Taubman College

College Events / Archives

2008-2009

Arts on Earth's First Tuesday
Robert Adams

Extreme Urban Euphoria: Architecture in the Compression of Developmental Time
April 7, 2009 05:00 PM
Slusser Gallery (Rm 1102)
Art + Architecture Building

As once suggested, if you really want to understand what being in Beijing is all about today, go to the Kentucky Fried Chicken overlooking Tiananmen Square and gaze out the third floor window. From the Forbidden City, Chairman Mao’s eyes fix the geometry across the People’s Square. In the southwest corner Colonel Sanders throws a sideways glance across the Imperial Axis. People eat KFC chicken. Incoming KFC employees are indoctrinated in fast food etiquette. Fifty meters away the historic core of the Ming Dynasty is evacuated. Post-Olympics, Beijing is in the game. Ancient Chinese spatial strategies collide with American suburbia pathologies; Leninist-Capitalism high-jacks the city producing a less predictable, more volatile set of futures. Our eyes recover from the retinal burn of the arc welder. Urbanism eclipses the city as we knew it. The fixed smiles of Chairman Mao and Colonel Sanders stare off into oblivion.


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