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Detours: Tactical Approaches to Urbanization in China

Sat, Nov 4/06

This symposium focuses on projects by Chinese architects and artists that
critically engage urban development in China today. These practitioners approach
their context in flux from a tactical perspective that starts with a close
reading of the given social and material situation, setting their proposals
apart from strategic initiatives that respond abstractly to the demands of
foreign and local capital or state ideology.

Since the early 1980s, China has been transformed in unprecedented ways.
Incredible economic growth has created a new middle class, cities have been
physically reconstructed, culture has been opened to capitalist markets, and
farmers have moved to cities to find work. However, this urban revolution has
brought with it many contradictions. Cities and towns are being quickly produced
for immediate effect, projecting the image of a rapidly modernizing society,
while the uneven development of urban and rural spaces and people intensifies.

Panel 1: Motors of Development: State and Market

10:30am
- 12:00pm

ERIC CAZDYN (UofT, Film Studies) discussant

ANNE-MARIE BROUDEHOUX
(Université du Québec à Montréal)

OU NING (Artist, Guangzhou/Beijing)

MENG
YUE (UofT, East Asian Studies)

Panel 2: New Landscapes between the Urban and the
Rural

1:30pm – 3:00pm

ROBERT WRIGHT (al&d) discussant

ADRIAN BLACKWELL (al&d)

ALANA
BOLAND (UofT, Geography)

PETER METTLER (Filmmaker, Toronto)

Panel 3: Tactical Architecture in a Shifting
Context

3:15pm – 4:45pm

ROBERT LEVIT (al&d) discussant

ZHU JIANFEI (University of
Melbourne)

WANG HUI (Urbanus Architecture and Design,
Shenzhen/Beijing)

WEIWEI SHANNON (People’s Architecture, New York)

Roundtable Discussion

5:00pm – 6:00pm