Symbiotic Trade in the City
Towards a Hybrid Market Typology
BArch Hons 2022
Unit Leader: Jiaxin Yan Gong
Unit Assistant: Ruth Manda
Unit Assistant: Thandeka Mnguni
Rogue Roots: Magic of Port and Passage
This project explores the relationship between formal and informal trade and how these two are intrinsically and dynamically linked to form a cohesive ecosystem. This interest started by investigating the dual economy structure in the city, and the various ways in which the activity of street trade has altered long-established modernist norms governing the occupation and use of urban space. This work recognises the ever-growing informal sector and its significant contribution to the economic landscape. For these reasons, the informal economy should be viewed not as a marginal or peripheral sector but as an integral component of the total economy and therefore should be embraced as part of the formal economy and enjoy similar benefits. Through this body of work the linkages and socio-cultural relationships between formal and informal traders were investigated. By following these linkages, a site has been identified (Alexandra) to test hybrid strategies of symbiotic trade. This is explored through various methods of ethnographic mapping, the analysis of trade policies, and speculative iterative design strategies working across multiple scales from the urban to the intimate.