Learning from Hangzhou (Paperback)

By Mathieu Borysevicz, Denise Scott-Brown (Foreword by), Robert Venturi (Foreword by)

Timezone 8, 9789881803368, 327pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2009



Over the last ten years, the ancient city of Hangzhou, China, has tripled in size and added over a million people to its population. Learning from Hangzhou is an extended photoessay that situates Hangzhou within the physically and culturally transformative pressures of China's unbridled economic expansion. Between 2003 and 2008, more than 3,000 images of Hangzhou were taken, and then sorted for recurrent subject matter. This resulting condensed portrait catalogues such themes as the ubiquity of demolition and construction in Hangzhou, its architectural eclecticism, graffiti, advertising and the tenuous relationship between architecture and signage, all of which collide in an orgy of permissiveness--in a city once renowned for its tranquil beauty. This photo essay, which takes its cue from the seminal Learning from Las Vegas by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, is accompanied by texts that explicate Hangzhou's emblematic role in China's larger transformations.