Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223857
Title: JIANWAI SOHO OR COURTYARD HOUSE : THE CHANGING PARADIGMS OF NARRATIVES IN THE POSTMODERN CONDITIONS
Authors: ZOU TONG
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
Wong Chong Thai Bobby
Issue Date: 13-Oct-2009
Citation: ZOU TONG (2009-10-13T05:26:53Z). JIANWAI SOHO OR COURTYARD HOUSE : THE CHANGING PARADIGMS OF NARRATIVES IN THE POSTMODERN CONDITIONS. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This dissertation is a comparative study between the acclaimed Jianwai SOHO and the vernacular typology of hutong and courtyard house in Beijing. The two types of architecture are chosen to reflect the broader social and cultural transitions in contemporary China. In the recent economic reform initiated by Deng Xiaoping, rapid constructions havealtered the cityscape enormously. Jianwai SOHO is one of them. Despite its real estate success, the architecture is evaluated as repressive and totalising when using Lyotard’s theory on postmodern conditions. Its compliance to “grand narratives” of the economy and of the state has refuted its claim of being avant-garde. Meanwhile, artists and writers are shifting their focus from nation-state interests to personal and trivial matters after the 1989 Tiananmen Incident. Their attitudes mark the departure from the passive middle-class ideologies to a new diversified social structure. Art film “Beijing Bicycle” has portrayed the old city fabric as the preferable setting for this new cultural trend. The hutong and courtyard house typology is more self-autonomous and could tolerate diversities, which makes it an ideal place for the growth of micro activities that are termed as petit narratives by Lyotard. Hence, as compared to Jianwai SOHO, the old city fabrics turn out to be the more favourable breeding grounds for emerging cultures.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223857
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