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edited October 2005 in architecture
I happened across this gaudily titled article at a Taiwanese / Australian website about James Brearley's experiences in Shanghai / Shangri-La. Most of it is apparently a rehash of an Age article from June.
Instead of producing five designs for one building that never goes ahead, you design a piece of a city, you accommodate 10,000 people. You're appreciated here.

I'm unsure about that country's future and our role in its built environment. From this distance it appears that the speed of development is fuelled by the rapacious demand by other countries for goods produced by under regulated cheap labour in factories that would be too environmentally dirty to tolerate closer to home.

Then there are the other problems with wholesale demolition of hutongs, the social problems caused by accelerated urbanisation, not to mention Tibet.

But one of my other personalities is telling me I would take a job if I one came my way, that to express doubt with the pace of change in China is typical of the views of patronising post-industrial countries, and hypocritical considering the way the Australian government has been conducting itself recently.
In Brearley's opinion, there are so many good architects in Melbourne that there is very little opportunity for each of them. As a result, talents begin to flow overseas and Brearley finds himself living in Shanghai and designing large public structures such as shopping centers and city quarters.

Is the architectural profession so overstocked and under-utilised in the West that it will always need an overseas frontier town to keep it busy?


  • edited January 1970
    Eye-catching headline in the Age the other day:
    Catching the architectural whirlwind of China
    DAVID PARKEN, the chief executive officer of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, says that China is undertaking the biggest nation-building exercise the planet has seen. He says the Chinese Government is hoping to build accommodation for 20 million people annually for the next 10 years...

    Mr Parken says China is not just a business opportunity for Australian architects and designers, it's a responsibility. Australia has a lot to offer China in terms of modern, innovative and environmentally sustainable designs...

    THE AGE 10.10.05
  • edited January 1970
    THere is a school of thought that China is the new South America, and that India will follow shortly after.
  • edited January 1970
    China is not really the new south america, it's size, rate of growth, and method's of change make it quite different. yes, india is next.

    on the first post. The growth of china is not to do with the growth in international companies moving there to produce things cheaply, that has already been happening over the last 30 odd yrs. The current growth in China is due to the de-regulation of its marketplace allowing international companies to sell their goods to Chinese. This is because of the increase in GDP per capita, and increased spending power of the Chinese. suddenly your products market increased by 1 billion.

    In terms of the effect on the built environment i don't think it is right to try and slow the growth. this is a new phenomena which is a result of human needs and demand. sure, it would be good if thought went into the buildings design and construction. but look at the shit going up in Alexandria in sydney. same shit, different city, no relationship to speed of growth.
  • edited January 1970
    Im currently working in shanghai and i heard about brierley architcture and urbanism (BAU) through a friend i made here. Their firm seem to be a good small design orientated firm and doing well over here by the look of things.

    Im starting a new job with this small american outfit tommorow so its obvious that little guys can make it big in china if they persist and win some competitions.

    I seriously considering coming here for work experience after graduation. Even though the pay will be arund 15,000AUD it will still allow me to live like a king in shanghai.

    From experience, expats in sanghai will never have to do office work and boring drafting. local interns fil that position.

    have i just spilled the beans on a semi well kept secret? :D
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