Development and Urbanization
Conceived to examine the current state of Shanghai metropolis and to address challenges that contemporary urban society presents to Urban Architecture, this book reports on academic research, doctoral theses, and end-of-studies design projects in architecture and urbanism, as well as art and geography, arising from seven years of collaboration between The Strasbourg School of Architecture (Strasbourg, France) and The College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Tongji University (Shanghai, China).
As the book expresses, research and teaching in architecture and urban design are aligned with a quest for qualitative urban spaces by creating bridges between cultures, whether architectural and urban, or Chinese and European. Between scientifically-produced knowledge and exploratory understandings, this volume gathers testimonials from academics with extensive research experience on Shanghai, but also more intuition-based investigations from foreign observers – professionals, researchers and master’s students from French universities and schools of architecture – engaged in the process of discovering the city, its places, architecture and spatial practices, and in exploring perceptions of space, as well as the processes, devices and theories underlying them.
Shanghai metropolis appears in the volume as an entanglement of networks, fabrics, singular experiences, and disparate architectural objects, read through the kaleidoscopic mirror game it generates. The term "kaleidoscopic city" thus refers to the figure that allows us to perceive, apprehend and describe this multi-faceted city, overlapping, juxtaposing and sliding across one other as soon as we change our perspective. Observation, poetic “dérive”, conceptualization and narrative practices intertwine in order to capture Shanghai’s metropolitan character.