architecture should create a sense of belonging, because there is no gathering without the feeling of belonging.
growing up in china, i had to share parks with the dancing aunties. it was not so good an experience because they always conquered the open space with minimal sense of boundary, presuming themselves as the protagonists on public squares. the dance, with the help of the blasting music, creates an aura that extends all the way to the physical edge of the open space, regardless of its size and shape, making people deviate around it. however, every individual should feel belonging in these public spaces, especially when the collective ideology of grandeur and loyalty celebrated a few decades ago gradually developed into a more diverse and humanistic one today. in fact, nowadays we have a whole spectrum of activities that should coexist in public space. however, in a homogeneous china, diversity and democracy is virtually disregarded in our public space design. one can find condensed park space along rivers and lakes and an absence of public space in other densely populated residential neighborhoods. Within these parks, hierarchical large open squares with a center or an axis are paved with similar materials to emphasize a homogenous feeling. the form and material fail to adjust to the contemporary forms of social engagement that celebrate diversity, democracy, and flexibility.