Shanghai Playscape

Finalist 2019

Shanghai Playscape is a new public space, micro-intervention, low-cost project and part of the Fourth Edition of Open Your Space, an ongoing research and design project at the College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University. OYS focuses on public space in the Siping community by involving administration, residents, students, designers and artists in helping the community acquire a better sense of sustainability, comfort and accessibility to public spaces.

Siping is a residential area built in the sixties, characterized by the presence of Tongji University, where an obsolete walking path was turned into a stylish pocket park and playground. The project retains the original greenery layout but added 3-D letters combining the name of the CDI and Siping in Chinese characters, representing the collaboration between college and community; the logogram has become the new symbol of the pocket garden.

Identification and graphic treatments serve as placemaking features and enhance the residential public space. Six flowerbeds have been adopted by local residents, schools and enterprises, creating long-term community engagement for this place.

In contrast to the state control of urban design and planning prevalent in China, this bottom-up action suggests an alternative that embodies the subjectivity and agency of urban dwellers, and opens the pursuit of a more open, democratic and dynamic form of urban design and placemaking in Shanghai, China and beyond.

Design Firms: 

Tongji University


Siping Community, Yangpu District

Project Area: 

3,250 sq ft

Open Date: 

December 2018

Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Liao Hanling (videography); Ni Minqing, Fu Hangjun, Zheng Ce (photography)

Design Team: 

Ni Minqing (principal in charge, project manager of Open Your Space, chief designer); Tiziano Cattaneo, Eugenio Mangi (co-chief designers); Fu Hangjun, Xu Peng (assistant designers); Lu Zian (graphic design assistant)


Liu Yuelai (plants consultant)


LucQ Play (primary fabricator), Rocal Art & Design

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