United We Stand, Divided We Fall


Type: International Pavilion Competition

Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Project Year: 2018

Area: 300m

Team: Felix Chun Lam, Ziyang Luo, Yi Ran Weng, Siteng Xu

Client: Ragdale Foundation


For the 2018 Ragdale Ring, we would like to celebrate each individual that makes the Ragdale community the ideal setting for a transformative time and space for artists. As we believe that the spirit of Ragdale is rooted in the communal nature of the establishment, we would like to highlight this particular feature of the organization in line with the ethos of the Arts and Craft movement through a design that put spotlight on each individual within this community.


Because United We Stand, Divided We Fall, we believe that Ragdale is the perfect embodiment of the collectiveness that we desperately need currently to subdue the ongoing social political divide in our society. And since a community is only plausible through the work of each individual coming together with analogous goals and aspirations, we intend to design the the 2018 Ragdale Ring as a playground that demarcates the power of each individual in the making of a collective.


Through the installation of seven park equipment including a bouncing bench, two swings, a tire swing, a bicycle, a bouncing ball placed strategically at the back of our Ragdale Ring site, we hope to make the attendees of the summer concerts interact with these toys by putting weight onto them in order to clear a series of ribbons that hide the views onto the musical stage. In other words, our intervention employs the power and weight of each individual within a community as it demonstrates that each and everyone of us matters in the context of a collective, and hence United We Stand, Divided We Fall.


A musical concert can only occur if and only if the individuals are united in force to pull each park equipment with their weight towards the ground as the connected ribbons will be straightened, and the spectators can utilize as a result the space below this polychrome ribbon canopy. In any other cases, the ribbons will hide the view of the stage performance as the individuals are divided, and thus the ribbons will fall into the crowd.


Therefore, we believe that United We Stand, Divided We Fall is the representation of the greatest quality of the Ragdale Community. Despite the differences between each individual that constitutes part of this artistic collective, the Ragdale ring has always brought all of us together into one point to celebrate art and to appreciate music. For that reason, our proposal for the Ragdale Ring is an architectural machine that seeks to demonstrate physically the significance of each individual in the making of not merely an Arts and Crafts movement, but most importantly the establishment of a collaborative environment in which United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

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