Summer CSGC Grant Update: Redesign of Outdated Farming Storage Solutions in Rural China

Growing up in the remote Yunan Province near the Chinese and Burmese border was an unforgettable part of my life. It is filled with many happy memories. Yunan Province has however, many poor counties. The government has done a great job lifting many counties out of poverty and have shifted more to a new model of the renovation of these poorer areas.

I want to give back to my community, and I’m thankful Deerfield has given me the perfect chance to do so. This Month I will be traveling to Nanjian county, near Dali city. Nanjian is a tea farming, and prominent meteorology region for the province. I will be working closely with the department of rural revitalization to carry out my plan. The problem right now with rural areas across China is the fact that their infrastructures are falling behind. Rodents and insects often spoil the farmers harvest, and I want to utilize my architectural interest and skills to help farmers. I plan to use the architectural skills I have studied at Deerfield to formulate a plan for a new prototype storage solution that can be used in the future on a wider scale. The first one will be completed in Yunan. I will be using AutoCad and Sketchup to create plans for the storage, and I will be mentored by Mr. You, an established architect based in Yunan.

We will start by field study of how architecture fits in this area by visiting some of his work in the Province. I will continue to learn more about architecture and draw inspirations from him. We will then travel to Nanjian along with architecture students from Yunnan University who are working on separate projects in the area. We will begin to design this new storage with consideration of functionality and cost. We hope to complete the plan as soon as possible and begin construction by the end of the summer.

-Bob Zhang ’23