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robertogreco : beijing   28

BLUE architecture studio sandwiches home for six in hutong
"despite the challenging L-shaped site and compact location, beijing-based firm B.L.U.E architecture studio has managed to sandwich a functional, comfortable home for a family of six in-between an existing hutong wall and two-storey building. located in a hutong neighborhood in the historical center of beijing, the project addresses the small 43 sqm layout with a response that maximizes storage, space-saving methods, light and height to create an illusion of a more spacious living area."
homes  housing  small  architecture  design  2016  b.l.u.earchitecturestudio  beijing 
november 2016 by robertogreco
McDonald's: you can sneer, but it's the glue that holds communities together | Business | The Guardian
[Tweeted previously:
"“Unlike community centers, it is also free of bureaucracy.” When our public institutions no longer serve the public."
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/742821334476951554

and noting
"Same with other chains (like Starbucks, KFC) in my neighborhood. Places for youth to assemble too, when programs come with too many strings."
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/742821897553874944

"When many lower-income Americans are feeling isolated by the deadening uniformity of things, by the emptiness of many jobs, by the media, they still yearn for physical social networks. They are not doing this by going to government-run community service centers. They are not always doing this by utilizing the endless array of well-intentioned not-for-profit outreach programs. They are doing this on their own, organically across the country, in McDonald’s.

Walk into any McDonald’s in the morning and you will find a group of mostly retired people clustering in a corner, drinking coffee, eating and talking. They are drawn to the McDonald’s because it has inexpensive good coffee, clean bathrooms, space to sprawl. Unlike community centers, it is also free of bureaucracy."



"In almost every franchise, there are tables with people like Betty escaping from the streets for a short bit. They prefer McDonald’s to shelters and to non-profits, because McDonald’s are safer, provide more freedom, and most importantly, the chance to be social, restoring a small amount of normalcy.

In the Bronx, many of my friends who live on the streets are regulars. Steve, who has been homeless for 20 years, uses the internet to check up on sports, find discarded papers to do the crossword puzzle, and generally escape for a while. He and his wife Takeesha will turn a McDonald’s meal into an evening out. Beauty, who has been homeless for five years, uses the internet to check up on her family back in Oklahoma when she can find a computer to borrow.

Most importantly though, McDonald’s provide many with the chance to make real and valuable connections. When faced with the greatest challenges, with a personal loss, wealthier Americans turn to expensive therapists, others without the resources or the availability, turn to each other.

In Sulfur Springs, Texas, in the late morning, Lew Mannon, 76, and Gerald Pinkham, 78, were sitting alone at a table, the last of the morning regulars to leave. She was needling him about politics. (“I like to tease the men who come, get them all riled up, tell them they just don’t want a female as president.”) Both are retired, Gerald from working for an airfreight company, and Lew after 28 years as a bank teller.

When I asked Lew about her life, she started to tear up, stopped for a second, and composed herself. “Life is hard. Very hard. Seven years ago I lost my husband to leukemia. Then three years ago I lost one of my sons. Health complications from diabetes. When my son died, I had nobody to help me, emotionally, except this community here. Gerald lost his wife three years ago, and we have helped support each other through that.”

She stopped again, unable to speak from tears. After a moment of silence: “I look composed on the outside. Many of us do. But I struggle a lot on the inside. This community here gives me the support to get by.”"

[Update: Kenyatta Cheese blogged this with the following notes:
http://finalbossform.com/post/145925082985/mcdonalds-you-can-sneer-but-its-the-glue-that

I’ve learned through @triciawang that spaces like these are known as third places in sociology. Third places are neutral, accessible spaces where people can meet with old friends and be exposed to possible new ones.

Tricia spent a decade living in, mapping, and understanding third places in Beijing, Wuhan, Brooklyn, Bangalore, and Oaxaca. (She’s badass that way.)

She taught me that Starbucks and Pizza Hut serve a similar role among young folks in China, especially for people who don’t necessarily feel comfortable sleeping in the third places that are internet cafes.

Small note on how this connects to @everybodyatonce: tv networks and creators sometimes ask us if they should create a dedicated app or website for their fandoms to which we almost always say no.

Much like the government-run community center, a dedicated app creates an unnecessary barrier to entry for new fans and requires you to program the space in the same way that you need to program and organize physical space. By meeting fans in neutral spaces (tumblr, twitter, IG, LJ, even reddit), you build bigger community by supporting the culture that already exists. ]
2016  chrisarnade  community  cities  mcdonalds  poverty  society  inequality  elitism  us  bureaucracy  elderly  aging  economics  civics  lowerclass  precarity  classism  thirdspaces  kenyattacheese  triciawang  beijing  starbucks  china  brooklyn  wuhan  bangalore  oaxaca  pizzahut  kfc  everybodyatonce  fandom  socialmedia 
june 2016 by robertogreco
The Untapped Creativity of the Chinese Internet | VICE | United States
"[image]

Somewhere in mainland China, a kid in the grips of puppy love posts one of those raw, unmediated posts so saccharine it's both unbearably endearing and ridiculously funny. It's so completely melodramatic that other users stumble across the post and begin adding their own feelings and thoughts, remixing it to be even funnier. The words are skewed, images and music added, and finally uploaded to Bilibili.com, where users overlay their own comments onto the video in real-time.

The resulting GIFs, poems, videos, and comments spread through the Chinese internet on Sina Weibo and WeChat in a flurry of color and flashing animations. This is So in love, w​ill never feel tired again, an online exhibition of work by Chinese new media and net artist Yin​​g Miao, and it serves as a counterpoint to the West's view of the Chinese internet as bland and heavily censored. Despite all that I've been told in the West, the internet here looks incredibly fun and vibrant to me.

[image]

"The Chinese internet is really raw," Miao tells me. "It's so unlimited but also limited. It's really rich material." We are sitting in a café with our laptops open in downtown Beijing, a brief bike ride from Tiananmen Square. Miao is walking me through her artwork in preparation for the launch of the online exhibition series Ne​tizenet. Miao impresses upon me the depth of creativity on the Chinese internet, showing how memes emerge and morph across platforms and ideologies and around censorship.

While I'm becoming accustomed to relying on my VPN or Tor to use boringly functional sites like Gmail, Miao is taking me on an unblocked tour of her inspirations, the wildest and weirdest of the Chinese internet from behind the so-called Great Firewall. Here, everything can be remixed and .GIFs are always welcomed. Conversations on WeChat (the most popular messaging platform here) are an endless stream of reaction .GIFs that put Tumblr to shame.

[image]

In the series, LAN Love Poem, Miao explores her complicated feelings around the Chinese web. LAN stands for local area network and is suggestive of the localized nature of the internet, in both law and culture, that we in the West are rarely confronted with. Miao uses type inspired by Taobao.com (a site akin to eBay) and intentionally poor English translations of odes to her censored net.

The extreme creativity and vibrancy on the Chinese internet is hard to grasp as a Westerner who is a devout defender of free speech. My ignorance of Miao's raw material, and the many other aspects of Chinese net culture that are difficult to grasp is what Netizienet (or 网友网 in Mandarin and Wǎngyǒuwǎng in Pinyin) is all about.

[image]

Using NewHive, a multimedia publishing platform, Netizenet will examine the internet as a medium from within China, an internet very different from what I grew up with in the States. Through an ongoing series of online exhibitions by Chinese and international artists--of which Miao is the first--Netizenet asks important questions about creativity, differing online aesthetics, and location-based web access. Is the Chinese internet uniquely different from the rest of the world's, or does every country's web have its own unique aesthetics and traits?

The curator behind Netizenet is Michelle Proksell, an independent curator, researcher, and artist currently based in Beijing. Proksell was born in Saudi Arabia to expatriate American parents, and moved to the United States when the Gulf War was starting. Proksell loved traveling through Asia as a kid and this is why she eventually returned and has lived in China for over two years.

Proksell sees a ton of potential in Beijing and Shanghai for the arts, especially net art, and wants to help cultivate the scene. She was fascinated by how the Chinese internet influenced Miao's "artistic aesthetic, process and production," writing that Miao "has a bit of a love affair with the kitschy, low-tech aesthetic, and unreliable nature of this part of the [world wide web.]" ​

[image]

Miao is one of the few net artists in mainland China. She and Proksell have adopted the monumental task of helping to encourage a net art discourse in a country of over 620 million internet users as well as introducing that culture to the West. Proksell tells me, "I really wanted to set a tone for the project by working with an artist who had been intimate with this side of the web early in her art practice."

Miao has certainly been exploring the aesthetics and issues of access in the internet in her work for some time. In 2007, for her undergrad thesis exhibition at the China Academy of Fine Arts near Shanghai, Miao made The Blind Spot, which meticulously documented every word blocked from Google.cn. The piece took Miao three months to make and is a brilliant DIY version of Jason Q. Ng's work documenting blocked words on the popular Chinese social network Sina Weibo. But Miao has no interest in only focusing on the limitations of the Chinese internet, believing there are much more fascinating things underway.

For instance, iPhone Garbage is an incredible convergence of Chinese manufacturing, social media, and ​Shanzhai (slang for pirated and fake goods) culture. A heavily remixed video shows a young entrepreneur aggressively promoting his custom smartphone while continually calling the iPhone "garbage." In Miao's work we see a pushback on Western aesthetics and corporations in favor of a more local flavor.

[image]

Miao suggests that the emerging narrative of Shanzhai might be replicated in net art in China. At first Shanzhai referred only to cheap knockoffs that rarely worked and were an annoying thorn in "legitimate" companies' sides. Now, as Joi Ito has found, Shanzhai merchants are beginning to build entirely unique hardware, offering entirely different capabilities than their Western smartphone counterparts. Miao believes too that Chinese net culture should embrace their differences and push them as far as possible.

In an int​erv​iew between Miao and Proksell, Miao said, "I think there is a bright future for Chinese internet art." Proksell and Miao have an uphill battle proving that to the West, but just as I had never seen many of Miao's influences, this culture is emerging with or without the West's acknowledgement or support. Whether that appreciation comes or not, Netizenet is off to an amazing start and I for one will definitely keep my eyes open for the next show and on Miao."
via:unthinkingly  aesthetic  newaesthetic  internet  web  china  online  accretion  beijing  netart  netizenet  byob  michelleproksell  lanlovepoem  yingmao  newmedia  benvalentine  tumblr  newvibe  gifs  memes  poetry  poems  sinaweibo  weibo  wechat  animation  screenshots  low-techaesthetic  changzhai  socialmedia  joiito  2014  webrococo  newhive 
december 2015 by robertogreco
How do greenhouse gas emissions compare in cities around the world? — Hopes&Fears
"On the week of the COP21 climate summit, we ranked 13 urban metropolises with regard to their carbon footprints."
greenhousegasses  environment  emissions  sydney  losangeles  toronto  beijing  bangkok  london  nyc  capetown  madrid  tokyo  buenosaires  oslo  kathmandu  cities 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The Internet is Like Water — Global, with Extreme Differences in Access — Medium
"Turn on a faucet in Manhattan, and you can be pretty certain the water you get out of the tap is potable. Though famously a dirty city, New York City provides some of the cleanest water in the United States, easy and at ready for those who live there. Internet access in much of the city is a little like that, too. Turn on your phone or tap into a wireless network, and data flow through seamlessly, thanks to powerful infrastructure that’s largely invisible to the average user.

The experience of the internet in a developing country can be quite different. Take, for instance, Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Many people access the internet via pocket wifi routers, which can be more readily available than physical landline connections. These routers work semi-reliably — in spurts, rather than a constant stream — , and people often carry multiple routers and network subscriptions to optimize for the best flow. On occasion, and sometimes far too frequently, the routers don’t work at all.

A young woman in Uganda gathers water from a well to carry back to her family. Photo by the author.

In other places, like Beijing, the internet and its infrastructure can be fairly reliable. But what comes through the pipes may need to be questioned and filtered. Many citizens of means curse the Great Firewall for slowing down or blocking entirely their access to the web, and they find other ways to go online, thanks to VPNs, proxies and other services. Most, however, live with an internet that is censored by both algorithmic and human means; depending on their priorities, this may or may not matter. But the fact remains that choice of what to access is limited.

And in a more rural area like the Oyam District of northern Uganda, internet access can often look more like a well. As I shared in a recent essay for The New Inquiry and a talk at the Theorizing the Web conference this year, “sneakernets” of data crop up in unexpected places. In very rural, no-bandwidth contexts, people find ways to trade data thanks to Bluetooth transfers, USB sticks, SD cards and other methods. The access point to the formal backbone of the internet might be hundreds of miles away, and in this regard, data is transferred hand to hand, rather than node to node. (This is literally how many rural Ugandans access their water, too.)

In other words, data flow, data spurt and data can be gathered. This metaphor matters because, just like with water access, the way people access the internet is highly stratified. Understanding this should inform how we think about policies and development strategies, especially as the web extends into the global south.



1. Shifting from a connectivity binary to a spectrum gives us a much richer view of the diversity of ways people access the internet.



The connectivity binary is the view that there is a single mode of connecting to the internet — one person, one device, one always-on subscription— rather than a spectrum.
The connectivity binary makes other modes of access invisible.



2. The internet probably has a larger impact than is currently measured, and we need better maps that reflect this.



3. In the face of scarcity, early internet access is often motivated by joy, social connection and entertainment — more so than education or politics per se.

…"
2015  anxiaomina  internet  infrastructure  water  nickseaver  sneakernet  access  uganda  beijing  china  philippines  nyc  us 
november 2015 by robertogreco
TCHZL - El sin contexto.
"Leyendo el libro este de Ulrich en donde mantiene pláticas en distintas ocasiones con el artquitecto Ai Weiwei, me encontré con el comentario: “…creé el primer espacio artístico en 1997 en Pekín, en los China Art Archives and Warehouse (CAAW), y lo hice porque en Pekín no existía ningún espacio adecuado para exponer arte contemporáneo.

Entonces de ahí el problema del museo, el museo, el lugar museo ¿Qué es el museo? Es él. El museo es. Es un lugar tal donde se hace ¿qué? El museo. Nos hace o lo hicimos y lo deshacemos. Dentro hay algo o es un afuera, ¿se entra al museo o se sale de la ciudad? Es contexto interno como el vacío inexistende de las donas de Krispy. El problema del museo. EL PROBLEMA DEL MUSEO.

DECONTEXTO.
DESCONTEXTO.
INCONTEXTO.
CONTEXTO.

¿DECONTEXTO?
¿DESCONTEXTO?
¿INCONTEXTO?
¿CONTEXTO?

Es el museo el trabajo humano por generar el vacío. Es un vacío que entonces es nada pero también, como ya suele decirse, es todo. El museo es absoluto y no comparte con algo de fuera. Se entra o se sale al museo, como quieran, si se entra uno deja de estar donde estaba para refugiarse del afuera que es todo lo demas que se limita a no compartir este adentro con el museo, y ya se ha entrado. Si se sale entonces se escapa de lo que lo contiene a uno allá adentro, se limita por no ilimitarse uno afuera del adentro ¿correcto?

Lo que se saca/mete al museo le pertenece y no es de alguien, es de nadie y entonces, como suele decirse, es de todos. Eso que esta ahí en el museo que somos todos, se observa, se critica, se escrutina y se aprende se aprehende. Esta en el museo porque decidió estar allá o tal vez porque alguien lo decidió poner ahí, a fin de cuentas ambos, todos y ninguno ahí se encontraron en la nada y el todo para compartir este sincontexto y preguntarse si es o no es algo y entonces, nada.

Entra/sal del museo y al algo que ya no es nada y te olvidas del museo, del sincontexto, del contexto del todo y de nada. Ya sal/entra al museo y regresa donde todos somos parte de todo lo que nada quiere ser y asi podemos una vez mas observar que quiere el museo que sepamos ver."
2015  hansulrichobrist  aiweiwei  context  museums  architecture  caaw  beijing  place  refuge  decontextualization 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Examining The New Los Angeles Paradigm: An Interview With Victor Jones | Los Angeles, I'm Yours
"Victor Jones thinks about Los Angeles in a way few people do: he thinks about it in the future tense, as a place of myriad possibilities. “Los Angeles, unlike most well known cities, is a twenty-first century paradigm in terms of its ability to inform how people live and what people do and how they experiences civic and public space. It is a new physical model of urbanity: I think Los Angeles is a fantastic case study.”

“Thats the draw here,” he says. “While perfect weather, a great economy, and geography have made life easy to take for granted my work in academia and design pushes back on the city, forcing people to reconsider the evidence of things not seen. This push back is to say—Hey.—let’s stop and revisit this, acknowledging that we are a part of a discussion, that we are not completely inside ourselves and that we are becoming a greater reference globally. When we look at urban development in Beijing, Dubai, Mexico City for example, Los Angeles has become a reference versus traditional nineteenth century cities. Let’s try to understand the physical implication of these things.”"



"The irony is that Victor is a native who never liked it here. “I always hated Los Angeles,” he explains. “I was always overwhelmed by the expanse and horizontality of the city and the lack of continuity. It wasn’t until I moved back from France and got my driver’s license that a whole new relationship with the city emerged.”

“I really didn’t get to know the city that I was born and raised in until my late thirties,” he adds. “That’s when I began to understand how special this place is.”

Victor had lived in Los Angeles from birth through late elementary school and high school. He attended Cal Poly San Louis Obispo for his undergraduate degree in Architecture and found the experience to be quite profound: it created opportunities to try different metropolitan settings. “My Architectural History professor, Dr. Joseph Burton, radically changed my life: he proposed that I moved to Paris after graduation to work,” Victor explains. “Initially, I was very resistant to the idea. But, what was supposed to be a three month internship ended up being twelve years living in Paris: that was a life changing experience. I never thought that I would end up back in Los Angeles! I completely found myself and found a completely different world order in France.”

Paris brought a lot of important things to his life: he met his partner of twenty five years, he worked for Jean Nouvel and Louis Vuitton, and took a break during his time there to get a graduate degree in Architecture from Harvard. After, he found himself back in Paris—but soon left to further his own practice. “We arrogantly thought our club membership to Paris would never expire,” he says. “There was a lot of discussion between my partner, Alain Fièvre and I on where to go and we decided that Los Angeles was the best place for an architectural practice, Fièvre + Jones. So, we came here in the late nineties. It is a very challenging experience to uproot our Parisian existence and move to the United States.”

“We do miss Europe quite a bit, though,” Victor says with a longing—but positive—undertone. “That’s what brought us to Silver Lake and to an office in Hollywood: we’re such urban creatures that we were looking for that simulacrum of urbanity in Los Angeles. Both Silver Lake and Hollywood have their own special version of that, Silver Lake being a bit of Brooklyn and Hollywood being a bit like every popular zone in every major city in the world. From certain angles, Hollywood may look like Times Square in the eighties and, from another it may look like Pigalle in Paris. It has a very special and unique quality to it.”

You could confuse his comparisons for nostalgia but analyzing Los Angeles in this manner is Victor’s job: he studies space, formed communities, and urban infrastructure to discover its flaws and successes. “My principal concentration at USC’s School Of Architecture is research on community based projects and understanding what that means in a post-racial culture. Rather than looking at community service as a direct response to under-served individuals or minorities, I look at how we as a more urban, global, and heterogenous community can construct a better quality of life.”"



"“There is a natural tendency to create villages for practical reasons. But, there is a beauty in having a passport to all neighborhoods. If you are of a certain curiosity, you’ll breach those boundaries, not letting your universe be defined by a street. But, [Angelenos] religiously stick to their boundaries. We have to question the curious way that infrastructures—like freeways—impact our lives, organizing us in as architect Craig Hodgetts says the mish-mosh we call Los Angeles.”

These views do not mean that Victor has a pessimistic view of Los Angeles. That is why he is so passionate about it changing for the better. Arguing for more opportunity for how people engage the city, he says, “Generally speaking, Angelenos tend to isolate themselves. They have a trajectory of work and home and their neighborhood. All due to limitations set by the city’s infrastructure – whether we are talking about public space, transportation, cultural institutions etc,” Some of my most fond memories of the city are from cinema and how ‘the industry’ illustrates the city. I remember in Pulp Fiction Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta would be in the Valley and then drive miles to another part of the city without any hesitation: the city in that film is a forest of pockets full of different opportunities. They were not restricted by cultural biases, distance, demographics – nothing stopped them from moving from one place to another."
victorjones  architecture  losangeles  2014  beijing  dubai  mexicocity  mexicodf  urban  urbanism  cities  race  community  diversity  integration  boundaries  borders  segregation  roads  freeways  michaelgovan  film  design  landscape  lacma  transportation  isolation  mobility  traffic  sustainability  craighodgetts  df 
march 2014 by robertogreco
'Twitter Is My City' - By Jonathan Landreth | Foreign Policy
"A city's at its strongest when it can reflect people's feelings, freedom, and desires. New York is a city of desire, for the powerful, and for beauty. But there's the American Dream -- equal opportunity to be rich and secured by the law. People feel nobody can touch them, because there's law. Beijing is a city with none of these qualities."

"Twitter is my city, my favorite city. I can talk to anybody I want to. And anybody who wants to talk to me will get my response. They know me better than their relatives or my relatives. There's so much imagination there; a lot of times it's just like poetry. You just read one sentence, and you sense this kind of breeze or a kind of look. It's amazing."
jonathanlandreth  interviews  2012  internet  tibet  lhasa  remkoolhaas  nyc  web  media  online  freedom  open  conversation  belonging  cities  twitter  china  beijing  aiweiwei 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Sugared & Spiced
":What is Sugared & Spiced?
A food + travel blog based in Shanghai.

When and why did it get started?
August 2010. For the love of eating, photographing, and sharing.

What camera do you use?
Ricoh GRD4.

What’s your favorite restaurant in Shanghai?
Hard to say, but you can check my list of “favorites” to get some ideas.

How do you eat so much?
One simply does not resist good food.

Are you fat?
Plump like a watermelon.

Do you get paid to eat?
Nope, but I do get invited to taste, and if that’s the case I always put a note upfront in red for your information.

How should I navigate this blog?
For restaurants in Shanghai, use archives by cuisine, by time of day, by location, and by price. For restaurants and travel entries outside of Shanghai, click on any of the city names on the righthand column under “travels”."
lcproject  cafes  bali  beijing  hongkong  tokyo  seoul  taipei  srg  blogs  china  food  asia  shanghai  travel  thirdspaces  thirdplaces  openstudioproject 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Mixtapes - Domus
[via http://danielperlin.net/?p=243 quoted here]

"I have been curating a series of mixtapes called Sound of the City for Domus Magazine. First online, it is now part of the print version as well.

The series is based on a simple principle. Pick a city. Pair a writer, designer or artist from that city with a dj or band from that city. Make a mixtape. All legal, all local, the task of meta curating is mine, and the fun parts come after you stick people together who might not normally hang out or work with each other. Cities featured so far have been Melbourne’s Architecture in Helsinki, New York’s dj /rupture and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Buenos Aires’ Leandro Erlich and ZZK records, Mexico City’s Daniel Hernandez with some help from Toy Selectah and DJ N-RON."
danielperlin  df  mexicodf  mexico  nyc  harlem  buenosaires  beijing  telaviv  lasvegas  moscow  johannesburg  london  milan  melbourne  cities  mixtapes  domus  mexicocity 
january 2012 by robertogreco
URBAN CARPET
"Series of 8 maps embroidered on canvas with the same technique of the propaganda slogans realized on large fabric and used by the communist party during the seventies, which have been lately filled with white thread wool insertions. The 8 maps depict different Hutong areas in downtown Beijing, with a size of approximately one square kilometre each and a population of 30000; these areas have been isolated as autonomous towns within the big city. Since 2009 the carpets have been shown to the Hutong dwellers trough street public temporary events, hanging them up on ropes, wires and threads commonly used by local Beijing residents for their clothes to dry. "
2009  carpets  sewing  textiles  urbanism  urban  art  glvo  beijing  china  mapping  maps 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Ai Weiwei on Beijing's Nightmare City - The Daily Beast
"You don’t see yourself as part of the city—there are no places that you relate to, that you love to go. No corner, no area touched by a certain kind of light. You have no memory of any material, texture, shape. Everything is constantly changing, according to somebody else’s will, somebody else’s power.

To properly design Beijing, you’d have to let the city have space for different interests, so that people can coexist, so that there is a full body to society. A city is a place that can offer maximum freedom. Otherwise it’s incomplete.

I feel sorry to say I have no favorite place in Beijing. I have no intention of going anywhere in the city. The places are so simple. You don’t want to look at a person walking past because you know exactly what’s on his mind. No curiosity. And no one will even argue with you."
politics  cities  urban  urbanism  china  beijing  aiweiwei  2011  place  belonging  curiosity 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Cramming For College At Beijing's Second High | Fast Company
"An intimate look at a group of elite Beijing high-school students reveals how China's schooling system is one of the resurgent nation's greatest strengths--and biggest weaknesses."

""The gaokao rewards a special type of student: very strong memory; very strong logical and analytical ability; little imagination; little desire to question authority," says Jiang Xueqin, a Yale-educated school administrator in Beijing. "That person does well on the gaokao--as well as on the SAT, by the way.""

"A few prominent Chinese have become icons for those who argue that the gaokao should not be the sole route to success. Writer and businessman Luo Yonghao never took it; ironically, he later made his fortune on a chain of TOEFL and GRE test-prep centers. Perhaps the most famous example is Han Han, a high-school dropout who is the modern paragon of the Chinese renaissance man--a race-car driver, novelist, singer, and the most widely read blogger in the world."
2011  education  china  beijing  learning  testing  sat  standardizedtesting  gaokao  dropouts  imagination  entrepreneurship  authority  conformism  conformity  meritocracy  testprep  memorization  rote  memory  rotelearning 
august 2011 by robertogreco
MoMA | Talk to Me BETA | prettymaps, Beijing, Manhattan, and Tokyo
"Polymaps, Mapnik, and TileStache software

prettymaps are interactive maps that integrate data from freely available sources into multidimensional renderings of different places. The application pulls geographic data from open-mapping projects—including street-level data from OpenStreetMap, land-formation data from Natural Earth, and place-specific data from Flickr—and plots them atop one another. Users can view the maps at varying degrees of detail, zooming from a view of the world to a view of a single neighborhood. They are visually striking, with cities transformed into colorful abstractions, but the shapes are recognizable for anyone already familiar with the terrain."
prettymaps  maps  mapping  beijing  manhattan  nyc  moma  tokyo  polymaps  mapnik  tilestache  cities  2011  talktome  aaronstraupcope 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Chinese school defies rigid exam-focused education | Marketplace From American Public Media
"XUEQIN: We'd encourage the students to express themselves as much as possible through artwork, music, writing. It' just that because the students have been through this traditional system, they have problems doing that."

[…]

"Wang asked his teachers to start moving among their students, engaging them, not talking at them. And that's what chemistry teacher Qin Lei is doing today. Instead of asking students for the correct answers, Qin focuses on the process, asking students their opinions: asking why, how, challenging what they know. That teaching method is routine in the West, but in China it's a radical departure.

Principal Wang made a name for himself at Shenzhen High School in the southern province of Guangdong when he gutted the school's curriculum and let students choose their own classes.

"ZHENG: A lot of educators from all over the country visited our school. They all agreed the system was good, but risky."

Risky paid off."
china  beijing  education  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  learning  student-centered  student-led  pedagogy  gaokao  testing  standardizedtesting  process  processoverproduct  teaching  2011  risk  toshare  progressive  alternative  creativity 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Beijing University Graduates’ Miserable Living Conditions | chinaSMACK
""Ant people” is a description of the university graduates living in the “village in the middle of a city” ["城中村" = ghetto?]. In China, with Beijing’s Tangjiashan Village being the most representative, in this small village that can be run around in less than an hour, there live at least around 100,000 recent graduates, and the majority here are university students. I myself am a member of this group.
beijing  china  education  housing  society  colleges  universities 
january 2010 by robertogreco
GreenPIX
"GreenPix is a groundbreaking project applying sustainable and digital media technology to the curtain wall of Xicui entertainment complex in Beijing, near the site of the 2008 Olympic Games. Featuring the largest color LED display worldwide and the first photovoltaic system integrated into a glass curtain wall in China, the building performs as a self-sufficient organic system, harvesting solar energy by day and using it to illuminate the screen after dark, mirroring a day’s climatic cycle"

[download the simulator at: http://www.greenpix.org/play.php ]
sustainability  visualization  green  olympics  digital  design  technology  art  architecture  video  china  led  beijing  display  installation 
august 2008 by robertogreco
(the teeming void): Array Aesthetics (Olympic Edition)
"The Water Cube and the Birds Nest don't simply display China's modernity, they claim a jump into a digital, sustainable, mega-scaled future. The computational aesthetics of multiplicity that mark these structures are, again like the opening ceremony, a powerful cultural narrative: coherence, strength and beauty made of countless tiny pieces. Like the flickering grid of the drummers, the ordered diversity of these structures is important too, in that it's not total uniformity, a simple (modernist) grid. In fact these buildings contain a kind of post-industrial grid, where the uniformity or regularity is not literal or material, but procedural or computational - the computer's ability to resolve complex distributions of force is what enables the "organic" multiplicity here."
design  technology  society  culture  architecture  cities  china  olympics  beijing  2008  led  patterns  multiplicity  narrative  grids  postindustrial  leapfrogging 
august 2008 by robertogreco
The destruction of old Beijing | Going, gone | Economist.com
"The city of street markets, temple fairs and the "little games" that so delighted Beijingers: for instance, their passion for keeping fighting crickets, fed with honey, and for inserting tiny carved flutes of bamboo into the tail-feathers of pigeons; whole flocks created aerial music over this reviewer’s courtyard house just a decade ago."
urban  urbanism  development  china  olympics  beijing  heritage  via:cityofsound  2008 
august 2008 by robertogreco
cityofsound: Aerial music over Beijing
"I'm interested in how those aesthetics of 'organic multiplicity' apply to the ancient practices of the Terracotta army, scripting, documentation and art, the patterns of China's ancient cities, and then evolve into these contemporary practices of digital design. Codes, arrays, patterns, complexity."
design  complexity  olympics  china  patterns  cities  beijing  art  cityofsound  2008 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Britain kow tows to China as athletes are forced to sign no criticism contracts | the Daily Mail
"British Olympic chiefs are to force athletes to sign a contract promising not to speak out about China's appalling human rights record – or face being banned from travelling to Beijing."
beijing  censorship  2008  freedom  games  olympics  politics  uk  police  sports  china  humanrights 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Gabion: Rebuilding Beijing: pure geometry versus the awkward squad.
"As with the Foster airport - another city-scale grand axial plan - the closer you get, the more extraordinary it becomes. Can this thing possibly exist, right in front of your nose? In China, it can."
airports  architecture  cities  china  beijing  power  geopolitics  urbanism  olympics  urban  planning  design  via:cityofsound 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Welcome to the future | Art & Architecture | Guardian Unlimited Arts
"Any self-respecting world city now needs outlandish buildings, but what about the past? Superstar architect Rem Koolhaas tells Jonathan Glancey why even he gets nostalgic"
architecture  art  beijing  china  design  cities  remkoolhaas  oma  amo  urbanism  society  urban  history 
september 2007 by robertogreco
artforum.com / IN PRINT
"I’LL BEGIN WITH THE BULLET HOLES. They were small, but by no means discreet, and surely everyone who visited the UCLA Hammer Museum in early 2006 saw them, pocking the lower flanks of Jean Prouvé’s prefabricated steel-and-aluminum Tropical House, 19
art  architecture  losangeles  beijing  prouve  prefab  africa  history  museums  china 
december 2006 by robertogreco
Artichoke: Lessons on Collaborative Learning from the Traffic in Beijing
"a keynote by Naomi Miyake... challenged me to look again at collaboration. Her presentation on “Designed Collaboration as a Scaffold for Schematic Knowledge Integration” showed that EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION is not about CONVERGENCE"
learning  education  japan  china  collaboration  beijing  schools  students  organizations  comments  traffic  urban  planning  space  artichokeblog  pamhook 
december 2006 by robertogreco

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