↓Research—Book Structure & Chapter Brief
Chapter 1: An Introduction to China’s Architectural Mimicry
Chapter 2: The Philosophy and Motivation of Chinese Replicating the Alien
Although the phenomenon of copycat towns in China is not new and its origin can be traced back as early as the Qin Dynasty, its phenomenal growth during the past two decades is breath-taking and alarming.
This chapter will walk you through the first definitive chronicle of this remarkable phenomenon in which entire townships appear to have been airlifted from their historic and geographic foundations in Europe and the Americas, and spot-welded to Chinese cities.
This chapter will tease out the complicated and often contradictory motivations that drive the Europeanization and Americanization of China’s satellite suburbs. The chapter will not only discuss the “hard” dimension of the phenomenon—such as who gets to decide what to build and where; but also examine the sociocultural and symbolic elements of the question. What this exploration will reveal is that the factors impinging on the decision to simulate alien townscapes are not merely exogenous
but lead deep into the cultural character of contemporary China: the rise of its newly minted middle and upper classes and their desire for branded luxury consumer goods and, more important, symbols of self-cultivation; the flexing of the national soft-power muscle; a “yes-we-can” boosters bloated on a decade of unprecedented economic growth and increasing prestige and power in the global arena; and a deeply rooted tradition of celebrating cultural achievements by constructing gigantic monuments.
Chapter 3: Experimental Architecture and Architecture Globalization
Chapter 4: The Role of Architectrual Icon in The Spirit Of A City
In the past twenty years, a new generation of Chinese architects, many of whom have carved out an independent practice, have challenged the dominant ideology of architecture in China by offering an alternative experience, visual, tactile, and spatial.
This chapter illustrates the phenomenon of the emergence of these weird, grotesk architectures in China, by using the existing architectures as well as a series of collage with aesthetic perception. It will discuss the psychological theory of its construction and its relationship between architecture globalization in China.
Historically, this sort of architecture tended to be driven by the state and/or religions elites, but in an era of capitalist globalization it is those who are in control of capital flows—the transnational capitalist class— that have become increasingly implicated in the production of iconic architecture, particularly in service to their own narrow and specific class interests. Why is architecture the language through which the contemporary spirit of cities tends to express itself?
This chapter explores the role of icons, especially architectural icons, in a city’s identity-building.Iconic architecture, which is a particular building’s fame, is often achieved by rendering it with a distinctive aesthetic or symbolic significance.
Chapter 5: Process and Forces of China’s Urbanization (4 Stages)
Chapter 6: The Performative in Chinese Architecture
This chapter delivers the narrative of the process of China’s urbanization in the following 4 stages:
1. After the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949 and before 1977, the central government focused on recovering the national economy through rural land reform and urban industrialization.
2. In 1976, China’s national economy was on the verge of collapse. The further reform in the late 1980s and early 1990s involved lifting price controls and privatization of state-owned enterprises.
3. China’s entrance into the WTO in 2001 and the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 signified the success of export-oriented growth plus the rapidly growing Chinese market for domestic and foreign products. Although the number of cities remained stable, population and constructed areas soared. Metropolises increased their population by merging with suburban counties. As a result, the administrative areas of metropolises have expanded.
4. This stage (2010-present) of urbanization was led by the land economy. Many Chinese cities experienced massive market-housing development and soaring housing prices during this period of time.
‘Performative Architecture’ is commonly though of as a type of architecture in which a building’s performance (its energy consumption, functionality, etc.) is a guiding desing principle. ‘The Performative in Chinese Architecture’ covers the same terrain, albeit postscript and paradox ridden. What is the relationship of a building to its occupant? How does an inhabitant deal with the inadequacies of an architectural and engineering arragement that has essentially been forced upon them? Improvisation is a big part of the answer. The Performative is the constantly changing, subtle manipulation of a building’s architectural appearance by one’s occupants, managers, or developers.
It is an organic and dynamic and dynamic relationship where items are added and removed over the course of time in a context that has been fixed from the start. In some instanves it is the hanging of laundry or the installing of exterior mounted air conditioning units, fans and water machines. While ‘Performative Architecture’ implies the notion of Green ideaology, several of the examples cited here ironically underscore the unfortunate toll that China’s economic revolution has taken on the envirorment.
Chapter 7: Rural-Urban Communication—Cinema as Witness
Chapter 8: “Chinese Dream” and A Realizable Utopia
In Chinese cities, there is a space of illegality and irregularity in the periphery of urban areas, where migrants are concentrated rural migrants are a floating population without any interest to settle in the city, always free to return to their villages. The suburbia is a temporary stop that becomes a space of transit, although it is not known to what extent this temporal situation will become permanent in the near future.
Chinese cinema plays a key role in providing social criticism. It depicts the evolution and changes that China is suffering in its urban and rural context, and the life of the rural migrants in the city. This chapter will combine the theory with examples of the work of Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Jia Zhang-ke, and Wang Xiaoshuai (Fifth- and Sixth-Generation moviemakers) that have depicted this rural-urban dichotomy, from the 1990s up to the present day.
The Chinese Dream is a term popularized after 2013 within Chinese society that describes a set of personal and national ethos and ideals in China and the Government of China. It is used by journalists, government officials, and activists to describe the role of the individual in Chinese society as well as the goals of the Chinese nation.
This chapter will examine the political and economic implications of an empowered consumer society exercising an unprecedented freedom to choose and will investigate the lifestyle embraced by homeowners within the Western themed communities, a lifestyle that offers suggestions for the future composition of the contemporary Chinese Dream.
↓ Book Map
↓ Book Dummy
↓ Book Cover Sketch
↓ A "made in China" copy of the book based on the same creative brief, to bring the idea of "China's Mimicry" to the final production stage. Thanks to my old friend Xueang Wang in Beijing.
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→ Sundae Flowers→ Arte Luise Hotel→ A Simulacra of Place: Architecture Mimicry and China's Urbanization→ Sternberg Press→ Storm King Art Center→ Two Minutes to Midnight: Arts of Doomsday→ Haus & Heimat→ Indicators: Artists on Climate Change
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© 2021 Sunny Tianqing Li