asian future(s)

If you’re wondering how Shenzhen’s urban village experience does and does not map into planned and unplanned urbanization and concomitant urbanisms in Asian Cities, please check out Urban Asias: Essays on Futurity Past and Present. Tim Bunnell and Daniel Goh have edited this cross-disciplinary discussion about how cities manifest future dreams and aspirations, as well as the problems that arise when the forms of outdated futures structure everyday life.

Also: the more I interact with architects, urban planners, and designers the more I have come to appreciate good design. As an object, the book is lovely.

Why is Shenzhen not taken?: A preliminary report from an uncertain field

Jonathan BACH opened our three-day workshop “Informal Plans, Planned Informality: Shenzhen as Model and Field” with the observation that our goal is not to map the borders between the proper city and its others, but rather to track the (slightly inflammatory, a bit delirious) algorithms that constantly produce those borders, which in turn keep re-producing the city. What does it mean, we ask, to document uncertainty?

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a state beyond the state

Just finished reading Ting Chen’s A State beyond the State: Shenzhen and the Transformation of Urban China, which maps how land was assigned and developed over the course of 35 years of development in Shenzhen. One of my favorite sections in the book tracks the transformation of Shahe State Farm, pre-1979 Bao’an County’s only danwei into Baishizhou, the city’s most iconic urban village. Indeed, Chen’s meticulous maps suggest how the area has mediated rural-urban conditions since 1959, when the farm was established. Continue reading

migrations is open!

The Migrations exhibition opened beneath bright sun and clear skies, bringing together people from Longhua and Dalang, as well as graduate students from Shenzhen University and Langkou aunties. The opening ceremony celebrated the central idea of the 7th edition of the Biennale “Cities grow in difference,” taking advantage of the contrasts between the restored P+V, its surrounding urban village, and the clean design of INFUTURE. These contrasts created a particularly postmodern aesthetic that celebrated three generations of migrants—Hakkas who came to the area 300 years ago, missionaries who arrived 150 years ago, and the Shenzheners who have been path breaking Shenzhen since 1980. Indeed, the these differences are the nutrients that have made Shenzhen’s unique migrant culture. Continue reading

education through time (sz book of changes, ep 6)

xiasha k.k. one

Impressions of the Xiasha Plaza since the opening of the k.k. one mall. Those who follow the cycle of urban village demolition, relocation, and upgrading know the k.k. folks as 京基, the same development company involved in renovating Caiwuwei.

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baguang

For those who doubt that once upon a time Bao’an County was coastal, I offer images from Baguang, one of the more beautiful sections of Dapeng New District. The majority of Baguang villagers have been relocated, while land and coastline have been red-lined for environmental protection, green living and research. At the moment, Baguang shimmers at the cusp of redevelopment–not yet remade, but yet already under erasure. Boom!

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