This book contains multiple short critiques, reflections and manifestos, affording each contributing architect and intellectual the time and space to imagine new social paradigms in China. Emerging from a tumultuous history of high culture and complex territorial conditions, there is nothing straightforward about the social development of China. The complexity of the social practices developed by architects and shapers of the built environment can be explained in part by the last three decades of an intensified adoption of the market economy by the Communist Party of China, after an equally short three decades of closed-door communist control. There is no political meltdown like the democratization of the former Communist Bloc, but there is a constant managing of discontent and resistance across China. At the apex of the many creative and intellectual forces in China, architects harbor and give form to many tactics of resistance. Unfortunately, architects are also the instruments and minds complicit with profit-mongering developers and governments, pursuing unchecked urbanization, degradation of the environment, exploitation of the marginalized, and the creation of a very inequitable China.
This book begins with an introduction that defines the forms and tendencies of China’s society as it stands today, and it positions the work of a small number of architects and intellectuals who are at the forefront of reforming, rethinking and even revolutionizing the Chinese society. Beneath the veneer of a very successful China that the world readily acknowledges, a quiet revolution is taking place within the realms of architecture and the city. The social, architectural and urban theories documented in this book are organized around the established canons of social actions – from mobilizing, laboring, resisting and mediating, to networking, controlling, rationalizing and aestheticizing. This book aims to put the social agenda squarely back in the rapid development of the built environment in China.
This publication is the culmination of a three-year study of social issues in the architecture and cities of China. It involved visits to sites undergoing massive change, discussions and debates among architects and critics, reflections by practitioners about their own work, and activists lobbying for social change. Supported by the non-profit AA Asia, the edition of the contents relied heavily on original input and exchanges between architects and theorists committed to China, from Asia and beyond. Since the 1990s, AA Asia remains one of a few unique think tanks committed to the study of architecture and cities in Asia. As an advocacy with strong academic roots, it seeks to establish the differences across various postcolonial and Asian contexts, and recalibrate the role of architecture in a technocratic era dominated by the global economy.
With Contributions of Robert Adams, Lee Ambrozy, Yung Ho Chang, Chen Ling, Jeremy Chia, Cui Kai, Dong Gong, Dong Yugan, Mario Gandelsonas, Han Tao, Andrei Harwell, He Jianxiang, Hu Yan, Hua Li, Huang Weiwen, Huang Wenjing, Jiang Jun, Jeffrey Johnson, Michael Kokora, Kengo Kuma, Andrew Lee, Joan Leung Lye, Li Han, Li Hu, Li Shiqiao, Nartano Lim, William S.W. Lim, Liu Jiakun, Liu Kecheng, Liu Yichun, Long Ying, Ma Qingyun, Robert Mangurian, Meng Yan, Ou Ning, Alan Plattus, Mary-Ann Ray, Daan Roggeveen, Ruan Hao, Eunice Seng, Shi Jian, Victor Su, Sun Yimin, Wang Fei, Wang Shu, Wang Yan, H. Koon Wee, Shirley Woo, Wu Gang, Wu Liangyong, Xu Tiantian, Rocco Yim, Yu Kongjian, Zhang Ke, Zhao Liang, Zhou Yi, Zhu Tao, Zhu
|Edition description:||English ed.|
|Product dimensions:||5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)|
About the Author
H. Koon Wee is the Program Director of the HKU Cities in Asia Program, and founding Principal Architect of SKEW Collaborative. He is a Board Member of the non-profit Asian Urban Lab and founding member of the Docomomo HK Chapter. His most recent book is entitled Singapore Dreaming: Managing Utopia, and his forthcoming monograph entitled The Other Factory: Late Industrial Forms and Organization in China covers the unique histories of industrialization of China in the 20th century, narrated through a number of award-winning projects undertaken by SKEW. As a Dutch registered architect, Koon was recognized in the recent Fifty-under-Fifty: Innovators of the 21st Century juried by Stanley Tigerman, Ralph Johnson, Jeanne Gang, Marion Weiss and Qingyun Ma. Koon has also gained a number of international awards and recognition from the Chicago Athenaeum, Leading European Architects Forum, Asia Pacific Design Center, World Architecture News, Blueprint, Perspective, AD100, Conde Nast and others. SKEW’s work has been exhibited at the Torino Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Venice Biennale, Shenzhen-HK Biennale, Chengdu Biennale, Anyang Public Art Program, A+UD Hub-to-Hub Public Program, and SENI, the precursor to the Singapore Biennale.
"This timely book addresses critical social issues facing architects and planners working in China today, H. Koon Wee has skillfully orchestrated a collection of insightful essays that provoke us to throw off the blinders that have narrowed our vision of architecture in the past and to consider a broad spectrum of forces such as social equity, economic and geographic mobility, political resistance, and environmental sustainability. The book is a call to action at a moment when China is searching for new paths between socialism and capitalism, urban expansion and rural decline, individual expression and political control. " Clifford Pearson, writer, editor, and director, University of Southern California’s American Academy in China