China’s economic transformation has triggered an unparalleled rate of construction that includes the creation of iconic architecture and the massive production of generic buildings. Consequently, vast swathes of rural fabric are being erased. As urbanization brings about a radical shift away from an essentially rural based society, the way people earn money, where they live, how they socialize, and the once simple relationship between land and its people are fundamentally changing.
Homecomingaddresses the issue of rural development in China today and the role the architect has to play in this shifting context. It questions the definition of “rural” and “urban” in Chinese society and the larger issue of architectural identity. The book discusses how the rural–and its embedded significance in China’s political history–is a site for furthering contemporary architectural discourse.
Homecomingbrings together historians, architects, theoreticians, curators, and writers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. They provide perspectives, narratives, examples, and prototypes to debate the role that the rural has to play in China’s future. In many respects, they form a critique against the overwhelming trends that saturate architecture and building in China today.
With contributions from Joshua Bolchover, Yung Ho Chang, Frank Dikötter, Juan Du, Huang ShengYuan, Hsieh Ying-chun, Hua Li, Liu Jiakun, John Lin, Meng Yan, Cole Roskam, Philip Tinari, Tong Ming, Robin Visser, Wang Weijen, Zhang Ke, and Zhu Tao.