered violent system in Akka. The content is mainly composed of the following two parts:

The first part takes wastewater samples obtained from field investigations as the research subject, meticulously exploring the environmental impact of a high-pollution chemical factory in the southern suburbs of Akka. The samples reveal the specific manifestation, evidence, of the system of apartheid in this micro context of the small river. The work emphasises the so-called "slow violence/quiet violence," representing seemingly placid pollution phenomena. To accentuate this issue, the work integrates the results from physicochemical analysis, microscopic observations, and comparative studies of research reports in collaboration with Imperial College. The project then translates images of micro-particles and microorganisms viewed under the microscope into the glass and, through a programmed mechanical transmission system, displays these pieces of glass in a three-dimensional dendrogram, symbolising the "iceberg effect" or theory of omission of groundwater pollution.

The second part offers a virtual reality experience, recreating the exploration process from the tourist beach to the weapons production base on the southern side of the chemical factory, providing a three-dimensional visualisation of traces of human activity in different spatial locations. The work showcases the weaponised structures of the southern region, including electrified wire meshes, watchtowers, and surveillance facilities, through virtual reality, insinuating a sense of isolation and turning the region into an island. Within the virtual reality world, audiences can observe traces left by individuals at different times, including photographs, videos, soundscapes, and other documentary evidence, along with three-dimensional visualisations of human movements. Combined with the research content and researchers' embodied experiences, these elements represent information grounded in personal experience.

Porous, irregularly-shaped glass shards, translated from the microbes in sewage.
Glass Simulation 01
Glass shards full of protrusions, translated from the microbes in sewage
Glass Simulation 02
Spindle-shaped, concentrically coiled glass, translated from the microbes in sewage
Glass Simulation 03
Metallic, multicolored glass, translated from the inorganic substances in sewage.
Glass Simulation 04
Metallic, multicolored glass, translated from the inorganic substances in sewage.
Glass Simulation 05
Striped, multicolored glass, translated from the organic substances in sewage
Glass Simulation 06
Microscope Observation of Polluted Water from Akka


Mixed Media


2200MM * 1300MM * 700MM
Model in the Game, Electric chemistry factory
Model in the Game, Leisure Facilities
Model in the Game, West Industrial Zone


Interactive Media based on Virtual Reality
Trace of Destruction
user interface
user interface
user interface
user interface