Research and proposals by students of the fall 2013 “Macau: Cross-border Cities” option studio are currently appearing in an exhibition at the Architecture School of Chinese University of Hong Kong. The studio, led by Christopher Lee (associate professor in practice of urban design) and teaching associate Simon Whittle, was the second of the 3-year research and design study on the future of the Chinese city, the AECOM Project on China.
The studio had 2 fundamental ambitions: the recuperation of an idea of the city as a project and the pursuit of alternative forms of urbanization in response to the challenges posed by the developmental city in China. The first ambition treats the project of the city as a cultural, political and aesthetic act; the latter as a strategic project for urbanization, articulated through its architecture, landscape and infrastructure. This endeavor is analytical and propositional in equal measure.
Each year, the Project on China focuses on a particular theoretical problem and practical challenge posed by the model of the developmental city in China, using a paradigmatic city as a case study. The first project focussed on the problem of the megaplot, the basic planning unit for rapid and speculative urbanization, in Xiamen. The second project investigates the future of the city in city-regions and the effects of cross-border urbanization, with Macau as a representative cross-border city. The third project will examine the countryside in the context of state-driven initiatives to urbanize rural areas in China.
The “Macau: Cross-border Cities” exhibition runs from 24 March to 5 April 2014.