The Chinese Dream

On the occasion of the Dutch book launch of The Chinese Dream - a society under construction V2_ hosted a lecture evening that aims to connect the dots between China's social, urban and economic transformations. Three authors of The Chinese Dream will focus on new media in China as a common indicator of a radically new society under construction: architect and theorist Neville Mars, writer and economic journalist Adrian Hornsby and media researcher Martijn de Waal present 'Triptych on China - Power, Progress and Prosperity'.

8
 
Oct 2008
 
19:30 to 22:00
location: V2_, Eendrachtsstraat 10, Rotterdam

 

WHAT IF YOU BUILT THE WHOLE MASS OF WESTERN EUROPE IN 20 YEARS?
WHAT IF 400 MILLION FARMERS THEN MOVED IN?
WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE? HOW WOULD IT WORK?
WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO GO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT?
AND IF YOU DID, WOULD YOU DREAM OF SOMEWHERE ELSE ...?

 

The explosive process of urban developments in China, and the social, economic, and cultural context in which these take place, inspired Neville Mars to move to China in 2005 to do research there. To this end, he founded the Dynamic City Foundation [http://dynamiccity.org/], where architects, designers and sociologists from China and other countries collaborate. The results of this collaboration have been documented in the book The Chinese Dream - a society under construction, mapping China's urbanisation and emerging society. Starting off with an extrapolation of expected trends, the book then presents a wide range of proposals and plans to outline a more sustainable future (check the pdf).

Over the past five years, V2_ has been developing a series of activities in China, ranging from small-scale conferences and debates to large-scale exhibitions. The resulting network now includes bloggers and artists' initiatives as well as the National Museum of China and several universities. In 2007, V2_ arranged for 22 young artists, curators and teachers from China to come over for the special China Programme at DEAF07. V2_'s involvement with projects and collaborative efforts in China has initiated a dialogue between artists and curators which will be continued in the years to come in the form of collaborative projects.

Dynamic Cities 101 - Neville Mars

For researchers and designers alike China is a paradise of opportunities. Not because of the speed and ease for operations to unfold - most people here will agree China is a harsh place to attempt any form of innovation. It's a paradise because it quickly debunks cliches and defuses existing paradigms. In an age defined by new global challenges China forces us to rethink the city from scratch. Top-down mega planning and the increasing role of the individual together produce an accelerated organically expanding landscape. Long-term visions that incorporate changing desires of the individual can begin to harness the potential of the Dynamic City.

Right to be / Right to buy - Adrian Hornsby

After decades of furious activity, this year China became the world's number one exporter. Yet while the West tears open mountains of cheap Chinese products, savings and investment rates within China betray a massively future-orientated society. The harsh realities and savagely rapid changes of today are being endured in anticipation of a supreme tomorrow. But as China moves into a second phase of growth, it will need to develop more sophisticated economic engines, and the political and informational structures to support them. New cities and new media are paramount to its much dreamt of future.

Too much joy and pleasure - Martijn de Waal

In China, a new myth - the myth of The Chinese Dream is fast amassing dreamers. It's is not unlike the American Dream the core component is still the promise of a wealthy middle-class lifestyle: a family, a privately owned car, and a house with your name on the title. However, where the American Dream is anti-urban and rooted in the suburbs and edge-cities, The Chinese Dream is essentially connected to the city. The city with its modern skyscrapers, shopping malls, office towers, mobile phones and ADSL-connections is where The Chinese Dream can come true. What does the emerging, new media saturated culture look like? What are the possible scenarios for the future?

THE CHINESE DREAM
a society under construction


Neville Mars, Adrian Hornsby and the DCF
010 Publishers, July 2008
784 pages, full colour, hardcover
Price 49.50
ISBN 978 90 6450 652 9

All content of the book on the wiki: http://BURB.TV

Reviews can be found on Cadoc (NL): www.cadoc.nl, in VOLUME issue 16: http://www.archis.org, or De Groene Amsterdammer (NL): www.groene.nl 


Chinese Dream (2008) from V2_ on Vimeo.

 

 

 

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