The Forbidden City and modernization


Currently in Beijing, a pre-meditated, very well organized, and now, post-olympics, so modern, clean.  My first impressions of the city are soaring.  Beijing is abound with good food, new architecture, design organizations and think tanks, and history.

I’m here with colleagues from the University of California doing some research for Professor Renee Chow in traditional Beijing neighborhoods.  This fieldwork consists of measuring, drawing, and photographing the existing Hutongs (Beijing traditional courtyard housing, also the actual alley itself) to understand how this low-rise, yet highly dense Chinese dwelling has evolved over time.

Beijing is also my opportunity to meet with other architects and designers doing work throughout China.  I’m anticipating discussions and tours with designers from MAD, Steven Holl, OMA, and the China Architecture and Research Group (CADREG).

As always, I’m seeking out the best cafes….found a ton….near a gentrified bit of public space in the hutongs.  The strip: Nanluoguxiang.


About this entry