Cindy (Jingyuan) Huang

University of Auckland
New Zealand/Aotearoa

The city centre of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is currently witnessing a social depletion due to dilapidating civic infrastructure and commercial competition at its waterfront. In response, this project seeks a social revitalisation of the city centre through a radical reconception of an existing social infrastructure- the Central City Public Library. In this project, the static enclosure of the library institution is centrifugally expanded towards a new urban learning network. In turn, the library is disseminated and intersected with the city to generate new social permutations and regenerative opportunities across social, cultural, and ecological dimensions.

This project challenges the existing operations of the library in both its archival contents and social interface. Library-City broadens the library’s archival collection via programmatic permutations with wider urban typologies (including a bank and a theatre) and ecological conditions pertinent to the site. As a result, the library collection expands beyond simply books to encompass other forms of embodied and performative knowledge practices from theatre to agriculture. Simultaneously, this permutation releases the library archive from institutional departmentalisation and knowledge accreditations towards new disseminated learning opportunities, which invite public collaboration in both the making and shaping of “knowledge” and library contents.