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Friday, July 11, 2008

The Chinese Dream - A Society Under Construction

Neville Mars sent over images of his new book (with Adrian Hornsby), The Chinese Dream - A Society Under Construction, and it looks super interesting. The book examines China's stated goal of building "400 new cities of 1 million inhabitants each by 2020, or 20 new cities a year for 20 years" and explores the hopes and hazards of dreaming on such a scale. From the website:
China is in the midst of breakneck transformation. The last 30 years of astonishing economic growth and political and cultural reform have been driven by the world’s biggest ever urban boom. The new China is now halfway built: within the next 30 years the world’s most populous nation will most likely take centre-stage as a global superpower, with hundreds of millions of new urbanites flooding into the rapidly swelling cities. But this process — presenting no less than the construction of a new society — is taking place almost without time to think. The present is so all-consuming that fast realities threaten to eclipse the slow dream of tomorrow.

Assembled over a four year continuous presence in China, the book lays aside over-exposed starchitect projects, and looks instead at the enormous wave of anonymous buildings currently reshaping the landscape and fabric of China itself. Bold texts, self-critical design proposals, exploratory photoessays, a unique glossary, and an innovative survey of China’s young middle class, reveal China in all its astonishing diversity: from the glitziest megamalls to the gloomiest slums, and from the rural fringe to the mushrooming village. Featuring thousands of photographs, drawings and computer graphics, this is space as you have never seen it before: brash, outlandish, and very Chinese.

You can pre-order it here.

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