Photo Essay

Building new for a China tomorrow

construction limits

Whether you praise or criticize, the modern world of China is building itself anew in ways that have never been realized before. Of course there are many factors attributing, namely the Olympic games. However, one must look to the rest of the country in light of this international event to truly understand this phenomenon. Urban living in any city of China is...well...full of life. Chinese culture desires public space over private, in fact many Asian societies do. They are a nation some would say still remains in the third world even though they are a manufacturing behemoth all countries deal with in some way. After spending six weeks on an architectural study tour with my university last summer, I appreciate the moment China is living right now. They want to be a modern society and still hold traditional values, an idea many Americans have given up on. The concept of Olympic competition in China for the first time is an honor beyond belief, and you don't have to walk far to find a citizen beaming with this pride. I am confident the investment in these "games" will surely reap benefits. Infrastructure and public transportation can't be built overnight therefore sacrifices must be made and time will tell. There is much more work to be done, especially following the events this August. The Chinese have taken this opportunity to step up in the world and be heard. Controversies are bound to arise when the whole world is watching you. My comment to this is every country has its own problems. True, it is unpleasant for a city to be doused with a lingering cloud of haze, but when a third of the city is under construction you begin to understand. Architecturally, the Chinese are breaking the rules and taking many risks. Critics are raving for and against these new icons, that is their job anyways (most of the new Olympic buildings were designed by foreign firms). Rest assured, there are plenty of hidden treasures to seek, purely of Chinese design and character. I challenge you to experience the new China, and not just the highly publicized Beijing landmarks. In fact, half of these photos were captured elsewhere.

One world, one dream.

All photos taken summer of 2007

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