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Title: Different Shades of the Concrete: Chinese Experimental Architecture or French Poststructuralist Theory
Authors: Jia, Ruo
Advisors: ColominaVidler, BeatrizAnthony
Contributors: Architecture Department
Keywords: anti-authoritarian
Chinese Experimental Architecture
French Poststructuralist Theory
Subjects: Architecture
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The impact of French Poststructuralist Theory in architecture has been widely acknowledged since the late 1980s, with additional prominence coming by association with the Deconstructivist Architecture exhibition at MoMA in 1988, and Euro-American discourse dominating the discussion. At the same time, French Poststructuralist Theory, whose global success is heavily indebted to its American reinvention from the 1960s on, has been perceived largely as a set of timeless, contextless conceptualizations, open to engagement. Meanwhile, Chinese contemporary architecture, which develops on the foundation of Chinese Experimental Architecture of the 1990s and 2000s, has been largely reduced to pluralism, explored merely empirically, or grouped among non-theoretically charged general themes in the domestic and international discourse.This project fills these lacunae and oversights by examining French Poststructuralist Theory’s appropriation of the Maoist Cultural Revolution and ancient Chinese philosophy and artifacts in the 1960s and 70s, as well as the paradoxical reappropriation of its ideas by the Chinese architects involved in China’s Experimental Architecture during the reformative period of the 80s and 90s, who were bent on crafting a new identity for Chinese architecture, if not China in general, after the Maoist era. This study weaves a narrative around the possibilities, or “different shades,” of non-hierarchical, materialist, “concrete” architecture that extends the postmodernist architectural imaginations beyond the Euro-American context from a posthumanist feminist perspective. It offers an entry point for approaching Chinese Experimental and contemporary architecture in a specific, theoretical, and critical manner via French Poststructuralist Theory, and at the same time, provides an opportunity to reapproach French Poststructuralist Theory in its rich materiality, retroactively, as a production of Chinese Experimental Architecture.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Architecture

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