UBC Graduate Research

[In]-visible : A narrative on precious workers of intimate daily cleaning Yang, Yang


Architecture needs daily support to be alive. If buildings exist as living bodies, the everyday routines are required for the functioning of this vast organism. The source of food, water and fresh air are fundamental supplements in feeding the “bones,” the “tissues,” and the “skin.” All these body parts refer to the structure, program and façade of the building, and inquire intensive maintenance to keep it alive and functional. Human activities are dusty. The facilities are enclosed factories that collect dusty particles from the working of bodies. These elements hold power to participate in degrading the building to its end. However, keeping a routine of cleaning the dust and particles is inevitably a way to maintain the space. Then the question came, who is doing all this dirty work? The project aims to explore the invisible precarious workers who maintain all the buildings while being simultaneously demanded for and disregarded by our society. The thesis dives into an investigation of architectural developments in addressing this current situation. Drawing on concepts such as tools, bodies and service spaces, the project takes from the study of unnoticeable daily intimate cleaning to hidden service space in an architectural context.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International