What drives China’s obsession with foreign styles? In a New York Review of Books blog post, “Faking It in China,” Ian Johnson provides some answers in his discussion of Bianca Bosker’s Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China:
“In her fascinating new book . . . Bosker focuses on the suburbs for the upper class that began to be built in the late 1990s, following the privatization of real estate. These are not just individual buildings but entire streetscapes, with cobblestone alleys, faux churches (often used as concert halls), towers, and landscaping designed to reproduce the feel of European and North American cities. . . . Original Copies is filled with analysis about why these developments flourish.”
Original Copies is part of the Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture series and is
published in association with Hong Kong University Press.
For more on China’s architectural mimicry:
Copycat Architects in China Take Aim at the Stars: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/pirated-copy-of-design-by-star-architect-hadid-being-built-in-china-a-874390.html
China’s Copycat Cities: http://uhpress.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/foreign-policy-article-on-chinas-copycat-cities/