From Beijing’s Palace to Africa’s Malindi: Fourteen Problematics between Forms and Politics
Date: Monday 5 November 2018
Venue: AA Barrel Vault
This talk explores a series of ‘problematics’ – as issue and as method – that can be identified in the relations unfolding between political practice and formal construction. It is based on a book the speaker has published, Forms and Politics: An Approach to Thinking in Architecture(Shanghai: Tongji University Press, 2018) - a collection of essays over 20 years covering either generic topics or Chinese cases. Moving from micro to geopolitical operations, shifting between modes of practice as well as situations of engagement, this talk is both a book introduction and exploration of new agendas for studies and dialogues to come.
Jianfei Zhu, PhD (UCL), teaches and writes in Chinese and English. He is the author of Chinese Spatial Strategies(Routledge, 2004), Architecture of Modern China(Routledge, 2009), and Forms and Politics(Tongji University Press, 2018). His essays include‘A Celestial Battlefield’ (AA Files, 1994), ‘Criticality in between China and the West’ (Journal of Architecture, 2005), ‘Robin Evans in 1978’ (Journal of Architecture, 2011), and ‘Empire of Signs of Empire’ (Harvard Design Magazine, 2014). He pioneered the introduction of Foucault and social theories into architectural studies in/on China. Aiming to integrate political and formal concerns, he is working on a geopolitical narrative of modern architecture around a cluster of states.
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