TitleThe strength of the house
In the tea-producing village of Chiayi Alishan, Taiwan, every household is composed of a tea factory, a tea shop and their own living space. All these places belong to people’s private houses. Residents’ lives are determined by the timing and the amount of tea harvested, because they decide how much space is needed for the tea factory. During the tea harvest seasons, people use their living room as a place to hold tea-making activities. Therefore, their living room, which was originally a private place, becomes a semi-public place. During non-harvest times, the tea factory becomes a place to put equipment or a clothes drying room. Some may use the extra space as a larger dining room, expanding their private living area. Thus, the privacy of people’s home is strongly influenced by the timeline of tea harvesting. I think the living style of these residents are just like the changing of “space strength.” The living place and privacy of these people are constantly changed by all kinds of tea-producing activities; sometimes weak and sometimes strong, just like their changing of space, which can alternate between private and public. The economic activities in this village is both private and penetrating, and has a strong connection with local industries and environment. Here, households are no longer an independent place, but a space that connects all economic activities.