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Yanyun Wang, Jiafei Liu, Wenhan Li & Teng Guo

War, as a disease, has unfortunately never been eradicated from human history. The upper section of this image portrays Aleppo, Syria – a city that has experienced violence and conflict for over 2,000 years in its 4,000-year history. Despite centuries of conflict, the city managed to remain intact until the Syrian Civil War broke out in 2012. The use of weapons of mass destruction and cyber warfare during the conflict led to devastating consequences, ultimately resulting in the destruction of the ancient city. Once known as the "Rose of the Middle East," Aleppo is now left in ruins for the first time in history.
Imagination & Healing
This project has chosen to construct a HETEROTOPIA as the setting for "Rabbit Hole," located beneath the ruins of Aleppo. The HETEROTOPIA has been designed using a combination of Syria's oldest construction methods and highly modernized parametric aggregation and growth principles. According to Foucault's philosophical theory, although a "HETEROTOPIA" may be virtual and unreal, it can accurately represent the essence of a real space. Furthermore, only those with great courage and observation will be able to discover and enter it. Multiple checkpoints have been set up throughout the process of entering the HETEROTOPIA, with the hope that those who overcome difficulties and reach it will come to understand that the method of healing from war and avoiding future conflicts lies within the ancient and harmonious ways of life.

Mysterious journey
The people who live underground never speak of the wars that occurred on the surface, and they are unaware of the current year or month. They focus solely on their present lives and pray for peace. Those who pass by the city of scorched earth can hear the sound of these prayers, but they do not know its origin. Only the brave and adventurous persist in finding the source of the sound, leading them to discover the entrance to the HETEROTOPIA. However, not everyone can safely reach this destination. The simplest and most demanding password to enter the HETEROTOPIA is "Humility." Failure to provide it results in the wooden ladder in the deep well retracting, sending the belligerent individual into the infinite depths of the well.

Historical research
Architectural design has the power to influence people's behavior. In the Middle East, architecture transitioned from tribal to urban during the city-state period, with an emphasis on cohabitation patterns and tolerance psychology. People could socialize and play on the rooftops, and Mohammed used to give speeches on rooftops to attract followers when he established Islam. However, following colonization by France, Syria's architectural style gradually shifted towards that prioritized separation and privacy. Social symbols like religion, wealth, and social class divided people, making it challenging for individuals to establish a sense of national and ethnic community. According to some of the local architects in Syria, this is the root cause of the outbreak of civil war.

Salute the Golden Age
To pay tribute to Syria's golden age in history and express our vision of a future city that can heal the wounds of war, this project attempts to use five basic modules - family, solitude, religious, commercial, and social - to improve people's connectivity and communication density, while leaving space for independent thinking. Then, by utilizing parameterized aggregation and growth formulas, the entire underground city can freely grow into the most ideal form.

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