Pudong Skyline and Globalization
06 Jul 2005
Patrick at Ape Rifle is working on his dissertation, and the topic relates to Pudong’s skyline and globalization. The focus is pretty abstract. Here’s a quote:
> In my dissertation, I’m going to explore how much the lived reality/built form of Lu Jia Zui actually conforms to its commonly imagined ‘global’ skyline. Much discussion of globalization in the relevant literature talks as if there are some intangible forces floating around the world, homogenizing cities and transforming cultures. However, what is not so often discussed is that the whole idea of ‘globalization’ is nothing but a theoretical abstraction; it can hardly come knock at your door anymore than it can build a skyscraper. ‘Globalization’ , on the ground, is nothing more than the built form produced by belief in it. The production of ‘global’ spaces thus has little to do with abstract forces, and a lot to do with real possibilites/constraints.
As for specifics…
> In this dissertation, I want to use Lu Jia Zui to critique the notion that ‘globalization’ somehow produces homogenous landscapes in ‘global’ cities, especially when dealing with financial districts. As an image, perhaps, Lu Jia Zui is similar to New York or Canary Wharf here in London, but in reality it is a place that defies simplistic description as abstract ‘global landscape’ and ends up being strangely Chinese.
This sort of discussion is not exactly my cup of tea, but I know that more than a few China watching philosopher-types read this blog, and many of them even have intimate knowledge of Shanghai. If that’s you, please read the original entry and give Patrick some input.