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  • Collective Forms in China: A Contemporary Review

Jacoby, Sam, Cheng, Jingru, Tan, Gyangyi, Wang, Defu, Tang, Shikuang, Liang, Calvin Zhiyong, Xiao, Zuopeng, Feng, Lui and Wang, Yuwei, 2018, Printed Publication, Collective Forms in China: A Contemporary Review

Abstract or Description:

This special issue of New Architecture is in large parts an outcome of research undertaken and discussions taking place during two academic workshops in August 2016 and 2017 in Wuhan. The ‘Collective Forms in China’ workshops were initiated and directed by Dr Sam Jacoby and Jingru Cheng as part of the Architectural Association School of Architecture’s (AA) global Visiting School at the School of Architecture & Planning at the Huazhong University of Science & Technology (HUST).

The ‘Collective Forms in China’ workshops examined the danwei (work unit) and the people’s commune (collective unit) as the two pervasive socio-political, economic, and spatial models that profoundly restructured Chinese society from the Maoist Era onwards. From the 1950s to 80s, China imposed on its population a mandatory collectivisation and industrialisation through an urban danwei system and rural people’s communes. Starting with the Great Leap Forward, its aim was a social and spatial reorganisation that was to strengthen the new socialist People’s Republic of China and realise China’s modernity. Coinciding with all-encompassing institutionalisation and new modes of production and governance, the two ‘collective forms’ created a radical change in scale and organisation, hereby redefined the relationships between workers, farmers, families, and state. Laying the foundations to today’s urban and rural China, their impacts are still visible and real. The research studied the spatial design of ‘collective form’ and their relation to social practices, governmental structures, and economic organisation. Reviewing their conception as social projects and the social realities they produced, we explored their legacies for current discourses in architecture and urban design.

Subjects: Architecture > K100 Architecture
Architecture > K400 Planning (Urban > K430 Planning studies
Architecture > K400 Planning (Urban > K440 Urban studies
School or Centre: School of Architecture
Funders: British Academy
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 14:58
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 13:33
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4064

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